An Idaho state Sen. who once compared the Affordable Care Act’s state health care exchanges to the Holocaust has given quite the explanation for why Hindu prayers shouldn’t be given before legislative sessions. Sheryl Nuxoll (R-Crazytown) was one of three senators on Tuesday to boycott the daily invocation, which is usually given by a Christian, but the chamber invited Rajan Zed to deliver a Hindu prayer for the first time ever.
That didn’t sit well with Sens. Nuxoll, Steve Vick (R-Derpfield), and Lori Den Hartog (R-Bigotville), who refused to attend, citing their Christian beliefs, as if somehow hearing a non-Christian prayer would make Jesus cry. Get a load of Nuxoll’s explanation, which is both prejudiced and self-defeating:
Nuxoll: The Hindu faith prays to false gods. They have a false god and I don’t believe as a state that we should be doing that.
Reporter: Are you concerned that that may be giving preferential treatment…. to Christianity over other religions?
Nuxoll: No. No, because we have a nation founded on upon freedom of religion, which means the freedom to practice a religion, which means that we have the freedom to not have a state religion.
There’s nothing like a good old fashion pissing contest about whose gods are false and whose are true because everyone knows that can totally be resolved using logic and empirically verifiable information.
Also, Nuxoll told the AP, “I think it’s great that Hindu people can practice their religion but since we’re the Senate, we’re setting an example of what we, Idaho, believe.” Right, because “Idaho” is a sentient being who believes Jesus died on the cross for the sins of humankind, and not a state with 1.5 million people, some which don’t believe that and some of which might even be Hindus.
Like many of her America-is-a-Christian-nation brethren, Nuxoll is so blinded by her own faith and personal biases that she can’t see the gross hypocrisy she’s buried herself in up to her eyeballs. She acknowledges that there can’t be a state religion, yet she will only approve of Judeo-Christian prayers to begin the legislative session. The inconsistency here is staggering, but it’s the totally natural viewpoint of someone trying to square the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause with her personal belief in Christian supremacy.
Then again, maybe Nuxoll’s made up justification for this is just an homage to the state she loves so much. Like her legal reasoning, the word “Idaho” is a fabrication, a hoax perpetrated by an eccentric lobbyist who suggested the land be called “Idaho.” He said it was Shoshone for “gem of the mountains,” when really it was just a made up word that became the name of the territory in 1863, and eventually the state in 1890.
Anyway, as with all of the controversies about which religious or secular groups should be allowed to deliver invocations, this fiasco has a simple solution: end invocations. If you need to pray to do your job as a lawmaker, step aside and give the wheel to people who aren’t expecting god to drive.