Mike the Mad Biologist

Prayer Is the Answer?

That’s according to Republican congressman Randy Forbes, member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus. Personally, I think exercising Congress’ oversight role and passing some legislation worth a damn might help a bit more, but then again, my prayers wouldn’t count for much anyway according to the Caucus. From Americans United (italics mine):

A bipartisan [Mad Biologist: this is incorrect. Every member is a Republican.] group of U.S. House members offered a simple message to the American people today: “Pray, or God will lift his caring hand from the great nation.”

Over three dozen representatives joined U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol today to urge Americans to pray for the U.S. and its leaders for at least five minutes each week. Forbes, who is also the leader of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, said he hopes “God will hear our prayers and heal our land.”

Each member spoke for 30 seconds, and many gave personal testimony about the power of prayer in their personal and professional lives. Several members put a sectarian spin on their messages, suggesting that surrendering to Jesus Christ is the only thing that could save our nation. U.S.Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho) beseeched the nation to “glorify the name of Jesus Christ,” because as his colleague Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said, “Jesus is always the answer.”

U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) said “prayer is the solution” to America’s many problems. Remarks were greeted with “Amen!” “Yes!” and “Thank You, Jesus!” from the small crowd of mostly Hill staffers and tourists.

Forbes mentioned that his colleagues were calling people of all faiths to pray, but that they would “let God sort out” which were the “right” prayers, done in the “right” way. Interestingly, Christianity was the only faith represented at today’s gathering.

Nothing like the Republican big tent to make all of us feel welcome in their country [/snark]

Dear God, save us from some of those who so fervently believe in you.

Amen.

Comments

  1. #1 SnarlyGeezer
    March 29, 2007

    Wait a minute. If everybody is invited to cast spells on the Sky Fairy, they’re going to leave it to the Sky Fairy to tell them which spells worked and which ones failed? Wouldn’t there be a temptation to cast spells on a rival conjurer’s spells in hopes of causing them to miscast? I mean, if the winning spell sweeps the stakes, then cheating is obviously the winning strategy.

  2. #2 justawriter
    March 29, 2007

    Well, not that it would help, but I would join in a loud public prayer that each of these fine **hack, cough, wheeze** gentlemen realize that they are not fit for public service and quickly resign from their seats.

  3. #3 AgnosticOracle
    March 29, 2007

    Didn’t the British try this with the whole “god save the [king|queen]” thing? Though I couldn’t find a link I recall there was a study that found that it didn’t work very well. The English monarchs lived shorter lives than average for English aristocracy.

  4. #4 J-Dog
    March 29, 2007

    Shouldn’t they be working on doing something a little bit more critical, like say Iraq? Maybe affordable healthcare for everyone? Instead of talking to their invisible friend?

  5. #5 Dr.Steve
    March 29, 2007

    Geezer, yes casting a spell against a rival’s spell is a fine strategy. But you may no realize that most spellcaster know enough to cast “anti-magic shell” prior to casting further spells.

    Your only hope is to have a higher level “dispel magic” to use against the shell but he still gets a saving throw and you might lose a turn.

  6. #6 G Barnett
    March 29, 2007

    And the craftiest spellcasters know to use indirection against their opponents. As just one example, that antimagic shell doesn’t do too much when the cliff wall above you (and outside the shell) just turned to mud, causing the entire cliffside to crash down on your head.

    *Sigh.* I think a few of us here have played WAAAYY too much D&D throughout our years.

    Or still do.

  7. #7 Joshua
    March 29, 2007

    “Pray, or God will lift his caring hand from the great nation.”

    Is that a threat? DHS should investigate this “God” person. The United States of America does not negotiate with terrorists!

  8. #8 SMC
    March 29, 2007

    […]passing some legislation[…]

    Just wanted to point out this little spelling error. You seem to have mis-spelled “repealing”. :-)

    I’m disturbed at all these blasphemous people in Congress implying that the Being Supreme™ is fallible.

    Isn’t that what they’re saying? That He™ is not all-knowing? Otherwise, He™ would KNOW whether we deserved His “Caring Hand” or not, regardless of whether anybody bothered Him with prayers over it.

    The notion that the workings of Divine Providence rely on unsolicited testimony from a handful of legislators pretty much means we’re up the creek without a plunger no matter what, doesn’t it?…

  9. #9 Ross
    March 29, 2007

    Great. Now I’m imagining God, film-noir style.

    And He said unto them “Nice country youse gots here. It’d be a real shame if something… untoward… were to happen to it.”

  10. #10 Rance
    March 29, 2007

    Does Mr. Forges really believe that his all-mighty, all-knowing deity is going to alter his/her masterplan for the world if the congressman asks her/him “prety please”? Kinda reeks of arrogance, doesn’t it?

  11. #11 crf
    March 29, 2007

    I’m sure they’d welcome hindus and muslims and others into their prayer caucus.

    It has about the same utility as a squash club. It probably just helps its members feel better about themselves. That’s not a bad thing.

    Americans, and most congresspeople, including the religious ones, and ones in this caucus, know that prayer alone, if not prayer at all, is not going to solve problems.

    The fact that some real loony congresspeople who believe otherwise belong to this caucus shouldn’t reflect too much on the utility, purpose or ideas of caucus itself.

  12. #12 Joshua
    March 29, 2007

    God is Edward G. Robinson?

    I’ll buy it.

  13. #13 Ex-drone
    March 29, 2007

    We should tell the Congressional Prayer Caucus that they’re not trying hard enough and that they should go on a 24/7 prayer watch. Having them sidetracked until the next election would be like a divine gift to the country.

  14. #14 richCares
    March 29, 2007

    In the 1800’s, in Mexico, a little village was suffering, they had no rain for months, most crops had died. Every morning, the minister rounded up all the villagers and they prayed for rain, very day they prayed for rain. Finally, a jesuit priest was sent to this village. The priest rounded up all the villagers and gave them assignments. By the end of the month, they found 3 sources of ground water. They dug a well in the most likely one and water came gushing out. The priest turned to the minister and said “…you don’t have to be stupid to be a good christian”

  15. #15 The Ridger
    March 29, 2007

    As Ambrose Bierce said:

    PRAY, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

  16. #16 stewart
    March 29, 2007

    Mike, you might be interested in this. There’s a brief article upon Medscape yesterday about studies of intercessory prayer on health. The author makes the point that any effects are trivial to none, and points out, basically, that daring God to reveal himself at the .05 level while stating that the universe was created at his whim is merely stupid special pleading, (and bad theology as well – when did cargo cults stop being an insult and start being a political force?).
    Wait for the angry letters in response.

  17. #17 Chromosome Crawl
    April 3, 2007

    I was so hoping that this was an April Fool’s day joke, but alas, no. Perhaps that should be: Alas, NOOOOOOOOO!

  18. #18 bitkisel ürünler
    May 12, 2009

    The notion that the workings of Divine Providence rely on unsolicited testimony from a handful of legislators pretty much means we’re up the creek without a plunger no matter what, doesn’t it?

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