Yesterday, Donald Trump nominated former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue to be secretary of agriculture. This is a solid pick. He understands agriculture and as a former governor he understands the impact of Agriculture’s policies on state and local governments. But what was the Washington Post’s headline?
I'm as secular as they come, but I think this Washington Post headline is so uncalled for and disrespectful pic.twitter.com/P0rvHckJJS
— Walter Olson 😷 (@walterolson) January 19, 2017
And what was the tweet they used to promote their story?
Trump picks former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue, who once led a prayer for rain, for agriculture secretary https://t.co/QVipQtfgnt
— Post Politics (@postpolitics) January 19, 2017
The Daily Wire provides some context for this:
What prompted that headline? Well, back in 2007, while Georgia was in the midst of a drought, Perdue led a prayer session with a few hundred citizens for rain. “We’ve come together here simply for one reason and one reason only,” Perdue said. “To very reverently and respectfully pray up a storm.” The vigil lasted for an hour, but the press went insane. They ripped into Perdue’s attempts to convince citizens to take shorter showers and stop watering lawns (note the California press’ celebration of Governor Jerry Brown for attempting the exact same policies). They ignored the fact that he wasn’t the first Georgia governor to publicly pray for rain.
Back in December, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet gave an interview on the NPR syndicated show “Fresh Air.” He had this to say about religion in the press:
I want to make sure that we are much more creative about beats out in the country so that we understand that anger and disconnectedness that people feel. And I think I use religion as an example because I was raised Catholic in New Orleans. I think that the New York-based and Washington-based too probably, media powerhouses don’t quite get religion. We have a fabulous religion writer, but she’s all alone. We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives. And I think we can do much, much better. And I think there are things that we can be more creative about to understand the country.
In fact, if you are an orthodox Christian there is nothing really extraordinary about praying for Divine Intervention. In fact, Christ, Himself, tells us to pray to God for help. He gives us the parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge to tell us we need to keep praying even when nothing happens all at once. (If you want references.) And it wasn’t like Perdue ordered people to turn out and pray, rather he led an intercessory prayer of believers.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Yet the Post pulls one incident out of a man’s long career to lampoon him.