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March 7th, 2011

Clayworth’s Article On Prayer Shows Intolerance Towards People of Faith

By Craig Robinson

In last Friday’s Des Moines Register, Jason Clayworth, one of the paper’s legislative reporters wrote, “A pastor’s prayer before the Legislature this week…has revived questions about the appropriateness of the daily prayers.”

There is just one problem with Clayworth’s article. According to a representative in the Speaker’s office, not one single legislator said a word to Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen, Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, or even Charlie Smithson, the Chief Clerk of the House, who enforces House rules, about the daily prayers.

In fact, the only person that Clayworth quoted in his article was Rep. Mary Mascher, who said she purposely doesn’t attend the morning prayers because she finds them “so offensive, so partisan and so biased in their perspective.”

Since Mascher protests prayer by not attending them, and nobody was offended enough to actually say something to legislative leaders, why is the Des Moines Register documenting the daily prayers in the Iowa House in the first place? What prompted Clayworth to write an article about something that nobody is upset about?

Apparently, the only person who was offended was the reporter who wrote the article. Clayworth being offended by the daily prayers at the state capitol isn’t a surprise. He lives a lifestyle that most religious communities believe is sinful or is at least frowned upon. It seems that the Des Moines Register was willing to let Clayworth use his position to advance his own personal agenda under the guise of actual “news.”

Isn’t it interesting that our society celebrates and demands diversity, tolerance, and respect except when it comes to prayer and one’s religious beliefs? Diversity is great as long as the government, higher education, and the work place is demanding gender and racial balance. However, there is often no room for diversity of thought.

We are taught at a young age to be tolerant and respectful of those who are not exactly not like us. The homosexual community loves to demand this of people, and in a large part, Iowans are tolerant and respectful to those who practice a lifestyle that they are opposed to. Unfortunately, the homosexual community is not tolerant or respectful when it comes to others’ religious beliefs.

Just look at Clayworth’s article. He and Rep. Masher are advocating for the removal of prayer because it offends them. If they look up in the rotunda and read the words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, they will be equally offended because it says, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” Should we paint over those words because they offend a reporter and a legislator? Let’s hope not.

This is where Clayworth and the homosexual community are hypocritical. One Iowa, the state’s largest gay rights group, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a media campaign that urges Iowans to oppose any effort to put discrimination into our state constitution. These ads also promote the concept of freedom. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and other pro-gay Democrats have echoed similar words.

If they are so passionate about guaranteeing our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and liberties, if they are so opposed to discrimination, then they should oppose any attempt to trample Iowans religious freedoms.

Will Zack Walhs, who was raised by two Iowa women and became a YouTube sensation for his remarks on the floor of the Iowa House, use his oratory skills to speak out against the injustice that Clayworth and Masher are proposing? Of course not, because he and people like him are not interested in protecting religious freedoms, just the rights of gays and lesbians to marry.

Being offended by a Deacon of the Catholic Church who concludes his prayer with “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” is the definition of intolerance. Clayworth’s entire article can be summed up as being an intolerant news article about intolerance. I don’t know what’s more troubling, the hypocrisy of the gay rights groups in Iowa that oppose discrimination and respect, or that the Des Moines Register published such an intolerant article.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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