The ‘pastor’ who offered this ‘prayer’ is, sadly, from South Carolina

Pastor Mark Burns speaking at Trump rally in Greenville. Wikipedia says I should credit this to Debrareneelee "in the manner specified by the author or licensor." But I was unable to find out exactly how to do that.

Pastor Mark Burns speaking at Trump rally in Greenville. Wikipedia says I should credit this to Debrareneelee “in the manner specified by the author or licensor.” But I was unable to find out exactly how to do that.

When I saw this Tweet from Nicholas Kristof:

I figured maybe Nicholas just doesn’t grok how evangelicals express themselves or something.

Then I read it, and cringed, because Kristof’s language had been too mild:


Oh, Lord, why do you let such people claim to represent you? Shouldn’t you have a licensing process or something? (Oh, that’s right — you did, but then the Reformation came along. Smiley face, Protestants! Just joshing you a bit — kind of.)

I just don’t know where to start. Perhaps we should just pick out the most offensive thing in this speech — I cannot call it a “prayer.” Is it Donald Trump being held up as a model of righteousness? Or is it that, in this country united by the holy words of St. Donald, “our enemy” is “Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party?”

I can’t choose. Normally I’d pick the second thing, because you know that a pet peeve that is for me. But the other is so deeply, profoundly sacrilegious…

Or is the very worst thing the fact that he’s telling the world he’s from South Carolina?

Y’all choose. I can’t…

32 thoughts on “The ‘pastor’ who offered this ‘prayer’ is, sadly, from South Carolina

  1. Lynn Teague

    Of course God has heard worse things said in her name. My personal favorite is from the siege of Beziers in 1209, allegedly to root out the Cathar and Waldensian heretics living among the orthodox Catholics there `- “Kill them all, God will know his own.”

    That having been said, yes, the “prayer” last night was awful. However, it is in the long tradition of praying that God will help your team win, crushing the opponents, and the “prosperity gospel” notion that God rewards his own with earthly riches.

  2. Barry

    Brad, your slam at Protestants makes me dismiss you totally. Of course that is not your first time doing it. You don’t help your own weak argument. .

    Do you mean “licensing” requirements that require the priest to molest children? Certainly not. See? Two can play that game.

    Of course so many cafeteria Catholics set such a great example anyway……….

    And it’s hilarious seeing a liberal like Kirstof get upset about a prayer at a Republican convention when he ignores the prayers offered up for Democratic candidates every time they get handed the pulpit to “preach” at a black church.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        The entire Trump campaign needs a smiley face next to it. The whole thing is a big joke. It makes so much more sense when you view it as one, anyway.

        1. barry

          It is a joke. I didn’t watch last night and have no plans to watch any of it. That’s the first time in 25+ years I have missed the Republican Convention.

  3. Harry Harris

    For so long, many of us considered the “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” to simply forbid cursing with the GD phrase. I’ve long ago come to see it as meaning never to use the holy name for a vain purpose. Never misappropriate God’s name for a selfish purpose. Never disguise our wants and goals as His. Do we hold up our religion or faith as a reason to vote for us, patronize our business, believe our assertions or trust us? Do we swear in God’s name to under-gird our version of the truth? Seems like we were cautioned about that by Jesus, himself, who expected truthful living and speech, not a reliance on oaths for credibility.
    Apparently the prayer and its prologue went along well with the tone and theme of the first convention night.

    1. barry

      I agree with you Harry on both accounts- Using or saying GOD in any disrespectful tone – or using it for vain purposes.

  4. Bryan Caskey

    “Or is it that, in this country united by the holy words of St. Donald, ‘our enemy’ is ‘Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party?'”

    Just a personal preference, but when someone is praying and they refer to “the enemy”, I like for that to mean Satan.

    Your mileage may vary.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I almost said that very thing, but then I thought, “No, it’s kind of the opposite.”

          Lee, as I understand, was avoiding referring to the Union troops — many of them men he had served with — as “the enemy.” Father Kirk was stressing that that is precisely what Satan is.

          But maybe I misunderstood…

          1. Bryan Caskey

            No, you’re right. That makes sense. I think Lee’s purpose was to de-personify them.

            Sort of like we don’t shoot down enemy pilots; we shoot down enemy aircraft.

                1. Tex

                  There’s not an enemy pilot that would even try. Besides they know we’d have to get permission from 10 levels of leaders before being allowed to return fire. By the time they get permission, he’s already landed and gone home.

  5. Scout

    I’m trying to understand the grammar of this sentence: “We are thankful that you are guiding him, that you are giving him the words to unite this party, this country, that together we can defeat the liberal democratic party, to keep us divided and not united.”

    Is “to keep us divided and not united” a really badly done subordinate adjective clause that is supposed to modify ‘liberal democratic party’….i.e. ‘we can defeat the liberal democratic, who keep us divided and not united’. I’d guess based on his obvious bias that this is what he was going for.

    But the words seem to say something different. Either “that together we can defeat the liberal democratic party (in order) to keep us divided and not united” or “we are thankful that you are guiding him … keep us divided and not united” both spring to mind from the actual grammar of the words used.

    Freudian slip, maybe?

  6. Claus

    DId the good pastor plagiarize anything from a previous pastors?

    I hope the fact checkers never go to a high school graduation and have to listen to a valedictorian’s speech. Are Michelle Obama’s parents the only parents who told their kid to work hard and be kind to others?

    1. Scout

      I think it was not so much what was expressed, which are common enough sentiments even if they do seem a stretch when applied to Trump, but the wording, sentence structure, and sequencing which called the speech into question.

  7. Brad Warthen Post author

    This was fairly mild stuff compared to last evening — which I commented on extensively, on Twitter. Had some great interactions, too. I quit counting at 130. But the only one of y’all I ran into was Doug, who had this to say.

    My blog posts automatically go to Twitter; I need to figure out a way to do that in reverse — have Tweets become automatic blog posts.

    I don’t know If I’ll have time to repeat myself today, but here are the Tweets

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “Had some great interactions, too. I quit counting at 130…”

      I’m starting to sound like Trump, bragging on all his votes and how great he is. I guess, after a night like last night, it’s catching…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        The interactions were really, really great, and they were with terrific people, classy people who appreciate that even though I’m writing these things off the top of my head, my Tweets are all SO true, that they say the things that need to be said, without political correctness getting in the way.

        These terrific people know that I always get it right, which is why they want to share the great stuff I say with their friends and followers.

        That’s why they’re great…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I realize that I’m having this conversation with myself, but really, who better to have a really great, terrific, classy, smart conversation with? As The Washington Post wrote over the weekend, I am the man I’ve been waiting for, and it’s just so terrific that I’m finally here. I may even let those losers from The Post start covering me again; I know they must be just pining away out in the cold, with nobody classy to cover…

    2. Claus

      I just glanced through them, and couldn’t but help noticing this one, “Look out! Donald Trump promises to run the country the way he runs his business”.

      So what’s the big deal Obama was a Chicago community organizer, he’s running the country the way he ran that community.

    1. Doug Ross

      Bill Gates had numerous failed products at Microsoft. Warren Buffett has lost millions on some of his investments. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. Every successful person has had any number of failures in his/her past. You shouldn’t measure a person only by their failures. I’m pretty sure the banks that loan Trump millions even today understand that.

      Now, if Trump is indicted for some crime related to his activities, that would be meaningful.

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