Michael Medved, the best-selling author and popular radio talk show host known for his conservative views, says “it’s insane” for the Hawaii Senate to ban invocations from floor sessions.

Medved, in town to keynote a Smart Business Hawaii conference Wednesday at the Ala Moana Hotel, made the remarks after reading a Honolulu Star-Advertiser article that says senators will recommend the rule change next week “to avoid intruding on the separation between church and state.”

The Senate’s proposal follows a disruption by protestors who interrupted a Senate floor session invocation last April. The dramatic incident and the protestors’ apprehension by sheriff’s deputies was caught on video and sparked a lawsuit against the Senate.

“One idiot demonstrator who interrupts, gets arrested, sues and makes a fuss, and all of a sudden the state Legislature says you can’t begin with an invocation?” Medved said. “The Supreme Court says you can do it, that it is not a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendement. It is normal and American to bow your head and praise God.”

Medved, who is Jewish, says it is a “lie” that America was founded as a secular nation.

“It was founded as a secular government, but the founders believed only if we we remain a deeply Christian nation,” he said. “Those who want to ban the invocation in the state Senate, they don’t return to the vision of the founders.”

Medved also said it was wrong for the media to blame “political rhetoric” and a “toxic environment” for the recent shootings in Arizona.

In attendance for Medved’s talk were GOP state Sen. Sam Slom, House Minority Leader Gene Ward, Rep. Kymberley Pine and former baseball star Sid Fernandez.

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