Thursday, November 18, 2010

Minister's Remarks Generate Controversy

By Jerry Bohnen/NewsRadio 1000 KTOK ~ The lengthy invocation by a Shawnee minister at this week's State House oath of office delivered to new and re-elected Representatives left some of the legislators upset over what they felt were apologies to Native Americans and illegal immigrants in the state.

Rep. Randy Terrill
leads those unhappy
with remarks
By Ron Black ~ An apology for our forefathers, a plea to God to ensure elected officials are merciful to illegal immigrants...all things we would easily expect from President Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright - and the conservative community had a field day dissecting his sermons and his appearances on Fox News only fueled the fire against him and the most popular member of his congregation.

Rev. James Hewett
Several met and held a conference call among other legislators Tuesday evening following the invocation by Dr. James Hewett, the Interim Minister of the Wesley United Methodist church. It is the same church where State House Speaker elect Kris Steele is the Associate minister.What angered several legislators who didn't want their names revealed yet for fear of retaliation by Speaker Steele in making his House committee assignments were the minister's remarks.
As the Reverend Hewett spoke of those who live in Oklahoma, he explained some came to Oklahoma by forced re-locations against their will. "To those we say, "we're sorry for what our fore parents did to your fore bearers," said the minister in written remarks made available by the State House.
The minister asked that God enlighten the legislators so they don't victimize the Tribal peoples of Oklahoma. He also referred to illegal immigrants, referring to them as those who 'dwell and work in our land, but it has yet to become their land--they're aliens in our midst'. "Give wisdom, sensitivity to curcumstances, and compassion to our legislators for these who labor and live among us without appropriate authorization," continued the minister.

"May Oklahoma become a model for our nation of just, fair, and functional policies for immigration."

The legislators were expected to talk again last night as they decided how to handle the remarks.

"It's a common practice that the remarks of a minister are supposed to be neutral," explained one. "And they're not supposed to refer to any issue that's before the legislature."

The legislators felt Dr. Hewett's remarks were not necessary in the swearing in of the Representatives.

Share |