Sunday, March 4, 2007

protecting religious minorities

A few years ago, on one of his broadcasts, TV preacher Pat Robertson was quoted as saying, "We want a secular constitution, we want to make sure religious minorities are protected..." But he wasn't talking about the United States--he was talking about Afghanistan...where Christians are a minority!

Similarly, in the October 2006 issue of Church & State, the periodical put out by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Gary B. Christenot, an evangelical Christian writes about his experience on the Hawaiian island of Wahiawa, where Christians are a minority:

" this little village that was populated predominantly by people of Japanese and Chinese ancestry. Rather than a church on every corner, as is common in the continental 48 states, Wahiawa had a Shinto or Buddhist shrine on every corner."

Christenot says that prayers before a high school football game were led "not by a Protestant minister or a Catholic priest, but a Buddhist priest who proceeded to offer up prayers and intonations to god-head figures that our tradition held to be pagan."

He concludes: "I would say in love to my Christian brothers and sisters: Before you yearn for the imposition of prayer and similar rituals in your public schools, you might consider attending a football game at Wahiawa High School. Because unless you're ready to endure the unwilling exposure of yourself and your children to those beliefs and practices that your own faith forswears, you have no right to insist that others sit in silence and complicity while you do the same to them.

"I, for one, sleep better at night knowing that because Judeo-Christian prayers are not being offered at my children's schools, I don't have to worry about them being confronted with Buddhist, Shinto, Wiccan, Satanic or any other prayer ritual I might find offensive."

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