December 21, 2017
If you thought tax reform terrified liberals, try praying about it! During yesterday's historic votes, Donald Trump sent the Left into a full-on panic by pausing a moment in his cabinet meeting to thank God for their pending success. Before he turned the floor over to Secretary Ben Carson, the president looked at the media in the room and told them they could stay if they wanted to. After all, he joked, "[Y]ou need the prayer more than I do. I think you may be the only ones. Maybe a good solid prayer, and they'll be honest then. Is that possible?"
Well, the media was honest all right -- but only about their distress. Most liberal reporters were -- if not alarmed, then completely baffled -- by Carson's appeal. MSNBC led the parade of the perplexed, calling the display "unusual" and "striking." ThinkProgress's overreaction was almost comical. The group's Aaron Rupar described what has always been a normal expression of faith in the White House (until recently) as "creepy" and "cult-like." In some pockets of the press, the prayer overshadowed the real news itself: that Congress had passed the most meaningful tax overhaul in 30 years.
Meanwhile, Dr. Carson's appeal was hardly the stuff of controversy. He thanked God for our freedom and the opportunities we, as Americans, have been given, and continued:
"We thank you for the president and for cabinet members who are courageous, who are willing to face the winds of controversy in order to provide a better future for those who come after."
"We're thankful for the unity in Congress that has presented an opportunity for our economy to expand so that we can fight the corrosive debt that has been destroying our future. And we hope that that unity will spread even beyond party lines so that people will recognize that we have a nation worth saving. And recognize that nations divided against themselves cannot stand."
"In this time of discord, distrust and dishonesty, we ask that you will give us a spirit of gratitude, compassion and common sense. And give us the wisdom to be able to guide this great nation in the future we ask in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."
Since the birth of our nation, we've have had presidents who prayed and called the nation to prayer -- including Democrats! Franklin Roosevelt's 1944 prayer was so significant that he put it on the White House's official Christmas card. "Not only did we have prayer in meetings like this," David Barton told me on Wednesday's "Washington Watch," "but by the time you get to 1815, there had been 1,400 government-issued calls to prayer for the nation, so that's not just prayer in Cabinet meetings. That's calling the whole nation to prayer..."
And this isn't just a colonial times phenomenon. In case MSNBC has forgotten, David pointed out, "Just on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, we don't do anything in the House and Senate without having someone who is paid to pray open things up with prayer. So why they would think that's unusual in a Cabinet meeting is pretty much indicative of their lack of polish on everything else." Although, he went on, "I guess if your framework is based on the last eight years [under Barack Obama], then yes, it would be unusual and striking."
For almost a decade, Obama treated faith like a toxin that needed neutralizing. Christianity was his favorite target, and he spent eight years training Americans to treat religious expression like public enemy number one. Now, David points out, Donald Trump is "making it mainstream again. And this is really bothering [the media], because they're no longer the sole outlet for where people get their information. And so because of what happened today, it allows us to [hear] things that they'd just assume people not know..."
In all honesty, the Left's reaction only shows their own hostility to faith. Liberals preach inclusion, but when it comes right down to it, they don't believe in any of it. Instead, they mock the White House, knowing deep down that the real battle isn't over Christmas or Cabinet prayers. The real war is over Christianity -- and for the first time in a long time, they're losing.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.