Archive for Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ministers to deliver petitions calling on Kansas Speaker O’Neal to step down

January 18, 2012


— Two pastors will deliver more than 30,000 petition signatures calling for the resignation of House Speaker Mike O’Neal for an email he forwarded that referred to President Barack Obama and a Bible verse that states, “Let his days be few and brief.”

The petition put together by the online network Faithful America criticizes O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, for using scripture to pray for Obama’s death.

The petition reads: “As people of faith, we believe that scripture should never be used to justify praying for the death of anyone. Speaker O’Neal’s hateful abuse of scripture is unacceptable and a disgrace to his office, and he should immediately resign.”

O’Neal has said he was referring to Obama’s days in office, not his death.

And O’Neal has said he will not step down from office.

The petition signatures will be delivered at 1 p.m. Thursday to the south steps of the Capitol by the Revs. Tobias Schlingensiepen, senior minister of the First Congregational Church in Topeka, and Jim McCollough, executive director of the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice.

The controversy erupted after O’Neal forwarded to House Republicans an email that has been posted in various places on the Internet and refers to a bumper sticker that reads “Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8.”

Psalm 109:8 states, “Let his days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace him.”

The email states: “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”


Hazel Ripstra 5 years ago

The article fails to point out that the next lines are "May his children be fatherless

and his wife a widow." I would think O'Neil would have, or at least should have, known the context of the verse.

Brock Masters 5 years ago

Anyone without a political agenda knows that O'Neal was not praying for Obama's death. They make themselves look foolish when they say he was praying for Obama's death.

For the record, it was unprofessional for O'Neal to send the email, but let's be honest when we discuss it.

Perhaps these pastors could better use their energy and resources to solve some of life's true problems.

2002 5 years ago

I will allow for the possibility that he was trying to be funny; but it was not funny. I think that Obama is doing a horrendous job, but I don't consider him an enemy. The Psalm is reference to the feeling towards an enemy that has done you harm and it is in a very limited context.

I have no problem with asking for his resignation. He should know better.

WilburNether 4 years, 12 months ago

Perhaps it was not funny to you, but it was funny to others. You are a great example of intolerance of the points of view of others.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years ago

Fred, you are probably correct about his intentions. The problem is that we should expect our political leaders to be role models and not spit hatred that only fuels the partisan divide in this country. Bob Dole would not have behaved this way. Bill Clinton wouldn't have either. Sadly, our political discourse has devolved to that of third graders...basically "I don't like you! Na na na na". It's time for us voters to demand better.

Brock Masters 5 years ago

I agree. I want politicians who demonstrate to me why they are the better candidate not politicians who tell me how bad the opposition is. I want politicians that display professionalism and LEADERSHIP. Lead not bully. Lead not stonewall, And most importantly demonstrate integrity.

The same should be expected from us too. Don't attack Obama personally - address his policies. Don't make O'Neal's email something it isn't. Attack it for what it is.

justajoe 5 years ago

I agree that we should expect more from our political leaders, but Bob Dole was certainly no role model. Remember that comment about "Democrat wars?" Bob Dole wasn't given the title "hatchet man." He went out of his way to earn it.

Brock Masters 5 years ago

The petition reads: “As people of faith, we believe that scripture should never be used to justify praying for the death of anyone.

Doesn't this message conflict with the psalm? Wasn't that what they were doing, praying for the death of someone? So if it is in their bible how can they be against it? Just asking.

Hazel Ripstra 5 years ago

I just read the whole Psalm - wow! Here are the first 20 verses.

O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent,

2for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues.

3With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause.

4In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.

5They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.

6Appoint a an evil man to oppose him; let an accuser stand at his right hand.

7When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him.

8May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.

9May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

10May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

11May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

12May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

13May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

14May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

15May their sins always remain before the Lord, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

16For he never thought of doing a kindness, but hounded to death the poor and the needy and the brokenhearted.

17He loved to pronounce a curse— may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing— may it be far from him.

18He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil.

19May it be like a cloak wrapped about him, like a belt tied forever around him.

20May this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers, to those who speak evil of me.

blindrabbit 5 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

WilburNether 4 years, 12 months ago

Typical of liberals, who immediately resort to ad hominem attacks and name calling.

question4u 5 years ago

The emails that O'Neal forwarded were childish, as was O'Neal's behavior. You would hope that the Speaker of the House would refrain from acting like a kid in junior high. At the same time, it doesn't seem likely that he knows the Bible well enough to have understood the context of the verse that he thought was so appropriate. He was just stupidly forwarding a crass email. It hardly seems sufficient in and of itself as a grounds for resignation. There have been plenty of better reasons. In fact, it wouldn't seem like January if someone wasn't complaining about O'Neal's ethics and calling for his resignation.

