The New Orleans Times-Picayune decided to ask Gov. Bobby Jindal about some of the controversial things that were on the website for his upcoming prayer rally, which is being paid for by the American Family Association. His spokesperson dodged those questions and pretended that the rally is totally non-political.
Next month, Gov. Bobby Jindal is bringing a mass prayer event to LSU’s campus sponsored by a conservative Christian group that has espoused controversial views on a number of issues, including the causes of Hurricane Katrina.
The American Family Association (AFA), based out of Mississippi, has weighed in on everything from homosexuality to Eric Garner — the man who died after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold. They are paying for Jindal’s mass prayer event at LSU, called The Response, in January.
“I haven’t looked at their website, so you will need to talk to them about it. Here’s what we do know…our nation is facing serious issues, but God is real, He is powerful, and He answers prayer. That is why we are asking people to come to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on January 24th and pray for revival,” said Shannon Bates, Jindal’s deputy communications manager, in a written statement about the organization.“This is a prayer meeting — not a political rally. One thing that most people can agree on is that prayer is a positive thing,” Bates said.
But this wasn’t on the AFA website, it was on the website put up about Jindal’s prayer rally itself (the material in question, which blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people and abortion, has since been pulled). And those are explicitly political statements. It is absurd and, frankly, insulting to the intelligence of the people of Louisiana, to pretend that this prayer rally is apolitical. It’s been used to launch Jindal’s presidential camaign, just as an identical rally put on by exactly the same people was used by Rick Perry to do the same in 2011. And you don’t get to climb in bed with the American Family Association, a totally political organization, and then pretend that it’s not about politics. No one could possibly believe you, nor should they.