Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pray With Me

The New Jersey state Senate took the unusual step of banning a pastor, the Rev. Vincent Fields, for mixing politics with religion while giving the traditional invocation that starts each Senate session. Such invocations are supposed to be apolitical.

But what really had legislators in an uproar is the fact that Fields politicized his prayer by asking God to “curse the spirit” of those who supported a piece of legislation that was currently being debated on the Senate floor. Just what was the legislation being discussed?

A. A measure that would provide state funding to stem cell research
B. A measure that would revoke the tax-exempt status of churches if their sermons were found to be in support of a specific political candidate
C. A measure that would make it a crime to post the personal information — including home address — of abortion doctors on the Internet
D. A measure that would allow gay couples in the state to have civil unions

D: The Senate was to discuss a bill that would grant gay couples a limited civil union status, and apparently the Rev. Fields took issue with it.

“We curse the spirit that would come to bring about same-sex marriage,” he said in his invocation. “We ask you to just look over this place today, cause them to be shaken in their very heart in uprightness."

Afterwards, Senate President Dick Codey said that Field was out of line and wouldn’t be invited back.


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