The opening invocation in the Florida Senate yesterday was delivered by Bishop Tyrone D. Smith of the Life Changing Faith Church, and Smith used the opportunity to give everyone an uplifting universal message to begin their work day.
I’m just kidding. He mocked people on welfare and trashed women’s bodily autonomy.
The entire prayer is below, but it’s only the beginning that’s relevant:
Let us pray. Father, in Jesus’ name, we pray now unto to you, the only omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of all creation. We come before the throne of grace and mercy, inviting You unto the affairs for which we are granted dominion over.
Our requests are preceded by our repentance. Father, forgive us for our allowances of unrighteous acts. We confess that we have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have allowed the willful murder of the unborn and called it pro-choice. We have allowed the demoralization of various sects of society and called it independence. Father, we ask your forgiveness of today…
There is nothing useful or universal about that prayer. If an atheist was given that same opportunity — ha! — and used it to trash lawmakers who believed in God, mock conservative issues, or make everything about his personal beliefs, the invocation would rightfully be condemned. Instead, because this was Christian, no one said a word… except for a single Democratic lawmaker, Gary Farmer:
Horribly offensive prayer this morning in the Florida Senate. Fortunately we are still a country & state governed by the Constitution & not extreme religious views.
(Prayer also said that people on welfare are lazy…not worthy of someone who professes to be a person of God.)
— Senator Gary Farmer (@FarmerForFLSen) April 26, 2021
By the way, that same Republican-led Senate that was so deeply blessed with God’s love later voted to pass a racist voter suppression bill that criminalizes giving water to voters in line, limits ballot drop boxes, and undermines mail-in voting.
Thanks for nothing, God.
(Thanks to David for the help!)