Iowa governor signs proclamation putting state’s trust in God

From PoliticusUSA, we hear of more insanity in the U.S. as politicians, against all reason—and the Constitution—try to mix religion and politics.

On April 8, Terry Branstad, the governor of Iowa (and, of course, a Republican), signed an executive proclamation inviting Iowans to celebrate a verse from the Old Testament. First the video of Branstad signing the damn thing:

And here’s the offending document:


The relevant part below: the Governor invites “all Iowans who choose to join in thoughtful prayer and humble repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14 in favor of our state and nation to come together on July 14, 2014. Of course that date can be written in U.S. style as 7/14/14:

Screen shot 2014-04-12 at 1.30.19 PM

What is that Bible verse? Here it is from the King James version, following a verse in which God says he could inflict locusts and rain on the sinners, but won’t:

. . . if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The PoliticusUSA piece points out that this proclamation comes straight from a religious group:

Jeremy Hooper at Good as You, points out that this proclamation of Branstad’s derives from a group calling itself “Prayer 7-14-14.” As evidence, he presents their spin on what is needed on July 14, 2014:

“HISTORY & PURPOSE of 7-14-14


This is not about a single day of prayer, fasting and true repentance, but it is about a lifestyle journey of letting our hearts awaken and allowing God’s very breath to fill us. It is understanding we have strayed from God, our first Love, and realizing the only way back is through true heart-felt repentance. Repentance that brings change and realizing that repentance has many depths to it. It’s about forgiving one another and not allowing the enemy to rule us through offenses. Realizing there is diversity in unity. It is about knowing who we are in Christ! That He first loved us and He still loves us and is pursuing us to come back to Him. . . . “

h/t: Thaddeus (enabler of Mayhem)


  1. Bob J.
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I think I’ll celebrate Bastille Day instead.

    • Andrew B.
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I noticed that, too. Did they mean to send a certain message by choosing this date?

      • lisa parker
        Posted April 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        I doubt they even know about it.

        • MikeN
          Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          I think that 7:14 is a Biblical anagogy that tells us we should set up guillotines and kill all the rich.

  2. demfromsc
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I am truly embarrassed to be a citizen in a country that elects such politicians. What an absolute and total disgrace.

  3. Mark Joseph
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Remind me again, how many times is America mentioned in the bible?

    I’ll be happy to celebrate a verse from the Old Testament on that day; how about Proverbs 5.18-19: “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

    Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

    (Come on honey, you want to follow the bible, don’t you?)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Someone should send him a Passover Bag of Plagues since I’m sure he’ll feel that is America due for a plague given how it has turned away from god. A friend actually posted a picture of these things on FB & I remarked that since there is only one toy per plague, they seem closer to a Passover Bag of Irritations. 🙂

      • Posted April 13, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Yeah…but they’re a choking hazard….


  4. Barry
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    That’s just stupid. Everyone knows it was not “Hosea”, but Sergeant Carter who pursued Gomer.

    • Filippo
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      And it was Gomer who in retribution pursued Barney: “CITIZEN’S ARREST! CITIZEN’S ARREST!”

      I have met at least one if not two humans named Gomer, both of Latin American extraction. But no Goober.)

      ” . . . an executive proclamation inviting Iowans to celebrate a verse from the Old Testament.”

      I would be for the precautionary verse(s) about Onan. (I remember seeing a houseboat electrical generator by that trade name. I always wondered how it came by that name.)

    • Shwell Thanksh
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Well, gaw-aw-aw-lee!

    • Shwell Thanksh
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      “…we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace-to-proud [sic] to pray to the god that made us…”

      “grace-to-proud”? Home schooled, eh?

  5. Andrew B.
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink


  6. Mattapult
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    “It is the duty of all Nations…

    Convince Iran, and you will have convinced me.

  7. docbill1351
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink



  8. docbill1351
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    (Well, at least it wasn’t Asparagus pursuing Gohmert!)

    • Filippo
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Was it the Age of Asparagus back then?

