On One Hand

August 26, 2008

Evangelicals Should be Careful What They Wish For

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:20 pm
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A Christian fundamentalist group is asking God to shower torrential rain to ruin Barack Obama’s outdoor acceptance speech in Denver this Thursday. Stuart Shepard, of Colorado Springs based Focus on the Family, is publicly praying that the rain start exactly two minutes before the speech starts and be intense enough to disrupt it with an “urban-and-small-stream flood-advisory,” he said in a video on YouTube.

But the official forecast for Denver expects Thursday to be the clearest day of the week, with less than ten percent cloud cover and a pleasant 75-degree air temperature at the time of the speech.

If they’re asking God to reveal his plan for America via weather, their answer is that the divine apparently wants Barack Obama to win the election. Especially if you consider what’s brewing in the Caribbean Sea: steadily growing Tropical Storm Gustav.

Gustav is currently expected to hit Louisiana as a category 3+ hurricane on the first day of the Republican convention next Monday.

The last thing Republicans need is for a hurricane to pound New Orleans during their convention, stealing news coverage and reminding Americans of Hurricane Katrina (which also made landfall as a category 3 storm), the disaster that marked the beginning of the end of the Bush Administration. But lets be decent human beings and hope that neither the torrential rain nor Gustav make a serious impact, and hope especially that the hurricane won’t cause loss of life and limb on the still-recovering Gulf Coast.

Praying for something so specific as rain starting two minutes before a speech is destined to cause a loss-of-faith among some believers when God fails to make good on the deal. Mind you they’re not just asking for a rainy or foggy day – which might actually happen the real world – they’re asking for something so precise as to provide bona fide proof of God’s hand in it. It’s easy to pray for vague things and get excited when they happen to come true, but asking for something so specific reeks of Putting Thy Lord to the Test. Let’s see here, I think I’m going to pray for a pink flower to emerge from thin air and fall into my open hands as proof of God’s existence and validation of my religious and political views. If I honestly beleive it will happen just-because-I-asked, what am I going to do when it, obviously, doesn’t happen?

And if you really have such precise control over God’s hand, why not pray for something like an end to poverty, or a cure for AIDS or cancer?

Here’s another blogger’s take on Shepards video: http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/would-it-be-so-wrong/

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