Members of Congress and the Religious Right Pray to Remove Satan from the Capitol

There must be something about the separation of Church and State concept that either I or some people in Congress don't understand.

Conservative pastors recently gathered on Capitol Hill, joined by dozens of members of Congress for a "Congressional-Clergy Town Hall". The conclave was organized by the National Black Robe Regiment and Wallbuilders, a right-wing organization run by GOP operative David Barton. The Jefferson Gathering, a prayer organization started by anti-LGBT Religious Right preacher Jim Garlow was also involved.

Clergy met with members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Sen. James Lankford, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Trent Franks and Sen. Chuck Grassley. At one point, Rep. Barry Loudermilk led the group in prayer. U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black preached and reportedly prophesied that a revival is about to sweep America and "it will commence . . .  in the halls of Congress".

Dale Walker of the Tennessee Pastors Network stated, "If God rules in the halls of legislation, it's the pulpit's benefit of being there, being on site and standing up and speaking the law of God to our elected leaders and praying for them. The absence of the pulpits is the reason why Satan has ruled in the halls of legislation."

Dave Kistler of the North Carolina Pastors Network revealed that in addition to praying in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Capitol, pastors were given access to the U.S. Senate chamber by Rep. Louie Gohmert. Kistler stated that in the chamber "we got on our knees . . .  and it sounded almost like a labor room as people were crying out to God for the revival that Chaplain Black believes is coming and that we believe is coming."

"To do that in the Senate chamber was an absolutely astounding opportunity," Kistler added, "and again it puts an exclamation point on the Senate chaplain's assessment that revival is on the way and may indeed begin in the halls of Congress." As in previous years, the prayer gathering was closed out by Messianic End Times rabbi Jonathan Cahn who, just like last year, warned that America is on the verge of destruction for having legalized gay marriage.

So now we've had the spectacle of a religious revival in the Senate chamber, with congressional leaders actually wailing and crying out to the Almighty. I suppose if this doesn't work, the next step will be a legislative exorcism.

But instead of praying for satan to be driven out of Congress, America would be better served if the participants had prayed for satan to be driven out of themselves. As any therapist knows, first you've got to fix yourself before you can fix anyone or anything else.

Aside from not having a firm grasp on the separation concept, their grasp of the religious principles they zealously claim to uphold is equally flimsy. Over and over, they proclaim Christian values, but are repeatedly belied as hypocrites by their own "sinful" words and deeds.

In case they missed it, here's a couple Bible verses that speak directly to our leaders in the Capitol:

And when you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to stand and pray in the temples and on street corners so everyone can see them. But when you pray, do it in private so your prayer can be its own reward. Matthew 6:5-6 (RNV)

The scribes and Pharisees . . . preach but do not practice. They place heavy burdens on others but will do nothing to help. They do all their deeds to be seen by others . . . and they love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the temple. Matthew 23:1-6 (RNV)