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Prayer list targets "dark spiritual areas" of Kansas, including Lawrence


Topeka — A prayer list put out by the Capitol Commission, which is dedicated to spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ, calls for praying for "dark spiritual areas" of Kansas, including Lawrence.

In a one-page list of Capitol Prayers being passed around the Statehouse recently, prayer is urged for a number of Kansas leaders, including Gov. Sam Brownback and his staff, and for those who are ill or facing adversity within the Legislature and state government.

The list also states under the heading Intercessor's Challenge: "Target prayer for dark spiritual areas of SE Kansas, Lawrence, KCKS, North Johnson County — ask God to restore the land."

Dave DePue, the Kansas pastor for Capitol Commission, said the prayer was to improve the economies in those areas.

"We just seem to be stalled in getting this economy turned around," DePue said, although he added that Lawrence seems to be doing well economically.

Asked about the term "dark spiritual area," he said, "I don't know whether that is worded right, because Lawrence isn't losing population."

The list also included a prayer for the judicial system and asking God "to provide wisdom for restructuring the Kansas selection process."

DePue is a full-time volunteer for Capitol Commission and is often seen around the Statehouse. He often prays with Brownback and legislators. He said he takes requests from legislators and others to put the prayer list together.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said he didn't think it was appropriate to refer "to certain areas of the state as dark spiritual areas."


Greg Cooper 5 years, 4 months ago

"Cept, this is nothing to laugh about, unless you're a resident of somewhere other than Kansas. Then, yes, it's hilarious.

Charles Fogarty 5 years, 4 months ago

And I am from somewhere other than Kansas, and it is hilarious to this Angeleno. As a transplanted Kansan, born and bred in the heart of the western wilderness--I am grieved.

pagan_idolator 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh I am from Kansas and not a Christian as you can see. My laughter is about his poor attempt at spin.

Matthew Coleman 5 years, 4 months ago

Any honest person could, in 2 minutes, come up with many reasons why parts of Kansas, including Lawrence is spiritually dark.

It is interesting though, that instead of appreciating someone for recognizing and praying for the darkness in our state, so many are offended, scoff and criticize.

I have little problem hating terrorists and others who cruelly delight in the suffering of others, but what is it that causes so many hateful responses to someone who is praying for us?!

Seems to me we should be glad of it if we believe and even if we dont believe, what harm is there in it?

But no, we must scoff and bitterly laugh at some amorphous perceived harm that these zealots are wreaking on us innocents. No wonder some say it is dark. This thread is proof.

deec 5 years, 4 months ago

The folks being admonished to pray are the very people who are ignoring the Christian values of charity, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, etc.

The government is supposed to be secular. As such, the personal religious practices of the legislators have no place in the state house.

This is nothing more than yet another attempt by the legislators to brand themselves as Good Christians. It is also hypocritical since much of the darkness in the state emanates from the policies that ALEC-influenced legislators are pushing.

riverdrifter 5 years, 4 months ago

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company". -Mark Twain

Bob_Loblaw 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow......if they break out the snakes and start speaking in tongues.....oh wait.... they have...Kansas State Legislature.

oldexbeat 5 years, 4 months ago

Why have cults taken over the Capitol ? Brownback istan doesn't like that first amendment, I guess. And why isn't SW Kansas on the list -- left out even with the bounced Congressman First District Dr. Timmy Huelskamp off the US House Ag Committee -- first time no Kansan on it. Pray for that to change -- I mean to get a new person. Please.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

Especially to those suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. State house is filled with radical "Christians" so drunk with religious fervor they cannot govern effectively.

Eric Dawson 5 years, 4 months ago

Guess it depends on which circles are under discussion and how they define "cult".

