The Opening Legislative Prayer — Brazilian-Style

This is a video from this week in the Brazilian Congress. This is reported to be a congresswoman who has an extraordinary voice. As much as I loved the performance, it is worth noting that this is a religious song where members express their faith — a practice that raised concerns with those in Brazil who believe strongly in the separation of church and state.

Great performance, great voice, but is this the proper venue?

Of course, after the last NFL season, many would argue that it is still better than Steven Tyler singing anything.

26 thoughts on “The Opening Legislative Prayer — Brazilian-Style”

  1. I am beginning to rethink my position on drawing and quartering, as well as boiling in oil, as appropriate punishment for some sociopaths.

  2. ST,
    Risk for “outa the closet, girls!!!!”
    One says, “can I borrow your razor, you know, the lady electric one”
    another answers: “you’re taking HIV meds, right?”

  3. Teji Malik
    thank you from an expat in Sweden. if you were here I’d kiss your cheeks—assuming your culture would approve. (the ones beneath his eyes, AY)
    You see folks, here has another broken the culture barrier (and don’t tell me you did this centuries ago—-that kills my joke attempts).
    Here I’ve been preaching multi-culturalism and nobody applauses. Can I guess why. “Such a bore he is”, dvs jag.

    Welcome, I say, although you may have been here for years.

    Here they say, “you lie” to the President. what do thay say in Brasil TM?

  4. Mespo’
    Big thank you.
    To think, we got past the signing and ratification before the first violation was done. Miracles never cease.
    Can you suggest a good site or book of Madisonian citations?

  5. They could do it on ice!
    – with elephants and donkeys for added interest.

    I really think that this is the future.

  6. Instead of undoing ‘years of tradition’, why not build on them?
    Take a cue from Brazil.

    Stop the portentous performances by various worthies trying to out-analize each other.
    Bring in the rappers and the beat-boxers.
    Put on a Las Vegas show, with Congress and Senate in feathers and tights.
    CPAN audience and ratings would soar. The thing would go viral, putting KONY2012 to shame.
    Dismal approval rating for Congress would be completely reversed.

    Give Congress/Senate Critters most of the advertising revenue. They’d go for that in a flash.

    The world would be amazed.

  7. mespo,

    I totally agree….but how do you undo years of traditions…..every state that I am aware of does this…. This excludes every religious organization except for the so called Christians….

  8. Here’s a comment I took from a Brazilian site in regards to this woman’s actions. (As far as I can tell she belongs to an evangelical church and was marking a “holiday” for that particular sect.)

    “Well .. at least while they sing they are not stealing … hahahahaha …
    This girl has saved millions from the public purse:-P”

    Sounds like something pete would say … 😉

  9. Three cheers for the quotes from Madison on the appointment of a Chaplain.
    We do not need some mealy mouth little snake telling us what God thinks. What Dog thinks, maybe.

  10. Those of you who do not understand Portuguese, let me help you out with the title.

    Governo Brasileiro é uma piada mesmo, digno de lástima e vergonha.

    “The Brazilian Govt is a big joke, shameless and deserves this rage”.

    When you listen to her and check the comments by the Brazilians, they are very unhappy and using foul language is mode de jour in Brazilian culture to comment something.

  11. Perhaps they should read aloud this answer of James Madison on the propriety of promoting religious observance before the meeting of a legislature:

    Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent
    with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom?

    In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution
    of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.
    The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the
    national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a
    majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not
    this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision
    for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative
    Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid
    by the entire nation.

    The establishment of the chaplainship to Congs is a palpable violation of
    equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains
    elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship ag[ain]st the members
    whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. . . .
    If Religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associated,
    and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their Constituents
    sh[oul]d discharge their religious duties, let them like their Constituents,
    do so at their own expence. How small a contribution from each member of
    Congs w[oul]d suffice for the purpose? How just w[oul]d it be in its principle?
    How noble in its exemplary sacrifice to the genius of the Constitution; and the
    divine right of conscience? Why should the expence of a religious worship be
    allowed for the Legislature, be paid by the public, more than that for the
    Ex[ecutive] or Judiciary branch of the Govt[?[.

    Were the establishment to be tried by its fruits, are not the daily devotions
    conducted by these legal Ecclesiastics, already degenerating into a scanty attendance, and a tiresome formality?

    Rather than let this step beyond the landmarks of power have the effect of a
    legitimate precedent, it will be better to apply to it the legal aphorism de
    minimis non curat lex or to class it cum “maculis quas aut incuria fudit, aut
    humana parum cavit natura.

    ~James Madison, Monopolies. Perpetuities.Corporations. Ecclesiastical Endowments. (undated).

  12. They can play music over the PA in their chamber? And it sounds that good? Cool!

  13. Song carries the tune of “How Great Thou Art” (if anyone cares…) A little raucous, but definitely in a spiritual tone.

    Other than that, a lack of understanding of Portuguese can’t confirm just what it was.

  14. Right! It’s an absolutely dreadful performance.

    Next thing we know, they’ll be putting “In God We Trust” on their money.

    Then we’ll probably see Brazil popping up in the middle of a list of Senate hits for a search like “Invocation House of Representatives”

    Keep singing guys and gals. THe more you sing, the less stupid laws you can pass 🙂

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