People are flipping out because for the first time in history, a Wiccan prayer started the day for the Iowa House of Representatives.
Was Rep. Liz Bennett (D) trying to make a point when she invited Wiccan priestess Deborah Maynard to deliver the prayer? She didn’t mention it, but if she was, it was certainly to demonstrate that religious freedom is for everyone.
Maynard is a part of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Rapids. She’s only the third Wiccan to give a prayer in front of a government body.
Maynard’s prayer was simple, beautiful and inoffensive:
Wiccan priestess Deborah Maynard of Cedar Rapids stood at the podium in the House chamber and issued a call to “God, Goddess, Universe, that which is greater than ourselves to be here today.” She spoke of the fire that “gives us light and passion” to help people be passionate about their work for the people of Iowa, and by the “water that flows through our blood and stirs our emotions,” to help see the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Source: Des Moines Register
— Brianne Pfannenstiel (@brianneDMR) April 9, 2015
At least you’d think it was inoffensive, but several members of the House didn’t even show up and of those that did, many turned their backs. Many Christians thought that the prayer was a threat to their own beliefs (why are Christian’s beliefs so fragile?). Here’s CBN’s version of the prayer:
State Rep. Rob Taylor blamed Jesus for the protest:
Taylor explained to KCRG that he prayed and asked, “What would Jesus do?” In the end, he decided to “be in the presence of a prayer, but peacefully protest” by turning his back. Other lawmakers refused to attend Thursday’s opening ceremonies. “Jesus would be in the chamber, from my perspective, he would passively protest. Then he would seek that individual out and have peaceful conversation about why his way was the best way,” the lawmaker said. “Everyone has the right to come into our chamber — it is the people’s chamber — and pray and she did and this was the way for me to peacefully protest.” Source: Raw Story
Here’s a video about the prayer and protest:
You can bet we haven’t heard the end of the right-wing freakout.
Featured image via KCRG.com video screenshot.