Sometimes on the radio as I drive to work they'll have these weird news stories about some whacko religious ceremony, usually conducted in India or Thailand or some other far off place. It's not really nice to laugh at such things, I think, as their culture values that kind of thing just as much as our culture values our little rituals. In that vein, I hope some wacky morning show in New Delhi picks up this story, from the Wall Street Journal, about three ministers who "blessed" the doors of the room in which the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings take place. They were prohibited by police from blessing any further. Or were they?
Insisting that God 'certainly needs to be involved' in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday.
Capitol Hill police barred them from entering the room to continue what they called a consecration service. But in a bit of one-upsmanship, the three announced that they had let themselves in a day earlier, touching holy oil to the seats where Judge Alito, the senators, witnesses, Senate staffers and the press will sit, and praying for each of the 13 committee members by name.
'We did adequately apply oil to all the seats,' said the Rev. Rob Schenck, who identified himself as an evangelical Christian and as president of the National Clergy Council in Washington.
How were these loons able to get into the room in the first place? Well, because "hearing rooms typically aren't locked because 'they're not of interest to anyone,'" according to police. In spite of their "blessing," the oil-stained ministers insist they're not pulling for an Alito confirmation:
The three ministers insisted they weren't taking sides in the Alito debate. "This is not a pro-Alito prayer," insisted the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. With abortion, public prayer, gay marriage and right-to-life issues among those topping public debate, however, "God…is interested in what goes on" in the nomination hearing, Rev. Schenck said.Uh, sure. Sounds neutral to me.