      • lisa parker
        Posted April 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes! Love was steering the stars! Hopefully no NEAT

  9. Posted April 13, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    What a bunch of freakin’ idiots. They’ve got plenty of time for this idiotic nonsense but have no time whatsoever to seriously contemplate how to correct their abuse of the environment, move away from Monstanto’s toxic treatment of their farmlands or pursue renewable energy sources. All they’ve got time for is praying and repentin’.

    Morans, all of ’em. Even sadder, they’re not alone in their pursuit of this insanity.

    This country is so freakin’ doomed.

  10. Sastra
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    The sly little trick theists pull all the time is to talk about “acknowledging God.” This turns God into an uncontroversial fact recognized by all reasonable people. If it’s the duty of every United States citizen to “acknowledge God” in the same sense that it’s the duty of every citizen to value the ideals of freedom and fairness, then atheists aren’t citizens. Not TRUE citizens. We’re only technical citizens in the way a traitor who seeks to overthrow the government and institute a dictatorship is still counted.

    No, the only dictatorship is that of God. It stands over We The People and the rule of reason.

    This proclamation calling for “thoughtful prayer and humble repentance” calls out atheism and atheists as the cause of all of the country’s problems. Waxing poetically over how we are all “united” in a love for God or Christ doesn’t fool us. Nothing divides like faith.

    • Filippo
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      How many governors would be willing to sign a “Free Inquiry” proclamation?

  11. Posted April 13, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    As long as he was quoting from the Old Testament, Leviticus 20:13 would probably have been a more appropriate expression of his sentiments regarding issues of current political interest:

    “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

  12. scooterwes
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Thank the gods they quoted verses from the Bible. I’ve never seen a clearer violation of the first amendment, and this will be thrown out by the courts quicker than Kirk Cameron can say “Crockaduck”.

  13. Posted April 13, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    …and they expect this to survive the inevitable court challenge…how, exactly…?

    Why not just call this the “Iowa Lawyers Need More Billable Hours Proclamation” and be done with it?


    • Bob J.
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      As it is non-binding and has no financial impact, it is probably not worth the fight nor could we find an one with standing to bring a case.

      • Filippo
        Posted April 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        “As it is non-binding and has no financial impact . . . .”

        Well, just what are the costs of printing gubernatorial (GOOBERnatoral?) proclamations and legislative resolutions? And does it cost those gathered around the governor time and money to so gather? And is the at least one youngster pictured excused from school? (Assuming this is during regular daylight hours and not a school holiday.)

        It says, “IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF IOWA.” Isn’t any authority worthy of and warranted by the name statutorily-based?

        Do governors have the power of “executive orders”?

        This proclamation business is fatuous bloviation.

        • Filippo
          Posted April 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          Ah, the student is surely home schooled.

  14. Posted April 13, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    My favourite phrase was “…there is diversity in unity.”

    V for Vendetta? 1984? wtf?

  15. Posted April 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    “…we have strayed from God, our first Love,…” Hmm, I do remember my first love, and her name definitely was not God. What a bunch of nonsense! And does anyone know why they picked Bastille day for thoughtful prayer? Is he hoping the peasents don’t behead him? I for one am glad I won’t be in Iowa that day!

  16. mlm
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Did they really just sign a bill/proclamation praising the virtues of president John Hancock? Tells you about all you need to know about the knowledge level of the authors.

    • Achrachno
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      I noticed that too! Who did they get to compose this thing? David Barton?

    • Cliff Melick
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      John Hancock served as president of the 2nd Continental Congress.

      • Filippo
        Posted April 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Well, fine and good. Hancock certainly had the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence.

        But if they are going to indulge in the fatuous conceit of calling him “President” Hancock, then we need to start referring to whoever was President during the six(?) years when the United States operated under the Articles of Confederation. I’ve seen his name but can’t remember it. Why shouldn’t he be rightly considered the FIRST President of the United States? It in fact was called “The United States of America” at that time, right?

