The Hill reports:
House Chaplain Patrick Conroy’s sudden resignation has sparked a furor on Capitol Hill, with sources in both parties saying he was pushed out by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Conroy’s own resignation announcement stated that it was done at Ryan’s request…
Four different sources — two from each party — say Conroy was told that he must retire or that he would be dismissed.
The message from Ryan was delivered by his chief of staff, Jonathan Burks….
A Democratic lawmaker said that the Speaker took issue with a prayer on the House floor that could have been perceived as being critical of the GOP tax-cut bill.
On Nov. 6 — the first day of the markup on the GOP’s tax bill — Conroy in a prayer urged lawmakers to ensure the legislation did not exacerbate the nation’s gaping class disparities.
“May all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle,” Conroy said at the time. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”
A senior GOP aide said Conroy’s exit “was not because of any particular prayer.”…
A second Democratic aide said Conroy’s ouster was “largely driven by a speech on the tax bill that the Speaker didn’t like.” But the source also offered a second reason.
“Some of the more conservative evangelical Republicans didn’t like that the Father had invited a Muslim person to give the opening prayer,” the source said.
Paul Ryan, who is Catholic, credited Ayn Rand, not his faith or Thomas Aquinas, as the reason he got involved in politics. A number of writers have recently written articles that explain why Paul Ryan is still this same Paul Ryan. This initial report seems to align with such analysis.