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Archive for Thursday, January 19, 2012

Speaker O’Neal apologizes over anti-Obama email, but will stay in office

January 19, 2012

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— Two ministers on Thursday delivered 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 says "Let his days be few and brief."

In a prepared statement, O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, issued an apology. O'Neal's office said he is not stepping down.

Revs. Tobias Schlingensiepen and Jim McCollough on Thursday deliver petition signatures in the Capitol seeking ouster of House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, over recent emails he has forwarded.

Revs. Tobias Schlingensiepen and Jim McCollough on Thursday deliver petition signatures in the Capitol seeking ouster of House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, over recent emails he has forwarded.

After leaving the box of petition signatures in the speaker's office, Rev. Tobias Schlingensiepen, senior minister of the First Congregational Church in Topeka, said O'Neal's apology went further than previous statements by the speaker.

But Schlingensiepen said O'Neal still should leave office. His recent emails that have attracted national attention "tears at the civility of this country," Schlingensiepen said.

State Rep. Melody McCray-Miller, D-Wichita, says she wants the House to issue some kind of sanction against the speaker. She said the speaker's actions need to be taken seriously and "need to stop."

The petition against O'Neal was put together by the online network Faithful America and criticizes the speaker for forwarding an email that cites Psalm 109:8 that says, “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!!!!!!”.

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."

Schlingensiepen and Rev. Jim McCollough, executive director of the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice, noted the next verse in the psalm talks about making children orphans and wife a widow.

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

"I respect the President and the Office," O'Neal said in his statement. "The forward contained a single verse and was only intended as election commentary regarding the President's days in office. I have apologized and I am sincerely sorry," he said.

In recent weeks, O'Neal has also apologized for forwarding an email that referred to first lady Michelle Obama as "Mrs. YoMama" and compared a picture of her to the fictional character Grinch. O'Neal said he forwarded that email too without being aware of the "Mrs. YoMama" reference.

Comments

matthew2600 2 years, 8 months ago

O'Neal said he forwarded that email too without being aware of the "Mrs. YoMama" reference.

Sure that checks out, he must be telling the truth.

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beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

I wouldn't step down either. It was obviously about Obama's time in office. Seriously. Otherwise, am I to believe Speaker O'Neal actually reads the Bible?

What does not being AWARE of "Mrs. YoMama" mean? Does it mean he didn't see it in the e-mail, or was he ignorant and unaware of the potentially sensitive indications of a White male using that phrase to describe a Black female First Lady?

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beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

So you equate what O'Neal to what Reid said? Got it.

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beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

what O'Neal sent to what Reid said, that is

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beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

Why picking on his religion?

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thebigspoon 2 years, 8 months ago

Great way to foster respect and thoughtfulness in any debate, FHNC. This is what makes discourse fruitful: say something totally meaningless and back it up with something meaningless that shows you have not thought about it in the first place.

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beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

Harry Reid apologized for the ridiculous comment he made about Obama several years ago. Good to know neither you, math or fhnc won't ever mention it again.

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tolawdjk 2 years, 8 months ago

"Journalists have an obligation to conduct themselves with the highest of standards."

But Speakers' get a pass don't they? I mean, between O'Neal and "Open Marriage" Gingrich, it seems the Speaker's job has some relatively "lose" standards to uphold.

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thebigspoon 2 years, 8 months ago

You know, math, it just amazes me that you continue to tout Fox, when absolutely nothing they do is news, except the high-speed chases they cover. Otherwise, their programming is "news" only in the sense that they are letting everyone unfortunate enough to watch that they have said or done something distinctly un-newslike. Wow. I'd really like, just once, to see you cite something from a source other than your beloved Fox. But that might take a smidgen of reality, something you have a hard time recognizing.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

They were simply the messengers. The message was purely secular.

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thebigspoon 2 years, 8 months ago

And this comment, c1, is why it takes no effort at all to discount your posts. Facts matter not, emotion matters supremely, and that's supposed to be taken as quality debate. I might say that your comment represents the effort that the small percentage of voters who elected our present state government put into their decisions.

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dabbindan 2 years, 8 months ago

i'm a frickin' liberal, but this rises only to the level of stupid and sophomoric behavior. maybe, if there was no other interpretation of the phrase, but the "days in office" is plausible. i believe most of the biblical "days are numbered" references are life span references, but who is to say o'neal is biblically acquainted.

even at the height of the bush/cheney/rice debacle, i resisted the temptation to forward demeaning emails, and there was plenty of fodder. o'neal needs to try to be a bit smarter... and a bit more mature.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

And why don't you move to another country, since you hate Obama so much?

This is a generally silly argument to me - our country is founded on the idea that we can and should participate in our political process and use our rights of speech, petition, etc. to change government if we disagree with it.

It wasn't founded on a "love it or leave it" basis.

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beatrice 2 years, 8 months ago

Well, this doesn't look like political theatre at all.

Instead of printing them out, wouldn't it have been more fitting to have forwarded the list of names via e-mail?

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camper 2 years, 8 months ago

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!!!!!!”.

Not much to interpret here. It is obvious that his dislike for the commander in chief occupies his thoughts. It is really sad that this is the best we can get to represent us. The best and brightest are not choosing to get into politics these days. It is easy to see why. Politics is a dirty biz where the finish line is about the book deal and merchandising yourself for a nice fee.

And the same sentiment that the speaker seems to hold, is almost too similar to that same sentiment served up by that dubious church in Topeka.

Anyone seen that despicable anti-Obama sign on I-70. Junction City?

We are now in a time where Barry Goldwater and Bob Dole would be considered liberal. Strange days indeed.

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kansanbygrace 2 years, 8 months ago

Was just thinking about how the current powers in Kansas would hate Ike or Ev Dirksen, or, like you say, Bob Dole or Barry Goldwater, guys who used their political power to improve the lives of all, who worked for the benefit of the nation more than for the perpetuation of a "power base" and self-aggrandizement. They used their lives in service to others, not in service to themselves. Still lookin' for one of them to emerge from the woodwork.

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voevoda 2 years, 8 months ago

The surprising thing is the Speaker O'Neal would rather admit that he doesn't know the Bible very well instead of admitting that he wishes President Obama the worst.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

I disagree. Its not surprising. its revealing. The religious right philosophy is so full of contradictions that they frequently find themselves arguing against their own beliefs. Perhaps the best example of this are those of the religious right whom support Newt despite their professed commitment to family values and their belief in the religious sanctity of marriage. .

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Sally Piller 2 years, 8 months ago

The slur against the President is stupid but the slur against the First Lady is unconscionable. He is a public servant, not Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. His behavior is so crass and ungentlemanly that he at least deserves to be sanctioned.

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allanwanalos 2 years, 7 months ago

o'neal? The damage is already done. I wonder if islam knows stuff about you that we dont? O'neal is not sick but its people like him in power who make the world a dangerous place to live .

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allanwanalos 2 years, 7 months ago

the u.s unemployment rate statistics are running low. 8%? Republicans need to move fast and make it less a secret which candidate they want to unveil.Osama is dead. There is something ...,.about Obama that .....need to be carefull about. ....The secret backing by key republicans.

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