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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘legislature’

‘Jesus Prayers’ in Legislature Upset Florida’s Jewish Delegates

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Jewish legislators in Florida are seeking an end to prayers that often open the daily legislative session with references to Jesus Christ. They want prayers to be “all-inclusive.”

Rep. Jim Waldman told House Speaker Will Weatherford on Friday the “J.C” moment offends them, but Weatherford’s initial reply was that every cleric, whether Jewish, Christian or other, can pray as he wish. Nevertheless, he will consider the request.

A one-page guide to all clerics suggests that they refrain from “preaching or testifying” and that she should “be especially sensitive to expressions that may be unsuitable to members of some faiths.”

Statements about the “father, son and holy spirit” are too much for Waldman, who said that Jewish colleague Rep. Kevin Rader usually enters the legislature only after the prayer is completed in order to avoid a “JC moment.”

“It’s just not non-denominational. I don’t care that it’s optional. That shouldn’t be the limit test. It should be inclusive. And it’s not inclusive,” he told the Palm Beach Post.

The issue has come up before in the Florida legislature, most blatantly in 1997 when an evangelist took the opportunity in his benediction to attack divorce and abortion and cite Jesus as “the true God, the only God.”

Rep. Waldman said, “This year more so than others, every time the prayer comes up, it’s in Jesus’ name. This is my seventh year talking about it, and it’s getting to be too much. It would be nice to have an inclusive prayer.”

Christian News quoted the Speaker as saying, “Every member, Republican and Democrat, has an opportunity to pick a person to come on their behalf. We had a rabbi last week who didn’t pray in Jesus’ name. …We don’t choose the prayers for them…. I hear your concern but I can’t tell someone how to pray.”

Waldman disagrees and says clerics can be told how to pray. “It’s supposed to be non-denominational. I mean, that’s the law actually, it’s supposed to be non-denominational, not proselytizing, and it’s just not been….For Jewish members, it’s an insult.”

One possible way of settling the issue might be for a rabbi to open a legislative session by blowing the shofar. It would be interesting to see how many Christians would stand solemn with their heads bowed during 30 blasts of the shofar, ending with a long “Tekiah Gedolah.”

Is there a Muslim in the crowd?

McLaughlin Sorry for Cuomo-Hitler Analogy (Video)

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin compared Gov. Andrew Cuomo with Hitler and Mussolini at a press conference Wednesday, drawing harsh condemnation from Jewish leaders and others.

Referring to the gun control bill that was approved by the Senate two hours after being unveiled, McLaughlin charged, “If that’s not dictatorial, I don’t know what is. Hitler would be proud. Mussolini would be proud of what we did here. Moscow would be proud. That’s not democracy.”

Although he was big enough to apologize, his regrets were not immediate. When a reporter asked him if his comments were appropriate, McLaughlin insisted, “How does Putin act over in Russia? Same thing. Dictate to the legislature what they’re going to do. They’re rubber-stamping it. I’m not calling the governor a dictator; I’m saying that this was the dictatorial thing to do.”

The Albany Times-Union noted that more than 20 Republican colleagues were silent and seen “nodding along” at the news conference.

McLaughlin profusely apologized several hours later, saying he is only human and it was an “honest mistake” made in the heat of representing his constituents, who live in parts of Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties.

“I made an analogy that I should not have made,” said McLaughlin. “I am very, very sorry about that. I apologize to the governor and to all of you. It was the wrong analogy to make.”

Jewish leaders called the remarks “inappropriate,” a view shared by both Democrat and Republican leaders in the legislature.

The gun-control bill was pushed through quickly by including the “message of necessity” waiver, which gets around the usual three-day period between the introduction of a bill and a vote on it. Republicans argued the waiver robbed them of an opportunity to veto the bill, which Republican Senator Greg Ball said has so many holes it looks like “Swiss cheese.”

Gov. Cuomo has used  the “message of necessity” waiver as a “message of political expediency,” charged Glenville Assemblyman Jim Tedisco.

A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said that messages are only used when “appropriate,” and Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos admitted the gun control bill was passed in some “haste” although it messages of necessity can be “necessary.”

McLaughlin, a native of Massachusetts and a former airline pilot and banker, was elected two years ago to represent the 107th district.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/mclaughlin-sorry-for-cuomo-hitler-analogy-video/2013/02/06/

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