It's been hard to be a Mainer ever since Tea Party candidate Paul LePage snatched the job of governor with 38 percent of the vote in a three-way race against a Democrat and an Independent. There doesn't seem to be a week that goes by without some news of him embarrassing the pine tree state by doing something either stupid and/or offensive. He told President Obama to "go to hell" and the NAACP to "kiss his butt." He fought to overturn a state ban on the toxic chemical Bisphenol A in consumer goods and wants to give corporations free reign in developing and exploiting Maine's Northern Woods. His proposed tax cut plan saves the average Maine family less than a $100 while cutting nearly $3,000 off the tax bill of Mainers making more than $356,608 a year.
On top of all that, LePage spent a lot of political capital to make it harder for Mainers to vote by pushing through a bill that ended same-day registration, an effort that was beautifully overturned by Maine voters last fall. His secretary of state has used the old bugaboo of voter fraud to try to lie to and bully away the voting rights of out-of-state college student, despite a state report showing be zero evidence of any fraud.
I could go on and on, but I won't.
OK, one more. Recently LePage oversaw a signing ceremony for a document called "A Call to Prayer for Maine" which is modeled after the Declaration of Independence but with a heaping dose of Christian dogma thrown in for good measure. It calls for a closer relationship between religious organizations (Christian organizations) and government and the protection of the right of people to "publicly pray."
Here's an excerpt:
“We stand at the threshold of another significant crossroads: either to acknowledge and embrace the vibrant character of our spiritual heritage or to plunge headlong into the postmodern void — a value-neutral and amoral vacuum that endeavors to deconstruct much of what we hold sacred,” the Call to Prayer for Maine states.
“We, the undersigned, who believe in prayer and the Judeo-Christian principles that remind us that our rights come from almighty God, are united in this proclamation,” the document concludes. “Accordingly, this day we respectfully and humbly issue a ‘Call to Prayer’ for the state of Maine and invite Mainers everywhere to pray that God will continue to bless this country, our noble state and the freedom for which they stand.”
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