(From the congressional record...)
The Chaplain, the Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, offered the following prayer:
God of the universe, we give You thanks for giving us another day. Bless the Members of this assembly as they set upon the work of these hours, of these days.
Help them to make wise decisions in a good manner and to carry their responsibilities steadily, with high hopes for a better future for our great Nation.
As legislation on taxes continues to be debated this week and next, may all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle.
May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans. May Your blessing, O God, be with them and with us all this day and every day to come, and may all we do be done for Your greater honor and glory. Amen.
That prayer apparently was just too much hippie leftist socialism for some Republicans who complained to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Mordor), who in turned fired Conroy for having to much of a "tilt to the left". Yeah... you read that right, Just to be clear; A prayer that simply called for lawmakers to have a sense of compassion for the poor and to work to ensure all Americans benefit from their actions, was considered to be offensive and partisan by Congressional Republicans.
Additionally there are rumblings that Ryan also was trying to placate conservative evangelical members of the GOP Caucus who may have anti-catholic sentiments. Something Catholic television network EWTN broadly hinted at:
All the while carefully redesigning Christ into an image that fit their Grover Norquist/Koch Brothers talking points. Where poor people are lazy "takers" and it is wealthy or "job creators" as they were dubbed, who were truly doing the Lord's good work and therefore needed all the support and protection Government could offer.
Then again, "blessed are the Rich" has always been the Gospel According to Paul Ryan. Who has spent his entire career in public life trying to destroy the Social Safety net of the United States and turn it into tax cuts and benefits for the wealthiest of Americans. For Ryan, killing any and all programs that provide health care to poor Americans has been his most cherished dream since his carefree college days.
Ryan's gospel doesn't just insist (despite all evidence to the contrary), that such redistribution would ultimately leave the poor better off, in part by improving the economy as a whole. But also he claims that his agenda was a moral one. Saying that the rich were the worthy "Makers” and the poor were the evil “Takers”, lazy people who subsist on government handouts. Often citing Ayn Rand, the libertarian philosopher, as one of his major influences.
Now we see this warped perversion of faith coming full circle. Where even hearing in a prayer that they should be caring as much for the least of these, as they do for the wealthiest of these, was too much for Republicans to take. Faith as become just another GOP "alternative fact" . One that elevates hypocrisy to the level of doctrine. By their works shall Ye know them...
Here endeth the lesson.