Prayer at Michigan Town Hall Gathering Drowned Out With Shouts of ‘Separation of Church and State’

GAYLORD, Mich. — A number of liberal activists wearing pink hats like those donned at the Washington Women’s March recently shouted down a prayer delivered at a town hall gathering in Michigan, chanting repeatedly, “Separation of Church and State!”

The incident occurred last Thursday in Gaylord during a meeting held by Republican Rep. Jack Bergman. Derek Hagland of Grace Baptist Church approached the podium to deliver the invocation, but some attendees rose to their feet and began chanting.

“Separation of Church and State! Separation of Church and State!” they called out over and over, while others stood or sat quietly, or bowed their head in respect.

Hagland moved forward with his prayer, appearing to ignore those being disruptive.

“This guy was giving [an] invocation,” Bergman Communication Director Farahn Morgan told Breitbart News. “He was not necessarily party affiliated in any way. That kind of reaction to him? It was the most aggressive that the crowd got during the entire event which was, quite honestly, shocking.”

The chanting lasted the duration of the prayer as an attendee swept the crowd with their camera, capturing those heckling the invocation.

At the end of the prayer, as Hagland said “amen,” some present clapped and cheered as if in support of the pastor.

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Morgan told Breitbart that some of the Democrats in attendance approached her later that night to advise that even they did not approve of the the behavior of the disruptive chanters. It is suspected that some of those drowning out the prayer belonged to the group Indivisible.

“A lot of Democrats approached us tonight and said they were embarrassed and apologized. They said those activists did not represent them or what they are about,” she said. “I thought that was an interesting dynamic.”

As previously reported, a similar situation occurred in Louisiana in February as State Chaplain Michael Sprague announced that he would open U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s town hall meeting with a word of prayer.

“Prayer?!” one woman exclaimed.

“Separation of Church and State!” others declared.

After pausing a moment in surveying the chaos in the room, Sprague began to pray, still being interrupted by protesters who talked through the invocation.

The gathering seemed to quiet down to an extent after several seconds, but as he spoke the words “We pray in Jesus’ name,” the room again erupted in loud shouts of disapproval. Sprague recalled to reporters that there were exclamations of “Lucifer” and that some referred to him as a Nazi.

“I’ve never been shouted down throughout a time of prayer like that,” he said. “I’ve never been in a situation like that. It’s sad there wasn’t honor and respect for God.”

“People ask me all the time if I am mad at the people seemingly speaking out against God and Jesus. My answer is that I’m not mad, but I am sad that it has come to this in our country,” Sprague also shared. “We need to remember that Jesus has been booed many, many times and He will be booed again.”

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