Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Sunday Morning Prayer

Yesterday at a McCain rally in Iowa, a minister, Pastor Arnold Conrad, gave the invocation. Here was his prayer:
I would also add, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and election day.
Now Pastor Conrad is most certainly a buffoon (who is the god, Hindu?) But he is a biblical buffoon. There are many prayers in the Bible from those who appeal to the vanity of Yahweh in order for him to do some divine ass kickin'.

In one instance Yahweh is about to destroy the Hebrew people because they keep complaining. Moses advises Yahweh to think twice about that because of his reputation with other nations:

13 But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for in your might you brought up this people from among them, 14and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, O Lord, are in the midst of this people; for you, O Lord, are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them and you go in front of them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15Now if you kill this people all at one time, then the nations who have heard about you will say, 16“It is because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land he swore to give them that he has slaughtered them in the wilderness.” Numbers 14:13-16
When Elijah has his contest with the prophets of Baal, he appeals to Yahweh's need for everyone to know that Yahweh is the toughest god on the block:
‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your bidding. 37Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.’ 38Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt-offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord indeed is God; the Lord indeed is God.’ 40Elijah said to them, ‘Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.’ Then they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon, and killed them there. (I Kings 18:36-40).
Praise the Lord.

The appeal to divine testosterone is a prayer strategy that Pastor Conrad is using.

But it should be noted that these stories from the Bible come from a time when they believed the sun moved across the sky.

Pastor Conrad is right that there are millions of people around the world watching this election. They may be praying to whatever god will listen that Americans don't elect some trigger happy religious zealot to the highest office. Meanwhile in the good old United Theocracy of America, good Christians know that Yahweh cares only about abortion and gay marriage as this letter
in our local paper attests.

H/T Fran