Ryan firing House chaplain fit conservative agenda


Beverly Mitchell

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Recently Paul Ryan, speaker of the House, told the chaplain of the House of Representatives to either resign or he would be fired because of the type of prayer he gave. In that prayer the chaplain asked God to change attitudes in Congress. In the prayer, he also criticized the tax bill. 

Among the many things that Speaker Ryan does not understand is that the chaplain is a Jesuit priest from the Society of Jesus, whose goal is to help the poor. That prayer hurt Ryan because his goal is to protect and help the wealthy, like his donors, the Koch brothers, David and Charles, who since the 70s have waited for such a time when their long-term goals of downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations, privatizing education, and breaking unions could become a reality. Through Ryan and conservatives, that has happened. 

What the chaplain did in his prayer was reveal “food for thought” to the poor, white and black. But to Ryan, that was reaching a dangerous level because the midterm elections are so close. 

Instead of seeking to fire the chaplain because of the words in his prayer, Ryan should have stated just how the tax law will “help” the poor by eventually requiring cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. 

I am a senior citizen on a pension who depends on Medicare, which pays 80 percent of my medical bills. Many seniors have no pension. Medicare and Medicaid are their only medical insurances. Unlike Ryan, without either of the two, death is a true assurance. But perhaps that bill will help them. 

My message to Mr. Ryan is this: “Thank you for not running for Congress again. Go home and enjoy your family and this new tax bill, which embraces savage cuts to the social safety net of America. And when you pray, and I hope you do, remember that you are talking to and pleading with the heavenly father, not someone like you.“

Beverly Mitchell


Editor’s note: This letter was written before Speaker Paul Ryan reversed himself last week and allowed Rev. Patrick J. Conroy to remain in his position of chaplain of the House of Representatives.