In a bizarre opening prayer at an event for Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis, Democrats were strongly urged to vote, while the religious plea failed to mention the controversial reason the event was being held in the first place.
“Let’s ask God to bless our celebration,” said the woman conducting the prayer at the opening of Wednesday’s event, which was being held to mark the one-year anniversary of a filibuster Davis conducted to block a bill that banned abortions after 20 weeks.
During that filibuster, Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, stood for nearly 11 hours on the senate floor. She ultimately failed to block the legislation but catapulted to national fame, building a large enough following to coast to the state’s Democratic nomination.
But Wednesday’s two-minute prayer never referenced abortion, instead painting Davis’s filibuster in more neutral terms.
“As we begin our celebration of the anniversary of the day that women in Texas said ‘no’ to a state legislature that refuses to trust us, we thank you for giving us our voice, we thank you for the leadership of our candidates for governor and lieutenant governor,” went the prayer.
Throughout her gubernatorial campaign as well, Davis has avoided focusing on abortion as the underlying reason for the filibuster.
As the Washington Examiner has noted, Davis’s campaign references “women’s health centers” in its literature, even though the bill she filibustered did not restrict services at centers that did not offer abortions.
Wednesday’s prayer, which was streamed to over 200 watch parties that tuned in to the celebration, also took a strongly partisan tone.
“We ask you to strengthen our resolve and our determination to change the government of the state of Texas with our votes for the Democratic nominees,” prayed the woman, who stood in front of a large Texas flag at the Palmer event center in Austin.
“We ask you to inspire every eligible voter in the state of Texas who believes that our state government must represent all the people of Texas, not just the rich and well-connected.”
“Inspire them to vote. Inspire us to work for that vote.”
Calling for help from above may be one of the few viable election strategies left to Davis, who most believe has little chance to win in Texas, a heavily Republican state.
According to the race’s most recent poll, conducted between May 30 and June 8, Davis trails her opponent, state attorney general Greg Abbott, 44 percent to 32 percent.