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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Gov. Kristi Noem told an audience of more than 500 in Aberdeen on Tuesday the world is "addicted to being offended."
The Mayor's Prayer Breakfast was held at the Dakota Event Center.
Noem addressed how often people are offended by others in the current U.S. political climate.
“We live in a world that’s addicted to being offended, don’t we? People love to be offended by each other, but this pastor said people are going to throw offenses out at you all the time,” Noem said. “You’re the one who decides if you want to bend over, pick it up and carry it around with you, but then you’re the one carrying the burden.”
She also spoke extensively about her faith and related it to politics.
“I don’t put my faith in Washington, D.C. I don’t put my faith in Pierre in the state Legislature. I think you have a fantastic mayor, but I don’t put my faith in him either,” Noem said.
“I put my faith in the Lord, and he has consistently shown up for us, each and every day," she said.
Noem mentioned a State of the Union address that President Barack Obama while she served in Congress. She said she initially wanted to skip the address altogether, but her team persuaded her to attend. She did, but stood in the back in order to leave early, if she wanted to.
“I felt he was lying and not telling the American people the truth, and I felt myself getting angry and frustrated,” Noem said. “And I actually started to pray that the Lord would confuse his speech … I was immediately convicted because I knew that I was being disobedient, that wasn’t what God had called me to do. What God had called me to do was to pray for our leaders, to pray for the president and to be an encouragement to them,” she said.
Noem, a Republican, served as South Dakota’s lone member in the U.S. House from 2011 to 2019, when she became governor.
She is no stranger to being criticized by South Dakotans or others across the country. It's something she said has taught her how to love differently.
“There’s one thing 2020 has taught me is that I’ve got a few critics out there, but I also need to realize that I need to love them,” Noem said.
She also addressed demonstrations across the country, pointing to Minneapolis as an example. Noem urged the crowd to realize that while times are difficult, the U.S. is no stranger to adversity. There have been tough times before during the Great Depression, Vietnam War and the civil rights movement.
“We’re not in unprecedented times. It’s different, could be more challenging, but we have seen difficult times in this country before,” Noem said.
To end her speech, Noem suggested to the crowd three actions:
"Stop being offended by each other."
"Start talking to people you've written off."
And, "Just be happy."
“You woke up in the United States of America today. You’re better off than 99.9% of the people,” Noem said.
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Kristi Noem to prayer breakfast: 'Stop being offended by each other'