The Diddly Awards

The Jimmy Swaggart Award for God Abuse

Illustration: Peter Hoey

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Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) appeared at a prayer breakfast just after the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 240,000 people. DeLay read a passage from Matthew about a nonbeliever: “…a fool who built his house on sand: The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew, and buffeted the house, and it collapsed and was completely ruined.” Then, without comment, he righteously sat down.

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) sponsored the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005, which mandates the “acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government”—i.e, the Bible could trump even the Supreme Court, which according to some observers, could allow judges to impose biblical sentences such as the stoning of homosexuals instead of common-law sentences.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), who attended the infamous coronation, in the Senate building, of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon involving a weird ceremony of robes and pillows and pompous language declaring Moon the world’s messiah. Other pols scrambled to say they had been tricked into attending, but not Bartlett. “What was so strange?” he groused. “If I was there and asked to do something that was benign, handing a robe to an old person and honoring him for his contribution to world peace and fundamental morality, now why wouldn’t I do that if I was asked to?”

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) reminded the president that back in 1978, as a congressional candidate, he had warned that Social Security would soon collapse if it wasn’t privatized. “I lost” that race, Bush observed, whereupon Rangel deadpanned: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.) was overheard by the Wall Street Journal explaining to lobbyists right after Hurricane Katrina had destroyed New Orleans that “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”

WINNER! Richard Baker, who will receive a granite tablet carved with the words of Mark 12: 40, where Jesus Christ warned that those who “devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.”

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