Pastor's scriptural prayer burns some Democratic ears

Pastor's scriptural prayer burns some Democratic ears

Pastor's scriptural prayer burns some Democratic ears

A California pastor was asked by House Speaker Mike Johnson to open Congress in prayer in late January. Now more than two dozen House Democrats have filed a letter of complaint against the pastor.

Religious leaders who are asked to open a session of Congress with a prayer are given a list of restrictions to have in mind when writing out that prayer – specifically that it should be inclusive of all religions. Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills must have missed that part when he prayed on January 30:


Twenty-six Democratic members of the House were offended enough by the prayer to send a letter of complaint to the Speaker of the House, complaining about the "Christian nationalist" prayer that they described as "militant" and "fanatical."

Hibbs told radio talk-host Jan Markell during a recent interview on Understanding the Times that the prayer he first submitted for the record was "milquetoast" enough for the congressional censors.

"Somewhere decades ago there's some rules about what you can and cannot say and those are sent to you, and you're supposed to agree with them," he described.

Hibbs, Pastor Jack Hibbs

But then he says the Holy Spirit prompted him to make some revisions. "So, I wrote down a prayer that was from what I believe was, of course, my heart, but in alignment with scripture."

Examples of that, he said, included mentioning God as "Father" – which he described as "gender-insensitive," according to critics. He also mentioned that Christ was crucified for people's sins. "You're not supposed to evangelize," he shared. And Jesus, he prayed, is our resurrected Savior. "You're not to indoctrinate," he said, quoting the guidelines.

Hibbs reported that one lawmaker from Kansas told him afterward: "That was a breath of fresh air to hear biblical truth."