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Friday, September 16, 2005
A Special Prayer on our 'National Day of Prayer'

I am without a car today - mine is in the shop for routine-type stuff.  As such, I'm working from my home office.  I have CNN on in the background as I go through a host of tedious paperwork-type work items  that I'm slogging through.

Then CNN turned its cameras to live coverage of the 'National Day of Prayer' to pray for the victims of the Katrina disaster.

I have no problem with prayer.  I'm Christian.  I don't practice my Christianity in a church.  If other people like the cameraderie of fellowship and like to pray in churches, I have no problem with it.  I think that being Christian is like being anything else - being female - being hispanic - being black - being a Muslim - etc.  There will always be a certain component of a given community who are inherently bad.  Christianity is not exempted from that truism.  I hope, then, that I'm counted as a not-bad Christian.

I have more of a problem with a 'National Day of Prayer' for the victims of the Katrina disaster.  Even if you ascribe the best of intentions to the declaration, it's an extremely presumptive designation.  It assumes that everyone prays - they don't.  It assumes further to tell people that everyone should be praying, that that is the approrpiate way to honor the lives lost from Katrina.  Many people are serving the victims of Katrina in ways other than prayer.  They're volunteering.  They're giving money.  They're writing a diary about a victim or a story they heard.

Where I have a HUGE problem is with the declaration of this day of prayer coming from the President of the United States.  He did a fancy, formal proclamation to officially recognize today.  I can't begin to list on how many levels I find it wrong that this man presumes to inform us that an appropriate way to honor the victims of Katrina is to have a day of prayer because he says so.  My physical reaction to that is visceral and deeply resentful.

So, I came up with my OWN prayer that I would have wanted to read on behalf of the victims who died in the aftermath of Katrina.  It is styled after the 23rd Psalm:

If Bush is my Shepherd, then all is lost.
He maketh me to lie down in putrid water:
He leadeth me beside the dead bodies.
He breaketh my faith.
He leadeth me only to seek profits, for his name's sake.

Yea, though I cry for mercy in the shadow of death,
I will find no help. For Bush leadeth me.
His indifference and disdain confronts me.
He preparest a table before those who give him money;
And annoistest the chosen with contracts; while my life runneth out.

Surely the goodness and mercy of God will haunt him all the days of his life,
For I, unjustly dying, WILL dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Prayers are personal and that one is mine.  I admit more than a small amount of spiritual trepidation at even posting such a knock-off of what has always been a beautiful Psalm... But I think the Presidential proclamation is a far greater affront and warrants that fervent prayer from me.

posted by RenaRF at 3:00 PM 7 comments links to this post


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll ask my wiccian friend to say a prayer for you!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Orikinla Osinachi. said...

We only pray for the survival of the living.
The dead do not need our prayers.

Only fools pray for the dead.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you. Prayer should be a personal thing and good Christians should know this. Jesus himself said pray in your closet, not in the temples or in public. Besides that, our nation is founded on the principle of freedom of religion which includes the concept of freedom FROM religion. If Bush wants a theocracy, he should bring back the Taliban and go live in Afghanistan.

10:11 AM  
Blogger niteskolar said...

Matthew 6:5-6

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

My spiritual life is personal. Everyone around me knows that I am Christian, constantly seeking to grow closer to Christ's perfection and they benefit from my spiritual perspective. And yet, I have no need to make it the spectacle it has become in politics today. Disgusting.

6:45 PM  
Blogger RenaRF said...

Thanks so much for that. I think it's crucial to remember in these times.

What bothers me most about people shoving religion down other people's throat is that some people will be turned away from faith as a result. It's too sad.

6:53 PM  
Blogger thordora said...

that really bothered me too, but I could not articluate it in a way that didn't sound wrong...

12:20 PM  
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12:05 AM  

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