The controversy surrounding Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s prayer rally, which is scheduled to take place next month on LSU’s campus, continues to grow as some students have announced that they will protest the involvement of the rally’s chief funder, the American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group. A wide variety of anti-gay activists are promoting the prayer rally and have used promotional materials for the event to spread outrageous claims that natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina were the result of homosexuality and abortion.
Jindal has now been forced to personally address the issue, which he has predictably done by side-stepping criticism of the AFA's bigotry and instead accusing "the left" of attacking Christians:
"Let's be clear about what this is. This is an opportunity for people across denominational lines to come together to pray," Jindal said. "It's not a political event, it's a religious event."
He said that while he respects the rights of protesters, religious groups have the right to express their beliefs and should not be barred from being able to hold the event on the LSU campus. A protest is planned while the event is taking place at the campus's Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and critics are urging LSU not to allow the prayer rally to happen.
"Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal told reporters at an economic development announcement in New Orleans.
Asked if he agreed with the American Family Association's agenda, Jindal sidestepped that question and said, "The left likes to try to divide and attack Christians."
Jindal said the protesters themselves should consider joining the prayer rally. He said they "might benefit from prayer."
Given that Jindal apparently has no qualms about partnering with the AFA for a "religious event," we feel that someone ought to ask him what he thinks of the fact that one the AFA's main spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has argued time and time again that the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment only apply to Christians.
Since Fischer has made no secret of his belief that non-Christian faiths are not entitled to any protection under the First Amendment whatsoever, one has to wonder how Jindal feels about partnering with his organization, considering that Jindal's own parents "are actively Hindu."
Not only does Fischer believe that Jindal's parents are not entitled to have their faith protected and treated equally under the Constitution, he declared just last year that Hinduism is a demonic religion when he totally freaked out because First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a Hindu event in the White House:
"This is a counterfeit religion," Fischer said. "It is an Eastern religion. It is, in essence, an occult religion. It's a counterfeit, a false alternative to Christianity. It ultimately represents the doctrine of demons, that is what you have with Hinduism and now this is being celebrated in the White House."
"Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal says as he partners with an organization that regularly asserts that other religions do not have those very same rights.
It is truly amazing that Jindal dares to suggest that somehow Christians are being treated unfairly because people are criticizing the fact that he is quite willing to partner with an organization that openly declares that non-Christians are not entitled to equal treatment or protection under the First Amendment.