My good buddy Phil Robertson has drawn the ire of a bunch of Jesus-bashing, liberal lug nuts after he petitioned the Lord during a NASCAR invocation to put a "Jesus man in the White House."
Brother Phil delivered the pre-race invocation April 9 at the Texas Motor Speedway's Duck Commander 500. And it was a mighty fine invocation, indeed.
"I pray Father that we put a Jesus man in the White House," he prayed. "Help us do that and help us all to repent, to do what is right, to love you more and to love each other. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen."
Brother Phil also mentioned the Bible, guns and thanked the Good Lord for the United States military—just like any good church-going, Christian man would do.
But the Duck Commander's heartfelt invocation caused the mainstream media to blow a collective head gasket.
Sports commentators and journalists suggested pre-race prayers were too "Southern" and too "redneck." As if there's something wrong with being a Southern-fried redneck?
Deadspin called Brother Phil an "unapologetic bigot" and a "duck call industrialist."
The Associated Press auto racing writer accused Brother Phil of pushing an agenda—and accused NASCAR of "clouding its image with politics."
"There are Democrats who enjoy NASCAR," writer Jenna Fryer sneered. "Jews and atheists and women, too."
Consider the words from this Orlando Sentinel column titled, "NASCAR doesn't need Phil Robertson's prayers."
"What if at next Sunday's race, someone got up and prayed for gun control, the Koran and that a Muhammad-woman be put in the White House?" writer David Whitley opined. "Most of the people defending Robertson would be throwing tire irons at their TVs."
Well, I sincerely doubt a devout Muslim would be asking Allah to put a "Muhammad-woman" anywhere near the White House. And let's be honest, you don't see too many burkas at Bristol.
Beyond the Flag ran an essay written by Christopher Olmstead that contemplated whether or not religion still belongs in NASCAR.
"For a sport that is trying to become a global success is it appropriate to attach a certain religion or religious tone to yourself?" Olmstead asked. "For a sport that might have several drivers who might not believe in God or religion is it appropriate to hold the pre-race invocation? For a sport that is trying to reach out to different cultures around the world who may believe in a higher power other than God, is it appropriate to have the invocation?"
It's tempting to tell Brother Phil's critics to blow it out their tail pipes—but that's not the Christian thing to do.
And besides, Brother Phil has more supporters than detractors—including the president of Texas Motor Speedway.
"He said what he felt and believed, and there are a lot of people that agree with him and a lot that disagree with him," Eddie Gossage told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Nowadays, you cannot say what you think because of political correctness. So I guess everyone has a right to free speech or nobody does."
Prayer is an important part of Southern culture. It's what we do. It's who we are—whether we're asking the Good Lord to bless the butter beans or offering an "unspoken" prayer request before Bible Study.
And that's why the mainstream media may be in for a rude awakening if they think they can "prayer-shame" the good, church-going racing fans of America. It's not going to happen.
Why, NASCAR without Jesus would be like biscuits without gravy.
Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.
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