Religious Right Including Members Of Congress Pray For God To Stop The Health Care Bill

December 17, 2009 8:59 a.m.
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The Family Research Council Action PAC held an extraordinary “prayercast” event last night, praying for the intercession of God to change Senators’ minds and stop the health care bill.

(The full streaming video is available here.)

The event was an excellent display of the theocratic right — that is, for the literal institution of religious doctrines in public policy, and appeals to the Deity for active direction and intervention in politics.

As I reported last night, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins began the evening with a false statement, confidently saying that history records the Founding Fathers praying for God’s intervention at the Constitutional Convention. (They did not pray, mainly due to the financial inability to get a chaplain, as well as the political pitfall that even seeking a chaplain would alert the public to their internal dissensions.)

Co-host Lou Engle focused the event as a protest against abortion, alleging that the bill would result in government funding and promoting it, and likening their prayers to Biblical figures who worked to stop the genocide of the Jews. “But the Bible’s very clear that prayer affects government,” said Engle. “Esther’s three-day fast changed public policy; Daniel’s fast changed public policy; and it’s the same, yesterday, today and forever, and that’s why we’re here.”James Dobson participated via phone, offering a prayer and seeming to tie the health care bill and the country’s overall political direction to none other than the Devil: “I just pray that You will frustrate the plans of the Evil One, and revive us again with conviction and forgiveness. Show us how we can further your cause, Lord and advance your kingdom, and we will be careful to give you the praise. Just begin a revival in our hearts that will restore us as one nation under God.”

The event included members of Congress, almost all of them Republicans — but there was one Democrat, Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, who appeared via a pre-recorded video message. “You know, the power of prayer knows no bounds,” said McIntyre.  “The true source of power is not found in the halls of congress or the chambers of the Supreme Court or the Oval Office of the west wing, but rather on our knees at the throne of grace.”  McIntyre did not specifically comment on the health care bill, but we can probably count him as an irreconcilable vote against it.

Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) also led a prayer, thanking the Lord for the Godly men and women who are in public life, and asking forgiveness for government leaders that haven’t looked to God:

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) gave a video message, hearkening back to the Pilgrim Puritans for their use of the Bible as a direct guide for the conduct of government: “We could learn from the Pilgrims by understanding that the Bible is not just a book of how to be nice to people, it is an entire blueprint for the way civilization can be structured.”

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) also appeared, and DeMint asked for God to change the Democratic Senators’ minds. “Whether they’ve been mesmerized by the president or just convinced somehow in their own heart,” said DeMint, “we just need to pray that God’ll channel their hearts to realize that the exceptional nature of this country did not come from government control of everything, but from limited government, and a free people with Judeo-Christian principles, that created the character and integrity that made this country work.”

The event ended with a 30-minute continuous prayer by various speakers. “Give kings sleepless nights across America,” Engle implored passionately. “Lord, break into their hearts while they sleep tonight.”

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