Our Economic Theocracy

Here’s your Friday afternoon music break:

There used to be a time when progressives’ chief grievance about the religious right was that they were trying to impose a theocracy: a government that poked its nose into your uterus and your bedroom.

Now, with the GOP crackup that can’t even be controlled by its own leadership, the waning commitment of Wall Street to even some of the top GOP presidential contenders, and another contender possibly launching his campaign from a stadium-sized prayer rally, the full reach of the theocratic aims of the religious right, and its doppelganger the Tea Party, is now clear: political responses to our economic and fiscal crises are being controlled by the extreme wing of a party that prioritizes praying over policy.

Yesterday’s opening prayer at the Capitol was delivered by one Rev. Rick Postell of Brunswick, Georgia, the guest chaplain sponsored by Georgia Republican Jack Kingston, a backer of the Boehner plan rejected by House Tea Partiers. Postell prayed:

Heavenly Father,
We come to You in Jesus name on behalf of this great nation.
We ask for your forgiveness of our transgressions, and to thank you for your blessings and favor upon America.
Keep us mindful of your word, “Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Grant these representatives wisdom to make decisions to strengthen our nation, motivated more by Your hand than by partisan concern.
Grant them grace to listen to one another with open hearts and minds.
May the clarity and charity of their words reflect respect for their colleagues.
May their decisions of today not become future apologies, but may they be a statement of this Congress’ character, their firm resolve, and a hope for a better America.
All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, and our Savior.

And yesterday was a righteous day on Capitol Hill indeed.

Look how many members of Congress have committed themselves to praying for you and your country, and how well that has translated into, you know, legislating. After Boehner unsuccessfully attempted to twist their arms yesterday, three members of South Carolina’s recalcitrant congressional delegation — Mick Mulvaney, Tim Scott, and Jeff Duncan, three-quarters of what is known as the “Four Horsemen” delegation — retreated to a Capitol Hill chapel to pray. We now know more clearly that this really must be a reference from the Book of Revelation.