Minnesota state rep ducks question on taxes because–Jesus

As a left-leaning charismatic Christian, I’ve worked to bust the stereotypes that are out there about Christians who are even remotely interested in politics. Well, a Republican state representative in Minnesota just made that job a lot harder. 

Earlier this week, the Democrats (or DFLers, as they are called in Minnesota) in the state house tried to amend a tax bill to close loopholes for offshore tax havens. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning DFLer and former state house speaker Paul Thissen asked second-term Republican Abigail Whelan why she joined her fellow Republicans in opposing the bill.

The state house DFLers got a snippet of her response, which has to be seen to be believed.

Rather than answer the question, Whelan decided to give an “eternal perspective” on “the games we play here” in St. Paul. 

At the end of the day, when we try to reach an agreement with divided government, we win some, we lose some. Nobody is really happy. But you know what? Happiness and circumstances–not what it’s about. There is actual joy to be found in Jesus Christ. Jesus loves you all. If you would like to get to know him, (if) you’re listening at home, here in this room, please email, call me, would love to talk to you about Jesus, he is the hope of this state and this country.

Wow. She couldn’t possibly have been a worse witness, from where I’m sitting. You would think that a born-again Christian legislator would feel particularly obligated to give coherent statements about their votes and think about the issues. This was so unbelievable that when Think Progress first mentioned it, I thought it was snark.

In just four years, Whelan has made a name for herself as one of the most hardline conservatives in the state legislature. She co-authored a failed attempt to enact a bathroom bill, saying it was necessary to fight “gender fluidity.” She also authored a bill that would have yanked funding from the University of Minnesota unless it ended fetal tissue research. It failed, but the fact it even made it for debate caused U of M’s top choice to lead research into what causes addictions to decline the position.

Am I the only one wondering if this is how Michele Bachmann sounded during her days in the state senate? Ironically, Whelan represents most of southwestern Anoka County, north of St. Paul—an area that is entirely within the borders of MN-06, Bachmann’s old district.

Hopefully we have a Democrat running against this woman already. Despite the Twin Cities suburbs’ massive swing to Trump, he only got 53 percent of the vote in Whelan’s district. Seems winnable on paper. The people of this district deserve better. Otherwise, if she isn’t derailed now, she could be a top candidate for MN-06 in the future. She’s only 29, and we could be hearing from her for awhile unless she’s sent packing.
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