— by Michael Sherrard
You might be surprised to hear that Mike O’Neal, the Republican Speaker of the Kansas State House, 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 quotes Psalm 109: “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.” O’Neal said of the violent Psalm “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president.”
Sadly, it’s not unusual for Republican politicians to use 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.
This isn’t even the first time Speaker O’Neal has disgraced his office with his personal behavior. He already got in trouble for forwarding a racist email calling the First Lady “Mrs. YoMama” and making fun of her appearance, which he half-heartedly apologized for only after being confronted with public outrage.
Speaker O’Neal’s juvenile racism and hateful attacks aren’t just a distasteful criticism of President Obama. By misusing scriptures that millions of Americans hold sacred, he’s insulting our faith and damaging our democracy.