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Speaker Calls on Congress to Act Like Sheep

Vaughn Baker, who carries the title of Pastor of the Christ United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, was chosen to perform the official, government-approved religious ritual in the House of Representatives this Wednesday. During that ritual, which is supposed to provide religious direction to Congress, Baker spoke to his God and said, “You are our God, and we are Your people, the sheep of Your pasture.”

herd of docile sheepVaught implored God to make Congress like a herd of sheep: “Give us as well the gift of unity, as we are reminded that a house divided against itself cannot stand. May we strive to be of one heart and mind as we seek to accomplish Your divine purpose.”

If the purpose of Congress was to stand idly chewing grass, growing wool, while a more powerful Executive took care of all the thinking, this would be great advice. Given the critical role of Congress as a coequal branch of government, Vaughn Baker’s advice is thoroughly irresponsible.

Personally, I don’t believe in the power of wishing. If I did, however, I would not wish for Congress to become a group of people who all think alike, with the complacent, unreflective temperament of livestock. I would not wish that members of Congress would perform their duties according to what they imagine to be the desire of their favorite supernatural being. I would wish for intelligent, discerning, independent, educated adults who seek to represent their human constituents with open debate and principled disunity when it is called for.

2 comments to Speaker Calls on Congress to Act Like Sheep

  • Emerald

    I think what Pastor Baker was saying is that in the ultimate end, God is in charge of what ever comes about. Sheep/Christians follow the way of the Master, even though with different view points. Just like each of is a body part of Christ, each member of congress is expected to bring to the table different perspectives in order to perfect a common goal.

    You are interpreting Bakers prayer in human terms and literally rather than in God’s terms. What are you doing to help the situation?

    • Mr. Baker was suggesting that Congress submit itself to the authority of 1) Christianity and 2) the President. That’s not how our government is supposed to work. Neither the President nor any deity is the Master of the Congress.

      Mr. Baker was speaking to human leaders who have been elected by human voters to serve under a human Constitution. There is no other sphere I can interpret human language in than in the human sphere. God has never been heard to speak any words, if indeed God exists at all.

      Besides that, it’s a rotten metaphor. Sheep are not “expected to bring to the table different perspectives in order to perfect a common goal.” They’re expected to eat grass, and go where they’re herded, be shaved bald every now and then, and eventually be slaughtered.

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