The prayers of a smart aleck are answered
May 02, 2002
Ordinarily, I wouldn't bother You, but today is the National Day of Prayer, and according to a proclamation by President Bush, all Americans are encouraged to "remember the words of St. Paul" and "by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." So, here goes.
First, I would humbly request that You strike mute any head of state who invokes Your name.
If there's anything we should have learned from Sept. 11, it's that when humans want to justify the most wicked and deadly acts, they invoke the name of God. This isn't limited to terrorists flying planes into buildings. Look at the world. Of the many wars going on, it is almost impossible to find one in which the combatants don't claim to have God on their side.
The Israelis say You're with them. But so do the Palestinians. Heads of state all over the world justify all form of unholy actions by announcing that You are with them.
I don't want You to hurt any of these people, just shut them up.
And while You're at it, I wonder if You could put a cork in a local politician or two. I'm sure You have many, many requests along this line.
I've alternately heard You listed as a registered Democrat and as a Republican, although Independent seems much more likely.
Just about every politician I've seen at a public event brings up Your name, sometimes even when they are talking about the need to separate church and state. Our governor recently signed a prayer day proclamation mimicking the president's. It's ironic that she'd invoke Your name when many say she doesn't have a prayer of resurrecting the state from the billion-dollar budget hole we're in.
Then there are the bigwigs in organized religion. It's their business to speak to You and about You. But perhaps You could muzzle clerics on one side of the world when they use Your name to whip their followers into a homicidal frenzy, and quiet down clerics on the other side try who try to use You as cover for horrors like sexual abuse within their institution.
Then there are the actors and musicians, particularly those appearing on TV award shows. I ask You in the name of President Bush and St. Paul to strike mute any multimillion-dollar Hollywood prima donna who seems to believe You took the time out of Your busy schedule to rig "the academy's" vote in his or her favor.
I have watched some of these award shows and can't help but believe You have better taste than that.
And of course there are the athletes. Near as I can tell from post-game locker-room interviews, You are a fan of all major sports on all levels and have had a direct hand in making field goals, sinking free throws and driving home the winning run.
Athletes, like the rest of us, have every right to ask You for a little help now and then. But even the biggest sports fans among us would be grateful if You'd stuff a sock in the mouth of the next ballplayer claiming that You are his No. 1 fan.
Finally, there are the holier-than-thou representatives of the media. It is one thing to invoke Your name, but some journalists act like they are You. No one is worse at this than TV news personalities and the smug, self-righteous, sanctimonious newspaper scribblers.
Even You may not have enough time to silence them all, but You'd be performing a great service if You took a moment to stifle one or two of the biggest smart mouths and did so as soon as poss . . .
"As every one knows, there are mistakes in the Bible" - The Watchtower, April 15, 1928, p. 126
Believe in yourself, not mythology.