VA House Dems Bolt as Pastor Blasts Abortion, Sodomy

News: US News
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  February 17, 2020   

House delegate: 'It felt like condemnation'

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RICHMOND, Va. ( - Virginia Democrats stormed out of the state's House of Delegates when a local pastor condemned abortion and so-called gay marriage.

Invited to give the opening prayer, Rev. Robert M. Grant Jr. last week warned state lawmakers of God's wrath on those who reject biblical principles and greenlight abortion and sodomy.

"The unborn have rights and those rights need to be protected. They should never be denied the right to exist, the right to develop or the right to have a family. The word of God has given us a warning: woe to anyone who harms an innocent child," prayed Grant. "Every one of you sitting here today can guarantee these rights to these little innocent children of Virginia. They are in their trimesters as we speak."

Several Democratic delegates stormed out of the house chamber with one yelling, "Is this a prayer or a sermon?" Democratic Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn abruptly ended the prayer by banging her gavel and immediately beginning the Pledge of Allegiance.

Before being cut off, Grant was able to pray more against abortion before turning his spiritual guns on so-called same-sex marriage. He prayed that both sides "would do their job and stand for what is right in the sight of God."

"I pray that you may understand that all life is precious and worthy of a chance to be born," Grant affirmed. "God is the giver of life and people have no right or authority to take life."

May the Lord God have mercy upon this leadership.

He urged lawmakers, "Please do not ignore their little voices. I pray for a heart change today and may the Lord God have mercy upon this leadership."

Grant's prayer wasn't vetted prior to delivery and didn't sit well with pro-death Democrats, who used their recently gained control of the House chamber to further pro-abortion legislation.

Virginia Democrats voted in January to roll back restrictions on abortion that state Republicans had established in 2012. Republican lawmakers unanimously opposed the lifting of restrictions in January but weren't successful in stopping pro-abortion Democrats in both the House and Senate.

House Delegate Luke Torian

After condemning abortion, Grant then did likewise with so-called gay marriage.

"I pray that this chamber will uphold the Virginia family;" beseeched Grant, "that the bills and laws being passed will always protect the biblical tradition of marriage as God instructed the first man and the first woman in the Bible; that the two shall be one flesh; that a man and a woman shall be fruitful and multiply."

Lawmakers should never rewrite God's law nor allow sodomy to provoke God's wrath, declared Grant.

"The Bible is the copyright of God's word," Grant continued. "Marriage is to join a biological male and a biological female in holy matrimony; not to provoke the almighty God."

Democratic House delegates like Luke Torian took offense. Torian afterward remarked that Grant's prayer was "totally disrespectful to all of us, all of us in this House."

Grant stood by his prayer, affirming that what he had spoken was true.

"I think that the statehouse belongs to all the citizens," responded Grant. "And all the citizens have a voice. If it's my turn to have a voice, and I am a pastor, what do you expect from me? If you don't want to hear what a pastor has to say, then don't invite one."

Other delegates like Republican Dave LaRock weren't offended. He even posed for a photo with Grant afterward.

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