The last time Governor Kristi Noem called for a statewide day of prayer, in support of people struggling with flooding, we got hammered with an April blizzard that dropped two feet of wet snow on some of our neighbors and shut down most of state government for two days.
Maybe her next day of prayer will work better. To protest New York’s reasonable new abortion law that rolls back government intrusion in women’s decisions about their own health, Governor Noem is calling on all South Dakotans to pray and fast:
Representative Jon Hansen put this idea in the Governor’s head with his odious little House Resolution 1003 (theocratic gasbagging that even two Democrats, Reps. Pourier and Ring, approved). Governor Noem responded to HR 1003 with some unique wordsmithing beyond Hansen’s Pharasaic language. I don’t know who wrote her proclamation, but once again, Noem uses her executive pen to preach her Christian religion. She speaks of knowledge derived from “the eternal law,” of crying out “to heaven” for justice, “fear of perdition,” bowing “before the unseen Author of all life” (oops! forgot to put life in all caps, the way her big-government anti-choice base demands), begging “atonement for our own sins,” all code for Come to Jesus with me!
Governor Noem “request[s]” that “people of all creeds or none at all” heed her Christian call by making “pleas to heaven as best their consciences do direct.” Governor Noem thus asks Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, atheists, and others to endorse her specific religion… and she has the gall to say she makes this request “respectfully.”
Hey, Kristi! Let me test your words here: suppose I ask you to spend a day declaring that heaven and God don’t exist. Act in a way that contradicts your deeply held religious belief. Is there any way that I can ask you to deny your faith “respectfully”? Isn’t it inherently contradictive to say, I respect you, now renounce a core part of your worldview and dignity?
South Dakota would be better off if our Governor spent less time ministering and more time administering (like telling Jason Ravnsborg to get back to work). Don’t worry, Kristi: you’re already going to heaven, not by works or proclamations but by grace, so ease up on the official days of prayer. Show your faith and your respect for the rest of us by just doing the job you were elected to do.
p.s.: May 4 appears to be Noem’s third official day of prayer called since taking office. She has also proclaimed May 2 a statewide day of prayer. “Recognizing the love and power of God,” says our Christian Governor, “We specifically thank God….” I assume that’s the royal we.