O'Neal is O'Neal, and expecting him to be otherwise is like expecting a chimp to do differential equations. The people who keep electing him are the ones who are truly inexplicable.

Bob Forer 5 years ago

But is it too much to ask him to be proficient at long division?

jhawkinsf 5 years ago

I guarantee all those who want religion out of government when it suits their purpose are praising these ministers. And those that want faith put back into a place of prominence within government are critical of these preachers.

jhawkinsf 5 years ago

I sure hope your comment was made with a smile on your face (as there is on mine as I write this), because once again, obviously, obviously, obviously, it's opinion.

blindrabbit 5 years ago

Truth be told, most ministers and mainstream church groups do not usually push their religious agendas to the point of crossing the church/state boundary. My guess is that in this particular case that is probably true.. It is the class clown O'Neal that has brought about this response, and who better to organize than the ministers. Best of luck!

yourworstnightmare 5 years ago

Ministers decrying statements that are written in their own revered book.

While I think O'nieall is an idiot, these ministers are foolish as well.

lunacydetector 5 years ago

how many people know bible verses word for word? it was just a joke.

webmocker 5 years ago

"lunacydetector (anonymous) says… how many people know bible verses word for word? it was just a joke."

But in this case, according to the reported email text, O'Neal looked it up and said it was word for word:

"The controversy erupted after O’Neal forwarded to House Republicans an email...."

The email states: “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”

Steve Hicks 5 years ago

Whatever else, this incident shows the bankruptcy of juvenile PERSONAL attack as politics.

U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell set that agenda in 2010, saying his job was to make Obama a one-term President. He re-affirmed in 2011 that "getting" Obama is " single most important political goal, along with every active Republican in the country."

The country has problems. There are questions what principles we should follow to address those problems. Obama seems to be trying to deal with those real issues as will best do the country GOOD. "Every active Republican in the country" meanwhile seems to think the ultimate purpose of politics and government is personal attack on Obama.

In point of fact, Psalm 109 was written by King David about those who abused him and "...repay me evil for good." Rep. O'Neal's reversing the scriptural context is a more serious perversion than even his misuse of politics and public office. In biblical terms, Rep, O'Neal needs to repent all the wrongs he's done in being an "active Republican."

50YearResident 5 years ago

I want to sign the petition to get these 2 ministers to resign, where can I find it?

bad_dog 5 years ago

I suggest you begin with the word processing software found on the computer you posted from.

beatrice 5 years ago

It is an eye-roller, and yes, it is probably considered inappropriate among Christians to be using the Bible to support one's personal political goals, but honestly, this e-mail doesn't bother me all that much. Yes, it is ugly, but then, so are politics. It is not nearly as offensive as his "Mrs. YoMama" forwarded e-mail, which targets not the President nor his policies, but is an attack on the First Lady in a rather questionable manner.

However, neither e-mail rises to the level of his needing to leave office. What he did was not even close to being considered illegal or dereliction of his duties. It is just a bit insensitive.

Want O'Neal out? Put your full support behind another candidate in the next election. Make your voice heard at the polls. This is the real way to stop a politician.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"Want O'Neal out? Put your full support behind another candidate in the next election. Make your voice heard at the polls. This is the real way to stop a politician."

So, you're suggesting that we all move to his district so we can vote against him?

beatrice 5 years ago

Or support through donation or volunteerism the candidate who is running against him. You don't have to live in someone's district to go door to door and hand out flyers.

Heck, start a SuperPac and run negative attacks ads against him. Plenty of ways to skin that cat.

beatrice 5 years ago

So can this story be used as another example of the Christian bashing I keep hearing about?

jayhawklawrence 5 years ago

When you read the entire Bible text it is very disturbing and not far from being enough to land O'Neil at Gitmo.

No question that the Republican Party lost any semblance of a class act the minute Obama became President in the midst of the worst economic crisis since 1929 and one of the worst military situations in our history.

I don't believe that winning at all costs is a good way to do the job of governing because everything you say can have either a positive or a negative effect on the country. Good sportmanship is even more important in politics and especially during a time of crisis.

Why can't our politicians understand that?

Darrell Lea 5 years ago

Because they are not "our politicians" anymore. Anyone who has generated enough money through contributions to gain a political office will be beholden to the check writers and the political base first.

In politics, you dance with the ones that brung ya!

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