Muslim prayers to kick off Hartford City Council meetings in September – Update

There are two questions to consider about this story. First off, have city council meetings always started with some sort of prayer or invocation, and second, will inviting local imams to perform invocations at the meetings create unity or make things worse?

From NBC Connecticut, with the story currently featured on Drudge.

The Council announced Tuesday that it has invited local imams to perform Islamic invocations at the beginning of the Council meetings in September.

An e-mail from the Common Council called it “an act of solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Update: NBC Connecticut changed their story after I posted at 8:33 a.m. ET this morning. Their story now includes the following paragraph.

On Facebook, Council Minority Leader Luis Cotto wrote: “We start every single council meeting with a prayer.  99% of the prayers are Christian based, and in three years I recall one Rabbi coming through.”

The Hartford Courant’s story opens as follows.

A plan by the Hartford City Council to diversify its opening prayers before meetings has come under fire after it was announced that Monday’s invocation would be Islamic.

I’m quite positive the original story gave the impression there were no prayers or invocations at city council meetings, when in reality there has always been a prayer/invocation. I can’t help but think the public reaction would have been quite different if that fact was known at the git-go..

— End Update —

In some situations, you just have to step back and be quiet for awhile. If you’re looking to promote tolerance, you can’t be forcing issues like gay marriage, a “Ground Zero” mosque, or Muslim prayers at city council meetings down people’s throats.

You shouldn’t be burning Korans either, but just keep in mind there is a difference between government supported activities and privately supported activities. With that said, inflammatory statements from Democrat congress-critters like Alan Grayson certainly don’t help matters either.

Concerning the first question, I can not find any reference to previous invocations or prayers in the minutes of previous city council meetings, but I’m not sure they would be included if there were. Someone in the media should call and ask the question.

So we could go at eachother with tit for tat examples of intolerance, but we all know that does not do any good. I’m really quite sick of it all to tell you the truth. I’m pretty certain that I’ve been level-headed about all of the topics I’ve written about and frequently I hear the “you’re right Steve, but it will never happen” comments from readers.

Oh well, and I thought President Obama was supposed to calm things down. Has he failed?

14 replies
  1. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    Sorrry Steve, posted too quickly…do not know if hartford city council begins with an invocation. I was  thinking of every political convention that I ever went to and it was always a priest, rabbi or protestant minister that did the invocation (sometimes they have all 3). So, why not begin with an invocation even if there was none before. And why not an imam?

    Think is a good message to people that Americans deplore the proposed actions of the righties in Gainesville.

  2. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    Political conventions are private groups, not government groups – big difference for many. If the city council has not done this in the past, I'd be willing to suggest they are doing this specifically to get a reaction from the 'racist' TEA party members and ramp up the rhetoric on both sides. Why not start with having an invocation represented by multiple faiths instead? That would be reaching out to promote tolerance, what they are suggesting/doing is not reaching out.

    The actions by the "righties" in Gainesville do not even come close to representing the opinion of most conservatives. I bet the big event will include more media than Koran burners.

  3. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    "Political conventions are private groups, not government groups '

    steve, please watch the opening sessions of the CT senate and house on ctn -they open with the pledge and an invocation.

    I’d be willing to suggest they are doing this specifically to get a reaction from the ‘racist’ TEA party members

  4. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    "Political conventions are private groups, not government groups '

    steve, please watch the opening sessions of the CT senate and house on ctn -they open with the pledge and an invocation.

    'I’d be willing to suggest they are doing this specifically to get a reaction from the ‘racist’ TEA party members'

    Steve, surprised at this statement from you-you seem to be convinced the tea partiers are intolerant (am so sick and tired of the "R" word)

    I prefer to believe that people will not be outraged about this. We were founded on the lofty ideal of freedom of religion FOR ALL.

  5. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    Chris, you specifically mentioned political conventions. I really don't have any issue with invocations/prayer at high schools, government events, or a city council meeting. The ACLU seems to pick and choose who they wish to go after on the subject.

    I've never said TEA party members are intolerant. NEVER. I put the "racist" word in quotes since that is the left's spin on this.

    I'm speculating that – if the council did not do prayers/invocations prior – they chose to have an imam come in first to see if they could get a reaction, not to promote tolerance. If they wanted to be tolerant, bring in multiple faiths the first time they do this. This is the same approach Democrat leaders took when they walked through the crowd in Washington – Pelosi with gavel in hand. That was to provoke a reaction, not to express tolerance or teach/mentor.

  6. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    What? Geesh, let's just all run our lives tip-toeing around so as not to incite the tea partiers-OMG!

    I am just saying it (the council invocation) sends a message that we, in America, are not intolerant of any religion.

    And, as far as Pelosi is concerned -how dare she walk through the tea party to do her job to open the session of the house!

  7. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    Would those of you tolerant of any religion be tolerant of the radical Islamic fundamentalists – including the Taliban – who routinely stone women as punishment? I'm not tolerant of that whack-job Fred Phelps at Westboro Baptist … are you?

    How about a religion who marries off (into slavery) daughters who are nine, 10 or 11 years old to 55 year-old men? How about honor killings for apostates? Acceptable?

    In America, we're free to find certain members of a religion – or an entire religion – completely despicable and call them out for their actions of hate.

    I guess the real question is can Islam – and more specifically the radical Islamic fundamentalists – co-exist with Christianity, Judaism, Hindus (etc), like other religions do now?

    I guess we could tip-toe around and try not to incite those wackos…

  8. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    The Hartford council could signal its solidarity with those of all faiths by speaking out against the hate-based lawsuit brought against the Enfield School System because it rented a church facility for its graduation exercise.

  9. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    Steve, how about some Roman Catholic priests and Southern Baptist ministers sexually abusing and molesting children and teenagers. In some “Christian” sects, men have married more than one woman. Radical “Christian” pro-lifers have bombed abortion clinics, sometimes killing building occupants.

    How would you feel if some group, because of these extremists, started burning the bible?

    The muslims in America (and the vast majority around the world) have done nothing.

    "Even if you stretch out your hand against me to kill me, I shall not stretch out my hand against you to kill you."

    'If anyone murders an [innocent] person, it will be as if he has murdered the whole of humanity. And if anyone saves a person it will be as if he has saved the whole of humanity.' "

    2 quotes from the Quran above.

  10. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    I get it now. It's good what the Hartford Council is doing because priests and ministers are child molesters. You forgot to mention the Pope is responsible for the Holocaust. How low can you go?

  11. phil
    phil says:

    Last I heard, it's "one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."  It's not one nation under allah.  3000 people lost their liberty, and those responsible for that have not yet been brought to justice.  You want to honor them?  Shame!

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