The Kansas Speaker of the House has apologized for an e-mail in which he prayed about President Obama, “let his days be few and brief,” but insisted that he wasn’t calling for him to die.
Mike O’Neal (R) had sent the e-mail to House Republicans citing Psalm 109:8, which says, “Let his days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace him,” the Lawrence Journal-World reported.
The email said: “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 next line of the Psalm, which was not included in the e-mail, says “May his children be orphans and his wife a widow.”
In response, two Kansas pastors delivered a petition to O’Neal with 30,000 signatures that called for his resignation. “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,” the petition said.
Rev. Tobias Schlingensiepen, senior minister of the First Congregational Church in Topeka, said that an e-mail like this “tears at the civility of this country.”
On Thursday, O’Neal apologized, though said he wouldn’t step down, but insisted that he wasn’t calling for Obama’s death. “I respect the President and the Office,” he said in a 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.”
O’Neal recently had to apologize for another e-mail he sent with the subject line: “Twins separated at birth?” that compared a picture of Michelle Obama to a picture of the Grinch and called her “Mrs. YoMama.”