"Criticism of Hindu Plucked from Web"

September 23, 2000

Source: The Plain Dealer

On September 23, 2000, The Plain Dealer published an article entitled, "Criticism of Hindu Plucked from Web." It reported that "some members of a Christian conservative group apparently believe Congress erred when it allowed a Hindu priest from Parma to give a historic invocation before the House of Representatives last week. But the Family Research Council, best known for its former leader, one-time presidential candidate Gary Bauer, backed away yesterday from its criticism that Venkatachalapathi Samuldrala's prayer in the Capitol was proof of a wayward shift from Christianity toward 'ethical chaos.' The Family Research Council yesterday afternoon removed from its Web site a staff-written article that had been posted hours earlier. The article said the first-ever Hindu invocation in the House 'is one more indication that our nation is drifting from its Judeo-Christian roots. ... Woe be to us that day when we relegate him (God) to being merely one among countless other deities in the pantheon of theologies...' Family Research Council Executive Vice President Chuck Donovan issued a 'clarification' of the Web site article. 'We affirm the truth of Christianity, but it is not our position that America's Constitution forbids representatives of religions other than Christianity from praying before Congress,' he said. 'We recognize that decisions on this matter are the prerogative of each house of Congress.'"