Last week the Iowa House of Representatives had an opening invocation given by a Wiccan priestess and, naturally, the Christian right is flipping out about it. Bob Vander Plaats of the Iowa Family Leader told an event he hosted this weekend that it might cause God to exact some retribution.
In the end, the group responded by holding a voluntary alternative prayer service in the capitol for legislators who wanted to skip what ended up being a fairly mundane invocation from the priestess. Family Leader president Bob Vander Plaats warned that it was a “stunning development” with a potential “spiritual ramification” and quoted a verse from Ephesians about spiritual warfare against the “forces of evil,” but didn’t go so far as to say that the Wiccan priestess didn’t have the right to pray at the capitol.
But in a speech that evening to a forum that included likely GOP presidential contenders Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal, Vander Plaats — after declaring the supposed threats to the religious liberty of conservative Christians would be “the key issue of the 2016 campaign” — made it clear that while it was “totally within the religious right” to invite a Wiccan to deliver a prayer at the capitol, it might in fact give God reason to withdraw his blessing from America.
Wait, I thought he already did that? Isn’t that what caused 9/11? And Hurricane Katrina? And the recession? And every other bad thing? People like Vander Plaats are always telling us that God has lifted his hand of protection from us because something bad happened, but then they also tell us that he might hypothetically do that if we don’t kiss his ass enough. Make up your damn minds.