Top 3 definitions of "cult" from M-W.com: 1 : formal religious veneration : worship 2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents 3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents

Most people hear the word cult and think definition 3. I submit to you that atheists regard Christianity as such, as do Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus -- basically everyone who does not believe in Christianity, aka the majority of the world.

oldexbeat 5 years, 4 months ago

when you make a dead rabbi into a god -- classic cult.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

There's a scanned copy of this little gem on Paul Davis' Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...
I think it's an indication of just how far off the rails Sam Brownback has gone and his legislature with him.
I fear this is going to go national (and possibly international) and once more Kansas will be a laughingstock to the world. Not a great way to attract business, retirees or tourism.

oldexbeat 5 years, 4 months ago

This Davis FB post has been reposted thousand of times now -- times hundreds of friends -- gee -- that means hundreds of thousand of people have enjoyed the little piece of Kansas Brownback getting stupid news. Probably helps Lawrence tourism, though !

grandnanny 5 years, 4 months ago

I hope this goes national and international. It my be our only hope. In fact, I'm sending this information to Jon Stewart today. I love how they backtracked on this to make it seem like it was about the economy. A "dark spiritual area" certainly sounds like an economically depressed area to me - not. More likely it is because those areas vote for Democrats and Brownback is all about suppressing the opposition.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

LOL! "The economy"? That's funny. Probably half of Kansas' tax base is in those areas of the state. Damage control can make for such high humor sometimes.
"Mommy, when can we go live in a state with normal people?"

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 4 months ago

Funny, my son asked me the exact same thing last year! He was only thirteen, then, and could see on his own that we have a problem in our capitol.

copyright 5 years, 4 months ago

Good idea. At the rate the Statehouse news is rolling in from Topeka this year, Stewart will need to hire full-time assistants to staff a dedicated Kansas Desk.

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Shhh. Don't say that or Brownback will just try to take credit for creating more jobs.

question4u 5 years, 4 months ago

"...those who are ill or facing adversity within the Legislature and state government."

Well, those who are "facing adversity in the Legislature and state government" surely aren't the Chamber-of-Commerce-backed right wing radicals who want to eliminate tax credits for the working poor and cut funds for education of at-risk children. Those who are "facing adversity in the Legislature and state government" aren't the ones who joke about murdering immigrants from helicopters. Those who are "facing adversity in the Legislature and state government" aren't the ones who will have more trouble getting into heaven than a camel would going through the eye of a needle.

It is clear to anyone who has half a brain and at least a quarter of a notion of reality that those who are "facing adversity in the Legislature and state government" are moderate Republicans and Democrats. So, are these holiest of holy people who take upon themselves the role of conduits to Christ praying for the cause of moderates and liberals? Or, are we just being subjected to the ravings of a group of people so dumb that they think super majorities of right-wing radicals in both the House and Senate are "facing adversity in the Legislature and state government."

Kansas: Even dumber than you think.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

"So, are these holiest of holy people who take upon themselves the role of conduits to Christ praying for the cause of moderates and liberals? Or, are we just being subjected to the ravings of a group of people so dumb that they think super majorities of right-wing radicals in both the House and Senate are 'facing adversity in the Legislature and state government.'"

I think the answer is (C): Lots of things we base our rhetorical reality off of will start to crumble if we can't maintain the illusion of being perpetual victims.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 4 months ago

Writing scripts for SNL and Jon Stewart again, are they? Sheesh.

Jack McEnaney 5 years, 4 months ago

Why is this news? Slow news cycle? Lazy Reporting just stumbling upon whatever is passable? Looking for an easy laugh? Nice job ljw

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

Obviously, what you consider "news" and what I consider "news" are two different things.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Yea, we certainly don't want the idiocy that's going on in Topeka to be exposed, do we?

deec 5 years, 4 months ago

It's not news. It's a blog entry. If you dislike the author's blog, feel free to refrain from clicking on the link.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

Funny that discussing this news disturbs you so. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" indeed. No, not lazy reporting at all, as it cuts to the quick of how reckless and totalitarian Brownback's ilk have become. Thank you Scott!

Alyosha 5 years, 4 months ago

It's certainly "news," in that it provides an insight into previously unknown considerations that appear to be influencing official actions and policies.

Does Brownback share this perspective? He should go on record as to whether he thinks areas of the state are spiritually "dark" — and what that specifically means.

Anything that influences his public actions is newsworthy.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 4 months ago

Want some real darkness? Study up on the cult who has been training Sam for decades. This is his moment in the sun.......

