Rep. Rashida Tlaib is now trying to walk back an obscene assault she made on the sensibilities of religious Americans. Here is how this controversy unfolded.
On Monday, I wrote to the ten members of the House Ethics Committee asking them to issue a letter of reprimand to Tlaib for her unprovoked attack on members of virtually every faith community; we also listed her email address asking our followers to contact her.
On Sunday, Tlaib shared a tweet by activist David Hogg from the previous day saying, "Don't let this administration address COVID-19 like our national gun violence epidemic. F**k a National day of prayer, we need immediate comprehensive action."
Now Tlaib, after we asked her colleagues to sanction her, and having been stung with an avalanche of criticism, is trying to diminish what she said. She deleted her share of Hogg's tweet and also tweeted the following on Monday:
"Let me be clear as someone who has been praying through this all & as someone who attended the National Prayer Breakfast. My retweet was not to be an attack on prayer. It was to bring attention to the need for meaningful action to combat this public health crisis."
Let me be clear, Rep. Tlaib: You are fooling no one. You not only have a record of offending people, your anti-Semitic comments have mobilized friends of mine like Rabbi Aryeh Spero to hold a sit-in at Rep. Nancy Pelosi's congressional office to protest your bigotry (and that of your fellow "Squad" member, Rep. Ilhan Omar). Your record of hate speech is incontestable.
You say your retweet "was not an attack on prayer." How lame. What you manifestly chose to do is attack the one day when Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and others come together in a national day of prayer. Your point was to insult us. Mission accomplished.
President Trump, whom you previously assaulted with your filthy comments, is working with Republicans and Democrats "to combat this public health crisis." And guess what? They are able to do so without resorting to the kind of vile remarks you made about religious Americans. You deserve to be reprimanded. Indeed, you need to be called out by members of both chambers.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.