Saskatchewan cabinet Minister deletes ‘pray and repent’ tweet over COVID-19

REGINA — A Saskatchewan cabinet minister who tweeted an Old Testament passage where God tells people to pray and repent to cure an epidemic says he deleted it out of concern it may have sent the wrong message.

As the province responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, Minister of Highways Greg Ottenbreit tweeted a photo early Saturday where a section of scripture is highlighted and circled with the text “Pay Attention Children.”

In that particular passage God says when he sends an epidemic onto his people, if they “pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing” they will be forgiven and their lands will be restored.

Ottenbreit says in the tweet “I guess it worked a few thousand years ago …couldn’t hurt.”

In a statement, the Yorkton-area MLA says his Christian faith is important to him and he intended to encourage those inclined to pray to do so.

He says he realized the picture framed it harshly and felt it could be interpreted to mean that’s all one should do, which is why he deleted it.

As of Saturday, Saskatchewan has reported 134 cases of COVID-19.

“I believe faith and prayer to be important, however, everyone needs to follow the direction being provided by governments and health officials regarding safe protocols, self-isolation and social distancing in order to reduce the risk to themselves and others,” Ottenbreit said in the statement.

Last year Ottenbreit, who opposes abortion, drew criticism in his previous portfolio as Minister of Rural and Remote Health when he told a convention of others opposed to abortion in his home constituency that he would “continue the fight.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer city councillor fears more vacant office space in the downtown

Frank Wong opposes more office/commercial space in Riverside Light Industrial Park

Central Alberta women’s shelter expansion gets initial rezoning approval from Red Deer city council

Some questions remain about the suitability of the site, which borders a creek

Central Alberta Pride Society celebrates Calgary’s conversion therapy ban

Central Alberta Pride Society celebrates Calgary city council’s ban of conversion therapy… Continue reading

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

David Marsden: Jason Kenney is all hat, no cattle

There are few character failings more unappealing than those of people who… Continue reading

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide: DFO

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide: DFO

Canadian Judicial Council won’t appeal harsh ruling of its investigation of judge

Canadian Judicial Council won’t appeal harsh ruling of its investigation of judge

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Liberals, NDP work on sick leave to secure deal on future of Parliament

Liberals, NDP work on sick leave to secure deal on future of Parliament

Branson’s Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt

Branson’s Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

Most Read