Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Legislative invocations are non-political and non-denominational, right?

Gawd, I hate being scooped by Tedski on matters that my own D17 legislators are involved in, but he got to this one before I did. :(

On the other hand, the Republican hypocrisy involved is too juicy to *not* cover it here. :))

One of the traditions at the AZLege is to open each floor session with a brief prayer offered by a member or an invited guest. Such prayers are usually (but not always*) non-political and relatively non-denominational.

*OK, so it isn't exactly unheard of for an R member or invitee to thank God for small government, low taxes or to pray for fewer immigrants...but I digress... :)

While most of those folks offering prayers before the lege are Republicans or present at the behest of a Republican member, on many days, Democrats offer their fair share of invocations.

Tuesday was one such day.

From Tedski's post at Rum, Romanism, Rebellion -

Ed Ableser invited a guest onto the floor to give a the opening prayer at the House today: Rabbi Andrew Straus who presides at Temple Emanuel, a five hundred member Reform Jewish congregation in Tempe. Straus’s prayer dealt with social justice, and at the end of it it so angered Andrew Tobin that he confronted the Rabbi, questioning its appropriateness. It caused quite a stir among some of the other Republican members as well, who felt it was overly political.
Rep. Ableser is a representative from Tempe in D17, and Temple Emanuel is a congregation in Tempe (as noted by Tedski).

Apparently, prayers offered for the benefit of R and their benefactors like corporations are OK, but prayers offered for the benefit of society are inflammatory rhetoric or something similar.

IOKIYAR is still the rule of the day in Arizona politics. Look for another long year at the lege. The only factor that might make the session shorter will be the desire of members to start campaigning for reelection as soon as possible (it's an election year, in case anyone has forgotten :) ).

Note: the video of Tuesday's House session isn't posted yet, but once it is, it will be available here.


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