        As there was a Second Continental Congress, to be consistent it seems that one should refer to “President” So-and-So of the FIRST Continental Congress.

        • mlm
          Posted April 13, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          So…should we consider Lee Iacocca’s views on the subject? After all, he was “president” of Chrysler.

          By pretty much no one’s standards ever, is John Hancock considered a President of the US. Try running that shit on Jeopardy! or a high school paper. Just to inflate his opinion for your precious “Let’s all us Iowans take a quick second to say a prayer to Jeebus” proclamation is sinking the debate to a pretty low level.

          Sure, changing the definition of the 99.999% accepted meaning of the word President, you can count him as such. You can also endlessly debate the meaning of the word “is,” if you have enough time, and the kind of mind that can parse apart a sentence like a teenager trying to avoid getting grounded.

          • Filippo
            Posted April 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            Forgive me if I’m close to violating “De Roolz,” but, from a brief online search, it appears that, during the time of The Articles of Confederation, John Hancock was president (1785-86), one of eight, each serving a one year term.

            Now, they either were bona fide POTUS’s, or they were not. Who is to say one way or the other, and by what warrant? (“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain sweeping dirt under the rug.”)

            • MikeN
              Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

              Wiki says:

              ” Prior to George Washington as first president under the current constitution, there were twelve people in leadership over the government of the United States of America who held the title of “President”.”

              Which means Barack Obama is not the 44th President, but the 66th; add that he has six letters in his first name and it’s a clear sign he is the Beast…I’d better stop this before it appears on some Fundie website.

  17. iariese
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Gov. Terry Braindead can kiss my donkey.

  18. Filippo
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    ” . . . in favor of our state and nation.”

    What? As opposed to not being (as much) in “favor” of any other state or nation?

    FYI, Wikipedia has an entry “Gomer (wife of Hosea).”

    “As Hosea pursued Gomer,” eh? Guess it wouldn’t do to say, “As Solomon pursued Bathsheba.”

    • lisa parker
      Posted April 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Bathsheba was Solomon’s mom, after David pursued her and caught her.

      This proclamation is silly, unconstitutional as well as nonbinding and unenforceable. My question is, until the Supreme Court tosses it out, will all Iowans follow the teachings of Jesus, like feed the hungry, clothe the naked (not just the coat but the shirt, too), shoe the shoeless, care for the sick, visit everyone in prison, turn the other cheek, never cast stones (real or metaphoric), treat each and everyone else as they wish to be treated, etc? Until they do, don’t go flapping your ‘official document’ in my face.

  19. Gavin
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    The funny thing (to me) is that “My people who are called by My name” in context refers specifically to Israelites – in modern terms, only Jews and Samaritans (or, if you’re a member of one of those groups, just that one and not the other).

    • lisa parker
      Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      It is rather like the accusation that Muslims are antisemitic when the greatest majority of Muslims are Semitic peoples. But then, considering the way they treat each other, I suppose it is true.

  20. MikeN
    Posted April 13, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    II Chronicles 7:4-

    “4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord. 5 And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the people dedicated the temple of God.

    7 Solomon consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the Lord, and there he offered burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar he had made could not hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat portions.”

    And what does the Governor offer? A Proclamation?
    The Bible makes it very clear that Yahweh does not appreciate cheapskates.

    • lisa parker
      Posted April 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Here in Texas we’d call that a hell of a barbeque (assuming, of course that the grain offering was some type of beer.)

  21. Joseph
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    No wonder this country is in decline. 😐

  22. Posted April 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I just called Gov. Branstad’s office to express my vehement opposition to his recent religious proclamation. I was immediately patched through to a staffer who was very gracious. He informed me they would write up my complaint and deliver it to the Governor. Sure would be nice if others took 5 min. to do the same.

    Contact info. for Iowa Gov. Branstad:

    Phone: 515.281.5211

    For what it’s worth,

  23. Posted April 14, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Jesus Christ, this is silly.

    • lisa parker
      Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know that the Christ could exactly be called ‘silly’, but there is no doubt about the Iowa legislature.

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