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Port: At least one Republican lawmaker needs a lesson in what religious freedom means

Minot Republican Rep. Jeff Hoverson shows a photo of him shaking hands with Rajan Zed, who gave a Hindu prayer to start the House's floor session Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Hoverson abstained from the prayer along with a few other lawmakers. John Hageman / Forum News Service

Rep. Jeff Hoverson is a Republican from Minot. He’s also a pastor. I know him personally, since we live in the same community, and I’ve heard him talk at length before about the importance of religious liberty. He feels that Christians, at times, are inhibited from living their lives in accordance with their faith. He worries about their ability to express their faith publicly.

Though I’m an atheist, I largely share his views in this regard. Every American should have religious liberty. All religions should feel welcome in the public square.

Which is why it’s bizarre that Rep. Hoverson objected to a Hindu religious leader delivering an invocation to a recent session of the state House of Representatives.

To be clear, several Republican lawmakers refused to participate in the prayer. Rep. Sebastian Ertelt of Lisbon, Rep. Luke Simons of Dickinson, and Rep. Daniel Johnston of Kathryn joined Hoverson in sitting it out.

Click here to continue reading Rob Port's Say Anything blog.