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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Faithless Faithful

Evangelicals have a secret weapon; a big ol' lightning bolt tossing deity who's the most powerful thing in the entire universe. There's a catch though -- for some reason, this big all-powerful being is a little short in the all-powerful department. He can't seem to do any of the stuff that he really wants to happen.

So this all-powerful deity has minions. And these minions do his will on Earth. Except they aren't very good at it either, so they sometimes call on the deity to help them. That generally goes pretty much like this:


Stuart Shepard of Focus on the Family, one of America's leading evangelical groups, was shown in a video filmed at Denver's Invesco Field, where 75,000 are expected to cheer Mr Obama on Aug 28, asking Christians to pray for "torrential" rain.

"I'm talking 'umbrella-ain't-going-to-help-you rain," the former pastor and television meteorologist said. He explained on the video: "I'm still pro life, and I'm still in favour of marriage as being between one man and one woman. And I would like the next president who will select justices for the next Supreme Court to agree."

The video was later pulled and and FotF claimed it was all a joke. "If people took it seriously, we regret it," they said.

And why wouldn't people take it seriously? The problem here is that reality and this "joke" are just too similar. If you pray for rain and it doesn't happen, what then? Well, God just didn't answer the prayer. It happens sometimes -- in fact, it happens about as often as random chance would allow. When people pray for personal strength, they get it -- because it comes from them. When they pray for things to happen in the wide world, it doesn't. If the shamans at Focus on the Family could make Barack Obama bring an umbrella, then they could accomplish everything they want to accomplish. And that would kind of make this whole voting thing kind of pointless.

So the all-powerful god who isn't really all-powerful serves them much better. It's best to make your prayers as unspecific as possible. In fact, it helps if they're vague appeals for defense against the completely undefinable.

Associated Press:

Southern Baptists are organizing a nationwide prayer campaign to accompany their values-voter registration drive, seeking spiritual renewal for families and churches, and God's favor for public officials who are guided by the Bible.


The daily prayers include requests for God's guidance in voting, for the election of more "godly Christians," for God to "help churches find ways to help Christians get to the polls" and for public officials to be protected "from the attacks of Satan."

I don't know about you, but I've had enough attacks from Satan in recent elections -- but, for the record, it doesn't look like Karl Rove's sitting this one out.

Of course, those weren't the attacks they were talking about. What they are talking about is pretty hard to say. And, since it's so hard to define, it's a lot easier to claim success. It's in being too specific that you get into trouble.

One person who learned that the hard way was right wing nut and fervent (in the original sense of that word) Huckabee backer Janet Folger. Folger was convinced that Huckabee was the only standing between good god-fearin' Christians and the "criminalization of Christianity" and Hillary Clinton's secular re-education camps. Seriously, it was freakin' insane. Mitt Romney was completely unacceptable, John McCain was completely unacceptable. "There was a tier-one candidate that stood for our goals of life and marriage – that man was Gov. Mike Huckabee," she wrote. Only Governor Mike could save America.

Well, Huckabee didn't win, so Christianity is doomed. Except, it's not. Now that God refused to answer Janet's Huckaprayer, John McCain is acceptable. In fact, electing John McCain is imperative.

Here's the bottom line: If McCain is elected, we WILL get the judges we need to bring this slaughter to an end. All of our efforts and all of our labors that have taken us this far will have been worth it. If Obama is elected, we will not only see the court stacked against us with life-long appointments, we will lose every single advance we have ever made in every state, city and county.

You want to protest? Get a sign and march. We're out of time. Besides that, I'm sick of marching – I want to win: I want to restore protection to children in my lifetime.

I've given my life to the pro-life movement, and I don't have another life to give it. Neither do the 50 million children whose lives were stolen from them. If we don't take what may be our last chance, I don't believe we're going to see another one. If we choose protest over influence, Obama will not only make sure that another 50 million children lose their lives, but he'll make sure we won't recognize what's left of our nation when he's through with it.

Notice how she's not asking anyone to do any praying. Mike Huckabee was God's chosen candidate until he wasn't, now it's McCain. Janet Folger's God is inconsistent and, ironically, faithless. As a result, so is Janet Folger. Anthropologist James Frazer once described religion as a type of magic that seeks to "mollify a coy, capricious, or irascible deity by the soft insinuation of prayer and sacrifice." That doesn't work, so the faithful righties don't do it. They follow the caprices of their coy deity and pretend that the past never existed.