And so it was when Minnesota Republicans made the blunder of inviting hate-filled "preacher" Bradlee Dean to give the morning prayer. And while I do think some of the reactions to it were a bit overstated, as it wasn't nearly as hate-filled as the standard rants you can read at any given conservative blog. But still, as far as legislative prayers go, particularly in a moderate place like Minnesota, this one was a doozy.
In case you missed it, here it is. And note, his seething undertones only make it clear how displeased he is that he has to be this moderate. I'd hate to hear the prayer he wanted to give.
And here's the thing: For as much as I'm sorta against the idea of daily prayers before legislative sessions, as I fail to see why the government is endorsing religion like this; this didn't offend me for that reason at all.
Because the thing is, that wasn't a particularly religious speech. In fact, for as much as he kept referencing the Father God repeatedly, that had to be one of the least religious prayers I've ever heard. I guess it varies by denomination, but as someone raised Catholic and forced to recite the Rosary on occasion, that really wasn't much of a prayer at all.
No, without a doubt, that was a political speech; through and through. Sure, it was peppered with references to God and Jesus, but it was all about how liberals are ruining the country because they're not following the orders of the Founding Fathers, and how Obama is a big problem. His "preface" to the prayer was really the meat of the thing, and then he blathered something about soldiers sacrificing themselves for America, before getting to his final point: That Obama wasn't Christian and was ruining America because he wasn't a conservative.
And for as underplayed as the whole thing was, it was the seething rage, underscored by his alcohol-ravaged voice that really set the tone. And jesus, doesn't the man own a suit? I wouldn't be seen anywhere in that outfit, let alone televised in front of important people. I'm definitely of the opinion that a nice gray suit would have lessened the impact of his low-key rant.
And what's so ridiculous about these people is that they really can't seem to tell the difference between religion and politics. It's all one to them, and anyone who disagrees with their politics must assuredly be on the wrong side of their god. After all, he wasn't telling us that liberals were wrong for ignoring God, but for ignoring the Founding Fathers. And while I'm sure he'd argue that the Founding Fathers were following God's commands, you'd think he would have just said that directly; rather than referencing a secular document like the Constitution.
In the future, I recommend to the Minnesota legislature that they not only insist that their daily prayer be non-denominational, but also non-partisan. And to that, I prayer to the Lord God Darwin Almighty. Amen.
Update: Here's a follow-up to this post, in which Hate Preacher Bradlee Dean is seen trying to deny the very thing he did.