Doug Coe/The Family Cult

The Family’s main role in practical politics, as Sharlet demonstrates in considerable detail, has been to foster ties between the US and tyrants abroad. Christ’s men in government, it turns out, are not really interested in the complexities of theology. According to the Family’s calculus, to love Jesus is to love worldly power, for there is no authority but of God (Romans 13) and hence the powerful of the Earth are God’s anointed ones. Through the decades the Family has reached across the waters to join hands with some of the world’s most repressive regimes: Suharto in Indonesia, Park in South Korea, Medici in Brazil, Duvalier in Haiti, Selassie in Ethiopia, Siad Barre in Somalia. In the view of Doug Coe, the group’s current leader, the 20th century figures who best exemplified a New Testament approach to power were Hitler, Stalin and Mao.


Maddy Griffin 5 years, 4 months ago

"Dark spiritual areas".... is that the Governor's mansion or the capitol building?

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

We may have the (D) next to our names, but that's nothing compared to their zip codes starting with 666...

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

Please, brothers and sisters, pray for those who haven't seen the holy light of our Conservative Republicanism. We are God's chosen children. We know this because we believe it to be true.

Ye shall see the (D) behind their names, and know them to be unclean.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

Yet another example of misplaced priorities by those in power. Offensive to members of all faiths. We can only pray the electorate will remember this crap in the next elections. Seems like Phelps isn't that much out of step with Brownback and his cult after all.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 4 months ago

Dark Spiritual Areas? The Capitol Commission can stick their prayer list where the sun don't shine.

jimmyjms 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm a little surprised that LJW and other outlets aren't pushing back against the "praying for the economy" claim, as every one of the areas listed (with SE KS on the low side) have economies that far outperform those west of Topeka all the way to the CO border.

The fact that those are all represented by D's tells you all you need to know about this BS.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 4 months ago

Dear Lord, please deliver us from Sam your terribly misguided fool who does not understand one thing about being a Christian.

tolawdjk 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't think its that bad. I certainly prefer my spirits dark. If given my druthers its always whiskey over vodka, scotch over gin, dark rum over light.

Of course there isn't anything wrong with light spirits either. I think people could generally due with a bit more spirituality.

beezee 5 years, 4 months ago

The reason the legislature is so apprehensive of dark areas is because so many of THEM have their heads where only a proctologist would find them.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

This is like the Mormons baptizing people who aren't Mormons, and without their knowledge or permission, especially from those who have died. I can say my own prayers, thank you. What arrogance implying the more Democratic areas in Kansas are somehow not spiritual. Jerks.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

I'd love to see a free-thinking elected official or two gather the gumption to visibly abstain from this state-sanctioned hate speech, or at the least vocally distance themselves from these zealots. Oh that's right, we haven't any.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh we have a few, Pastor, they just aren't the "right" people.
(Oh lookie there. I made a punnie.)

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

I believe in a higher power. I don't advertise it anywhere though, because we have and still do experience real discrimination for our believes. Not this made up discrimination the Christians are trying to claim.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

The possibility of a higher order of life? Perhaps even one that provided the genesis of our existence? Sure, I see the possibility. I see it as quite probable, in fact, given the increasing complexity of life on the chain all the way up to us, I see no reason to believe that we are the apex.

A higher power, though? One that dwells within us and around us, guides us and watches over us, etc? No, I don't believe in that at all. I will, however, concede the potential that I may be wrong. Ultimately, I don't know for sure any more than you do, or the pope does, or Brownback does, or anybody else. I wish more people would concede that point, to be honest.

But I think that it would be better for us to trust in our own strength rather than the guidance of a higher power, and to draw our conclusions on morality from our own logic and reason, rather than saying it is the will of an incommunicable spirit or power.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

Let me put it this way; I'd like to THINK there is. But if there isn't, when I die I'm not exactly going to be in much of a position to care. And isn't "eternal life" the point of any religion? In the mean time, no matter what, I know that when I do die, I will, in one form or another, exist eternally because all of the matter and all of the energy in the entire universe is constantly being recycled. There is no such thing as "new matter" or "new energy". I am made of ancient stars and I will return to them. This is in no way "new agey BS". These are the facts of physical science.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 4 months ago

“The cosmos is also within us, we’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” -Carl Sagan

notaubermime 5 years, 4 months ago

Nope. Can't say I have ever run across anything supported by enough objective evidence to meet my standards for believing in.

