What about E. Pluribus Unum?

Hullaballoo ensues after Episcopal priest offers Hindu prayer (in Sanskrit and English) to opening of California senate session.

Reaction from Christian right largely predictable: Blah blah, polytheism, blah blah, I do not understand Hinduism, ipso facto it is un-understandable, blah blah Constitution based in Christianity, blah blah, the sentate is just like the Israelites of the Old Testament constantly blaspheming against God and being punished for it.  What?  When did the senators turn to Baal?

Here is what makes me mad(est) about this sort of bullshit from the religiously myopic.  They are about the letter of the message and not the spirit.  Some dude at the American family association is put-out because Hinduism lacks “a Creator” and you just can’t have your prayers going out there into the spiritual postal system without a specific address.  They’ll be returned to sender.  So, stick to the bible.

[aside]Although one could argue that there is, in fact, a Creator in Hinduism and His name is Brahma.  He is the god of creation.  If that’s not good enough, His triumvirate are considered manifestations of Brahman, the creative spirit fo the universe.  As I, a non-Hindu who carries around a brass Ganesh for good luck, understand it.[/aside]

That aside, this is the prayer that they are reacting to, a prayer that no good Christian could possibly relate to:

“We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds,” he translated. “Lead me from the unreal to the Real. Lead me from darkness to Light. Lead me from death to immortality.”

The whole thing contradicts the United States motto of “One Nation Under God,” they say.  Whatever happened to E. Pluribus Unum? wonder I.

Though to be fair, it sounds like the senators were cool with it.



  1. But even if we were to accept one nation under God, why must it preclude “from many, one” anyway? And they always invoke the intentions of the founding fathers as if they were the ones who said “one nation under God,” which they didn’t. As though Thomas Jefferson weren’t a Deist who made his own version of the bible (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible) and as though Ben Franklin didn’t live in sin with the mother of his children whom he never married, or love to spend time in France.

    Yeah, they would be members of the AFA.

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