Sen. Steve Vick, “Christian”

When right-wingers say they’re protecting freedom of religion, make no mistake: They’re only protecting freedom of their own religion.

When daily prayer opening the Idaho legislature on Monday, March 2, was offered by a Hindu, Sens. Steve Vick, Sheryl Nuxol and Lori Den Hartog boycotted.

The offending prayer was delivered by Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, who has given the invocation in other states and in the U.S. House and Senate. He asked senators to care for others and prayed for peace in his invocation.

Nuxall called Hinduism a false religion with false gods and said the U.S. is a Christian country. Hartog said listening to the prayer would be disloyal to her own religion. Vick said Hindus worship cows and the prayer goes against Judeo-Christian values.

First, on behalf of the “Judeo,” please leave us out of your bigotry. And on behalf of the Christians I know, you’re not one.

Second, while the majority of Americans are Christian, the U.S. is not a Christian country. We have no official religion and people of all faiths are welcome in this country. As elected officials, it’s your job to represent all of us.

Finally, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, atheists and others sit through prayers that end “in Jesus’ name” often. We either enjoy parts of the prayer that are universal and appropriate to us or simply grin and bear it. So rather than display your bigotry, next time someone who isn’t Christian offers a prayer, my advice is simply show up and shut up or get called out on your stupidity and bigotry.