Published On: Sun, Mar 15th, 2015

Idaho State Senator Insists Hinduism has ‘False Gods, ‘ Won’t Apologize

Religious leaders from all over have called on Nuxoll to apologize.

Senator Sheryl Nuxoll

Three Idaho lawmakers last week boycotted the state Senate’s daily invocation because it was given by a Hindu, Courthouse News Service reported.

Guest chaplain Rajan Zed delivered a prayer in English and Sanskrit, which focused on selflessness and peace.

In response, Senator Sheryl Nuxoll, a Republican of Cottonwood said the United States is a Christian nation, and “Hindu is a false faith with false gods. 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.”

Religious leaders from all over have called on Nuxoll to apologize.

Dan Black, director of the Boise Institute for Buddhist Studies, told the Spokesman-Review that “being a public official, it was highly inappropriate and insensitive for Ms. Nuxoll to call a major religion ‘false.’ To show responsibility, respect and understanding that her words were hurtful to the Hindu community, Ms. Nuxoll should apologize.”

Rabbi ElizaBeth Beyer said Nuxoll “should be called upon to offer a public apology, and perhaps even be sanctioned by the Senate for her inappropriate, insensitive and insulting remarks.”

But Nuxoll would have none of it, and on Friday added insult to insults, saying that the Hindu population is more likely to terminating pregnancies and kill newborns.

So much for selflessness and peace.

Rajan Zed, who has delivered Hindu prayers in the U.S. House and Senate and many state legislatures, had requested Idaho Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill for the invitation to give an invocation. Hill said that guest chaplains often visit the statehouse, and, last year, a Jewish rabbi delivered the invocation.

No one knows if Nuxoll walked out on that one, too. Probably not.

“Most of them welcomed me, ” Zed told the Idaho Statesman. “They came out and shook my hand – some of them hugged me. It was good. There are multiple viewpoints. … That is what makes the country great, you know? Different viewpoints.”

But on Sunday the Spokesman published a letter from a reader titled “Kudos to Sen. Nuxoll, ” arguing that “the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and ratified the Constitution understood “creator” and “God” to mean the Judeo-Christian God. Not Allah, not Shiva, not Buddha, not Bael, not Zeus, not mighty wind, or ocean wave, or any other thing than He who created us in His image, who sacrificed his only son because he loved us so much.”

Selflessness and peace be damned…

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