Don't care if anyone else does, though. As long as people don't try to make others follow their religion or live in accordance with their religion's rules, it doesn't make a difference to me what they believe. Live and let live.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

There is no higher power. The belief in a "soul" is as bad as belief in god(s) which is no better than believing in ghosts and goblins or unicorns.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 4 months ago

"You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe , and tremble". James 2:19 "For so is the will of God, that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. (Have great respect for Him and have great respect of His power and authority over all). Honour the king." 1 Peter 2:15-17

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Okay, attempt #2...

As I said, this story would be more funny if the state weren't already being governed by the same magical thinking usually reserved for 5 year olds.

Yes, pray for those uppity Kansans in Lawrence and KCKS, the Sodom and Gomorrah of the plains (nevermind that those Biblical towns were actually infamous for lack of charity, greed and other economic sins, not sexual deviance.)

These ridiculous groups and lists remind me of seeing an idiotic sticker that read, "Prayer changes things!"

Sure it does. As Bad Santa would say, "Wish in one hand; [defecate] in the other. See which one fills up first."

lunacydetector 5 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence IS a dark spiritual area, so what else is new?

Just look at all the hatred spewing on this comment section.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm more interested in the hatred spewing out of the capitol.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Maybe you should move, Lunacy, and we'll see if things don't lighten up a little around here.

John McCoy 5 years, 4 months ago

I would say nowhere but Texas. But Kansas? You people in the Sunflower state have leadership as, to be polite, misguided as ours here in Texas. You are burdened with your own Rick Perry. Have them pray for Austin; it's our Lawrence.

lunacydetector 5 years, 4 months ago

did i get my comment removed because i said, ' so lawrence is a dark spiritual area, what else is new?' or was it because i said, 'just look at all the hate filled comments'?

i love how freedom of speech ONLY applies if you are a liberal. conservatives have to be censored. talk about hypocrisy.

webmocker 5 years, 4 months ago

lunacydetector asks "did i get my comment removed because i said, ' so lawrence is a dark spiritual area, what else is new?' or was it because i said, 'just look at all the hate filled comments'?"

Perhaps it was because you said "I pray for the dark forces amassed on the western border of Topeka to be successful in their attack on Manhattan."

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Freedom of speech has never existed on privately owned message boards.

The LJW owner is conservative, and the paper has endorsed Republicans for just about every election, so you'll be happy to know you're being censored from the right. You can now take up the bongos and tell everyone how "the man" is keeping you down.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't think your comment was removed.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

I still see it above (and my reply to it).

Kerry Altenbernd 5 years, 4 months ago

From its founding, Lawrence was despised by those who wanted Kansas to become a slave state. I'm sure they looked upon the town as a "dark spiritual area," since many of them used their religion as an excuse to keep four million black men and women in servile bondage. Lawrence, and the freedom it represented, triumphed over numerous attempts to destroy it. Regardless of what else Lawrence has done in the more than 150 years since those turbulent times, this is a proud heritage.

Lawrence is again being targeted by forces that are using a distorted view of religion to force their will on other people. It is again despised as being a "dark spiritual area." So be it. Lawrence outlasted those who despised it in the past, and will do so again. There will be darker days ahead, but the true forces of darkness who now attempt to impose themselves on us will fail in the long run. As Martin Luther King and others have observed, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

While they Pray for me, I will pray for "Dark spiritual areas" such as the Hearts and Minds of The Members of Our State Government.Only the Hand of The Great Deceiver Himself could reach into the hearts of so many and twist Christianity into what they are preaching today. I pray they recognize that they have been duped into turning against traditional Christian values in order to promote Greed and Suffering. I pray they See the Light before it is too late.

costello 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm still waiting to hear if it's true that the governor has changed all new state employee positions to unclassified.

'Classified and Unclassified Employees. The state workforce is composed of classified and unclassified employees. Classified employees comprise nearly two-thirds of the state workforce, while unclassified employees comprise the remaining one-third. Classified employees are selected through a competitive process, while unclassified positions can be filled through direct appointment, with or without competition. While unclassified employees are essentially “at will” employees who serve at the discretion of their appointing authority, classified employees are covered by the “merit” or “civil service” system, which provides additional employment safeguards.'


oldbaldguy 5 years, 4 months ago

We are an experiment by extraterrestrials. Makes about as much sense as anything else. When you are dead, you are dead.

