Update: Angry with Speaker O'Neal? Don't call or email me - I'm the one calling him out for his hateful comments. You can call the Speaker at 785-296-2302 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave a respectful message about how you feel. Don't get down to his level. - Rev. Chuck Currie
On the day we honor the memory of those killed in Tuscon and recognize the bravery of those who survived - on a day we remember the need for civility in our politics in a time of super heated and even violent rhetoric - we learn that the GOP Speaker of the Kansas House of Representative is praying for the death of President Obama and referring to the First Lady as "Mrs. YoMama."
Pat Cunningham reports that Speaker Mike O’Neal compared Michelle Obama to the Grinch in e-mails and later wrote over the holiday: "“I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation — at our expense, of course."
In another e-mail, Speaker O'Neal forwarded Psalm 109, which reads: "May his days be few; may another seize his position..." and continues:
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.
May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.
May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.
O’Neal wrote: “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”
One year ago U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot and many others were killed and injured by a mentally-ill man during a time of white hot political debate.
President Obama said in the days that followed:
I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here - they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.
That's what I believe, in part because that's what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation's future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.
I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us - we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.
There is no place in our politics for Speaker Mike O’Neal's hateful comments. America deserves - needs - better.
May God soften Speaker O'Neal's heart.