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Religious Bigotry

By Ken Poland
Opinion | January 14, 2012

COLBY, Kan. - I copied the following from an email I received.

Dear Kansas MoveOn member,

You might be surprised to hear that Mike O'Neal, the Republican Speaker of the Kansas State House of Representatives, is praying for President Obama.

Unfortunately, he's praying for the President's death. And he's exploiting the Bible to do so, circulating an email that cites Psalm 109: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow."

Sadly, it's not unusual for Republican politicians to use vile and hate-filled rhetoric when speaking about President Obama. But when they exploit religion to do so, people of faith have a moral responsibility to condemn it...

That's why I created a petition to Speaker O'Neal on SignOn.org, which says...

Scripture should never be used to justify praying for the death of anyone. Speaker O'Neal's hateful abuse of scripture is unacceptable and a disgrace to his office, and he should immediately resign.

Surely people can differentiate honest religious commitment from such blatant political opportunism. We hear very similar kinds of statements from both religious and non religious people. I've heard people in the coffee shop declaring that someone should just shoot whoever they don't like, in the political arena. Their religious affiliation has nothing to do with such irresponsible attitudes. Respect for honest debate and differences is not evident in society, regardless of religious identity.

The facts are that non religious bigotry is just as much a problem as religious bigotry.


2 Comments

Well written Ken. It's shocking that the Speaker of the Kansas House would pray for such a thing and in my opinion, he should step down ASAP.


Dream on, Vickie. He sends those emails to his political base and they will applaud him for his diligence in attacking Pres. Obama. That is the name of the game for a large percentage of the Republican constituency.

I will never understand why his, so called, Christian base can't see the hyprocrisy. Those kind of attitudes certainly don't reflect Jesus example. I certainly find no justification in my interpretation of scripture.

It is perfectly ligitimate for them to oppose Pres. Obama's policies, but that does not call for the extreme hatred expressed by so many. Wishing a man dead and harm to his family is not what our nation is supposed to tolerate. If it was intended as a joke, it was in very poor taste.


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