Clark Coan 5 years, 4 months ago

Since he is a fundamentalist Catholic, he needs to pray for the Vatican which is embroiled in scandal after scandal--from the cover-up of the sexual abuse of children at the highest levels to fraud in the Vatican's bank.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

Mat 24:4, 10-11 (NIV) Jesus answered, "Watch out that no one deceives you, for many will come in my name,.. At that time many will turn away from the faith... and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people."
Hmmm...according to St. Malachy we only have one pope left...
Just thinking out loud here. :)
(By the way, has anybody seen a strange mark on Brownback that looks like an animal? Didn't somebody say he came from zipcode 666? ;) )

notaubermime 5 years, 4 months ago

This ranked higher on my amuse-o-meter than it did on my shock-o-meter. Brownback prays that Lawrence will change its ways?! Oh noez! Totally unexpected.

What is with the SE Kansas thing, though? Is it the coal? That's pretty dark, right?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 4 months ago

"Dark spiritual areas?"


Oh, I know what they must be talking about. OK, folks, let's all sing together:

Silent Night, Holy Night.....

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

2 things come to mind with this.


Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

I wonder how we got to be on the dark spiritual side? Someone must have influenced us.

Could it be?

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

Is that because you live in one of those dark areas?

Kathleen Ammel 5 years, 4 months ago

I laugh at how this has gotten under so many skins. If you don't believe in the God their praying to, you have nothing to worry about, right? Nothing's going to happen to you. Your spiritual darkness won't be lifted if there's no power listening.... ? If any of you would like to put the capitol on your prayer list (whomever you pray to)...or not...go for it! What are you afraid of?

deec 5 years, 4 months ago

Which comments do you interpret as exhibiting fear?

I see lots of comments disparaging the ongoing attempt to turn the secular government into a religious government. Some citizens are loathe to live in a theocracy no matter the brand of religion.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

Using a taxpayer-funded public forum to call out specific areas as morally or spiritually superior or inferior to others as part of official government business isn't offensive to you at all, not to mention the fact that it's a blatant misuse of said forum to prosletyze or evangelize and sanctioning a specific faith? We're not afraid of such bigotry, we're revolted by it.

Mark Kostner 5 years, 4 months ago

I've been a resident of Las Vegas most of my adult life. I'll wager that the really dark areas are in these folks' environment. Say Amen and pass the collection plate!

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 4 months ago

An educated populace, a thriving economy, and a growing population amount to "spiritually-dark areas"?

I suppose it is a symptom of denial to fiddle while Rome burns, or in this case while western Kansas goes down the economic and demographic toilet.

deec 5 years, 4 months ago

The depopulation will accelerate in the near future as the Aquifer is completely drained and the drought continues.

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

On the one hand, I find this terribly amusing. On the other, they're becoming more and more blatant in their attacks on freedom of religion. Our state government has run completely amuck and they don't care how blatant they are because they seem to think we are powerless against their tyranny.

The obvious question is: Are we going to continue to allow it?

I have once again emailed the Kansas Democratic Party to get candidates in place so we can start campaigning. I will continue to do so. Please, if you have time to post here, you have time to email them.


jayhaitch 5 years, 4 months ago

According to the New York Times intercessory prayer doesn't work. And if you know you're being prayed for, you get worse!


Kirk Larson 5 years, 4 months ago

Prayer: A way to do nothing and still feel you are helping.

happyrearviewmirror 5 years, 3 months ago

Prayer for the street harassers ! They know no boundaries but love stupidly terrorizing random pedestrians in Lawrence and elsewhere in KS. Please teach them that "First do no harm" is an important ethical concept. You are not entitled to violate strangers' boundaries, people. You are not God's gift! Keep your ignorance to yourselves! God spare us from bigotry, whether born in Lawrence or elsewhere. Giving is difficult. To assume you have anything to offer others (whose values and culture may legitimately differ from yours) besides incompetence implies an overly fat ego. It's unlikely you have anything a stranger wants.

Everyone deserves to feel safe on the streets and to move between points A and B unmolested. People like to choose their own ( smart) friends , and it's a right. Don't force mindless social scripts on others. Devils and street harassers are closely related. Bring on the exorcism.

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