If the Midwest felt especially blessed yesterday, it’s no doubt because the entire state of Iowa was basking in the smug satisfaction of a “day of prayer, fasting and repentance.” Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation back in April designating Monday a special Christian Repentence Day, because he is just like George Washington, and also anyone who thinks the First Amendment prohibits governors from proclaiming special prayer days can go suck balls. People like official prayer, and this is America, where the Constitution is everything, except when some atheist says it means government isn’t supposed to host church services.
The proclamation, which Branstad signed on his wife’s birthday in April, reads,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E Branstad, as Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby invite all Iowans who choose to join in the thoughtful prayer and humble repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14 in favor of our state and nation to come together on July 14, 2014.
Iowa was one of several states participating in something called “Pray 7/14/14,” after II Chronicles 7:14, which offers this hopeful but rather nonspecific promise to believers:
[I]f my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
In video from the event, the woman introducing Branstad assured attendees that they were “blessed” to have a governor who has the “courage to fear God more than Man,” because apparently any governor who caters to the religious impulses of their constituents is taking a huge risk, probably from those who might openly say mean things. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynold both spoke at the event; Branstad said that in his office, he has a painting of George Washington on kneeling in prayer (though presumably not in his Masonic attire), as well as another painting of Abraham Lincoln praying. Lt. Gov Reynold congratulated the crowd for “standing up for our rights, and for individual liberties.” The blandly Christian prayers carefully invoked God without getting excessively sectarian, and were accompanied by the sort of tuneless keyboard noodling that seems mandatory during Fundagelical services.
Neither Branstad nor Reynold appears to own a Bible which contains Matthew 6:5, in which Jesus exhorts his followers to avoid making a show of praying in public “like the hypocrites.” Or maybe they were just busy on June 5.
To make sure people remembered the “7:14” bible verse, sponsors began the event at 7:14 a.m. and ended it at 7:14 p.m., and also urged attendees to set their cell phone alarms to 7:14 every morning and evening to remind them to pray that America will be forgiven for its sins — which remained unspecified. Incidentally, the Bible also contains multiple warnings to the faithful that they must shun such pagan practices as Numerology.
We suppose we should just be glad that the God-botherers aren’t planning a comprehensive genocide of unbelievers for next week, based on Deuteronomy 7:23-24:
But the Lord thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.
And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.
Stay blessed, kids.