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Lawmaker asks ‘What would Jesus do?’ — then turns his back on Wiccan priestess’ prayer at Iowa House

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Some Christian lawmakers on Thursday silently protested the first Wiccan prayer in the Iowa state House Chambers by turning their backs or refusing to attend.

Priestess Deborah Maynard of the People’s Church Unitarian Universalist Church told KCRG that offering the first-ever Wiccan prayer in the Iowa legislature was both scary and exhilarating.

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But she said that the most difficult part was limiting the prayer to one minute or less.

“We call this morning to God, Goddess, Universe, that which is greater than ourselves to be with us here today,” she prayed. “By the Earth that is in our bones and centers us, may all here remember our roots and those we are here to represent.”

“By the fire that gives us light and passion, may all here remain passionate about the work that must be done for the people of Iowa,” the priestess continued. “By the air that gives us breath and logic, may all here find thoughtful solutions to the problems that are presented. By the water that flows through our blood and stirs our emotions, may all here draw on that emotional intelligence, which helps us to see the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”

Maynard concluded by calling on the “ever-present” spirit to “help us respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Be with us and this legislative body and guide them to seek justice, equity and compassion in the work that is before them today.”

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But Republican state Rep. Rob Taylor and some of his colleagues found Maynard’s presence so offensive that they launched a silent protest.

Taylor explained to KCRG that he prayed and asked, “What would Jesus do?” In the end, he decided to “be in the presence of a prayer, but peacefully protest” by turning his back. Other lawmakers refused to attend Thursday’s opening ceremonies.

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“Jesus would be in the chamber, from my perspective, he would passively protest. Then he would seek that individual out and have peaceful conversation about why his way was the best way,” the lawmaker said. “Everyone has the right to come into our chamber — it is the people’s chamber — and pray and she did and this was the way for me to peacefully protest.”

Taylor admitted to KCRG that he had not turned his back during Islamic and Jewish prayers.

Other Christian Iowans attended the prayer because they thought it would counteract demonic spirits.

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“I was praying for her salvation,” Pastor Michael Demastus, who was in the balcony, recalled. “I was praying that she would come to know the one true God… “I believe that the occult is dark. I do believe that’s not the place to see guidance from, so I was not praying against her. I was praying against what she was doing.”

Michelle Gute said that she came to stop demons from influencing the lawmakers.

“I don’t want any demonic influences on the people who are making decisions on our behalf,” she insisted. “I was not praying with her.”

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“I was praying the opposite. Our country was founded on godly principles, not goddesses and whoever she was praying to,” Gute added.

Watch the video below from the Iowa Legislature, broadcast April 9, 2015.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Analyst tells CNBC: Recession will hit US several months before 2020 election

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An analyst told CNBC on Monday that a recession is likely to hit the U.S. just months before the 2020 election.

"The inversion of the yield curve is a great signal that a recession is coming," Guy Lebas of Janney Capital Management explained. "Recessions by their nature are impossible to predict with any confidence but we have a few clues."

Lebas pointed to corporate capital expenditure plans as a sign of economic stress.

"They are hinting somewhere in the early to mid portion of 2020," he said of a possible recession.

Watch the video below from CNBC.

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Orange County teens busted for singing obscure Nazi song while giving Hitler salutes

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Nearly a dozen high school students from Southern California delivered Nazi salutes and sang a Nazi marching song in a video posted on social media.

The video was uploaded to Instagram by one member of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, along with lyrics to the song played for German troops during World War II, reported The Daily Beast.

A spokesperson for the Garden Grove Unified School District told the website administrators learned of the incident in March, four months after the video was posted, but declined to say whether any of the students were disciplined.

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Former US ambassador to Denmark torches Trump’s Greenland plan on CNN: ‘I laughed until I cried’

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Rufus Gifford, who previously served as the United States' ambassador to Denmark under former President Barack Obama, told CNN's John Berman that he can't believe President Donald Trump really thinks he can buy Greenland.

During a CNN interview Monday, Berman asked Gifford what his reaction was to the president publicly discussing his desire to do a "big" real estate deal with Denmark to buy Greenland.

Gifford did not respond positively.

"Honestly, I saw the Wall Street Journal headline when I was bound for Copenhagen," he said. "Like most people, I thought it was a joke. Reading more, it became confirmed. I shook my head, as I often say, many times as I've heard about Trump's foreign policy decisions, I laughed until I cried."

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