The Congressional Stenographer and the Holy Spirit UPDATED

When I first heard that a congressional stenographer had grabbed a microphone and started ranting about Masonic conspiracies on the floor of the House, I assumed she’d had some sort of mental break. That’s always a safe guess when people deviate from the script in public, and it wasn’t helped by the lack of clear audio in the video clip that circulated on the internet.

She may well have had some kind of break, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, and trusting the media to report factually and objectively is, quite obviously, foolish. It’s always best to wait for some primary sources before drawing conclusions.

This is, as near as I can tell, an accurate report on what Dianne Reidy said on the House floor:

He will not be mocked! This is not one Nation under God. It never was. The greatest deception here is this is not one Nation under God! It never was. Had it been, it would not have been! The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons! You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters! Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.

I know! Crazytalk! Get the men in the white coats!

Dianne Reidy and family

Honestly, is there anything in that paragraph that says, “nuts” to you? Anything at all? Because I got nothing here.

Like Reidy, I’m a bit … cautious about the idea that America’s founding enjoyed some kind of divine sanction.

Even if it did, what of it? The one nation in history that surely enjoyed the favor of God was Israel, and the Old Testament is one long story about the Israelites wandering off in search of strange gods while the One God yanks her leash to bring her back in line.

As for the Freemasons, Reidy isn’t the only one troubled by the involvement of a secretive organisation with occult trappings being present at the founding, and shaping the destiny of the nation to such a degree that their esoteric symbolism still marks our money and monuments. There’s a reason Catholics and Freemasons don’t mix.

And quoting Jesus (Matthew 6:24) via Lincoln? Wacko-time!

Even the strange “Had it been, it would not have been!” may not just be a verbal stumble. The phrasing recalls Job 10:19 “I should have been as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave.”

The only part that’s strange is the time and place in which she said it, and she has a striking explanation:

For the past 2 and ½ weeks, the Holy Spirit has been waking me up in the middle of the night and preparing me (through my reluctance and doubt) to deliver a message in the House Chamber. That is what I did.

The Daily Beast spoke to her husband, who is a minister:

…she would later tell him there was no question in her mind that it was indeed the Holy Spirit rousing her night after night, even before the shutdown and the looming default.

“Waking several times a night feeling that God’s just been pressing on her to open a Bible and get into his word,” Dan Reidy says. “Reading a Bible is not foreign to us, but getting up in the middle of the night definitely is. It’s just not a part of our life.”

The circumstances were so unusual as to make a command from on high seem all the more real to her.

“If that’s not’s God’s spirit…” Dan says.

He goes on, “What she was finding out was that God was impressing on her heart that He had a message He wanted her to share with the House of Representatives.”

She kept resisting the command only to be woken up by it yet again.

“The reason it took four weeks was because of her reluctance and her doubt,” the husband says. “She didn’t want to do it.”

She continued to resist even as the shutdown made Congress look all the more woefully in need of divine guidance.

“This whole mess has just kind of sickened her to the whole process,” her husband says. “The alliances between people who aren’t really allies. The finger-pointing on the dais, [then] the arms around each other… Where are the people being served in this whole deal?”

He recalls, “She was just like, ‘Gosh, this is not what it’s about.’”

Another day of serving as a stenographer in an unholy mess would end with another night of being awakened by what she took to be the Holy Spirit. She kept resisting out of a sense of congressional sanctity that the representatives themselves were besmirching.

“That’s what my wife was battling, with this late-night wrestling with God,” the husband says.

There’s more, and you should read it all.

He says she is at peace now, and a psychiatrist released her after a 45 minute evaluation. If she had been some kind of gibbering lunatic, she would have been kept on a psych hold, particularly given the high profile and location of the incident.

In fact, her husband reports that she’s immensely relieved and doing just fine, although her future employment may well be in doubt.

So you tell me: crazy or inspired? I don’t mock people who claim to have experienced the presence of the Spirit, even unto getting very specific messages. I know that the discernment of spirits is a difficult thing, and she would have done well to confide in her husband, a friend, or a spiritual counselor before resorting to an outburst in the most public place, and at the most difficult time. The whole episode lent the reopening of the government an even more farcical tone, if that’s at all possible.

Certainly, religious mania can lead to this kind of bizarre behavior without the Holy Spirit’s prompting. She may have been acting out of depression and stress. Or maybe she was touched by the Spirit, and the time and place of her message was providential. Here I am writing about it, as are hundreds of others, and millions more may read what she said and wonder. It doesn’t sound like much of a message, but neither did, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

How many saints and prophets would be labelled lunatics today? I’m not saying Dianne Reidy is a saint or a prophet, but neither should we assume she’s a lunatic.

UPDATED: Rep. Rebecca Hamilton responds: Was the House Stenographer a Modern-Day Jeremiah?:

I’ve witnessed the way that politicians use God to justify themselves. I seen up close how elected officials who campaigned and were elected on their faith in Jesus turn around and kick Him to the curb with what they actually do. I have also witnessed the unbelievable hubris of politicians who have convinced themselves that God is made in their image and everything they do is right because it is god (little g) ordained.

These men and women truly are mocking God.

And it is sickening.

To see up close the way they treat the Lord Jesus grieves you. It can send you home a wreck.

I know.

I’ve been there.

I have never been forced to participate in anything as ugly as what has been going on in Congress these past years. I’ve seen it in the small-time House of Representatives of the itty bitty State of Oklahoma. And it was all I could bear.

So, do I believe that the Holy Spirit may have called Mrs Reidy to stand up in the House of Representatives and dramatically announce “He will not be mocked” ???

Yes. I do.

Mark Shea also says nice things. His check is in the mail.

One final observation: I wrote this because the tone of the coverage has been universally derisive and mocking. Even if she is mentally ill, that’s an appalling way to respond to a person who may be in serious distress.

Code Pink can erupt into protest on the floor of the house and no one bats an eye. Our elected officials can lie and grandstand and backslap and lie some more and the media acts like that’s just how things are done.

But someone calls the nation to account, in the every seat of power, for its wicked behavior, and suddenly we’re in Cloud Cuckoo Land. We need to be better than that. Whether she’s sick or whether she’s speaking an essential truth, the response lacked humanity. And even if she is ill, that does not make her message meaningless.