Nikki Haley is finally reaching across the aisle. On Saturday she will be praying for all of us. It's apparently called "The Response," and while they want you to think they're waiting to hear what God has to say, it really is just another snow job by the right wing in an attempt to divert us from the fact that they are the cause of a lot of our problems. The web page for Saturday's event is interesting, given that presumably the most important thing about this event is that it is not supposed to be about politics or government, at all.
Call me a cynic, but after all Nikki Haley has done to keep black people from voting or their children from getting a good education, it is interesting that the home page of this event sandwiches her in between two black men, ministers if you will. I guess buddying up with Tim Scott worked so well she figured it was time to hunt up some more conservative African Americans.
From what I can see, Zoe Warren appears to be an actual non-political religious person. But Samuel Rivers, Jr., representative from Goose Creek, is not just political, but so political that he can't quite get the dirt off him. Not only does his Facebook page sing the praises of the Bush family business (the presidency), but his right wing positions include high marks from conservative business groups and the NRA. He wrote a a guest column in the Post & Courier (that has since been withdrawn) opposing EPA regulations on water bottles that appeared to have been cribbed from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. At least he toes Haley's line politically, which I'm sure makes her happy to have him standing next to her, prayer-wise, even though he has lied about having an actual Doctorate of Theology.
While we're scratching our heads over this big event, I have to ask myself who is paying for it. After all, free admission at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center isn't like crowding into a church hall or a school cafetorium. Well, hold on to your hats, folks, because the sponsor is the American Family Association, the group that is so rabidly anti-gay that it is currently asking followers to stop doing business with WellsFargo because of its support of LGBT rights.
Not a political gathering. At all.
According to David Lane, president and founder of the American Renewal Project, this will be a day of fasting and prayer. But wait. David Lane is the guy that is going to wage war for Christianity. He is going to fight for prayer in schools and to get rid of gays. He is going to bring back those good old family values, the kind you can find in the Bible, but I think he means more Old Testament than what Jesus preached.
And non-political? From the American Renewal Project website, his mission:
"...to make evangelical Christians a power in the Republican Party."
And in Lane's own words: "An army. That's the goal...."
So what are they going to be praying for? Nikki says she wants to "pray to remember that we're not in charge." But would like to be?
There will be lots of proselytizing, lots of pretending to care about the poor and the sick. But the bottom line under all this hypocrisy is that they actually have the power to change that. And as far as I recall, God never said to turn to Him when you can fix a problem yourself. Are they asking for a miracle, in the sense of pray and you will be made well? Maybe. Because the alternative would be to pray for health care, and ain't no one on that stage that's going to be praying for that.
And one last thing. The people on that stage aren't really going to be the ones that are praying. Or, they may be "praying" but they aren't going to be listening for an answer.