the Strangers Who Were Taken In: An Alternative Day of Prayer
there was ever a time to pray for America, it is now — or
more specifically, this Friday, September 16th.
the day President George W. Bush christened “A
National Day of Prayer and Remembrance” for the victims
of Hurricane Katrina.
recognition of hurricane relief efforts, Bush declared “Across
our Nation, so many selfless deeds reflect the promise of the
Scripture: ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was
thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took
I say unto you, it is true. In the past, many of us were "taken
in" by Bush's faux religiosity — taken in by a man
who promised a smaller-kinder-gentler government and then built
a humongous-warmongering-crony-rewarding bureaucracy.
a man of no particular religion, I don’t want to appear
ungrateful for an opportunity to pray day. When you're in the
mood, there's nothing like a good prayer. But Bush should note
that many of us prayed for the Gulf Coast States in unorganized
ways long before Friday, September 16. In fact, we prayed while
the man they call "President" was on
guitar and going to birthday
our unsanctioned prayer wasn’t quite good enough. The water
still rose. A city was still decimated. People still died. What
Mayton, head of marketing and communications for the National
Day of Prayer Task Force, thinks he has the answer. Mayton
is God's man with a plan for this Friday’s Presidential
encouraging people to do things like ring their church bells,
keep their car lights on throughout the day, display the flag
at their home, gather at their workplace to pray during their
lunch time, gather at their churches or places of worship and
support our leaders as they make some very difficult choices
as we provide aid and comfort to these people who have gone through
this awful natural disaster,” Mayton said.
If I'd only rang a bell and turn my headlights on, things might
not have gotten so damp in NOLA.
I have my doubts about the success of Mayton's marketing plan.
Doesn't he know about Matthew 6:6. You know, the bit about praying
with humility. “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet.” Pardon
the scripture. I’m always a little wary quoting Jesus to
a Bible-thumping Christian, since I don’t believe in corporal
resurrection, virgin birth, or intelligent design.
do, however, believe that there is power in prayer. It may not
be strong enough to prevent a catastrophe like George W. Bush
from taking public office, but it can certainly manifest itself
as an expression of passionate communal desire. And so, for the
millions like me who were unable to make the flood waters disappear
and who don’t believe the carrot on the end of the stick
is heaven, or Jesus is Magic, or you’re either with us
or against us, I would like to propose an alternative prayer
for the President’s “National Day of Prayer and Remembrance.”
you join with me and millions of others in a prayer to remove
George W. Bush from office?
believe if we pray with resolve and solemnly seek grace, our
prayer will be heard and relief will be at hand.
Dwight Eisenhower once said, “In the councils of government,
we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,
whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
even Ike could not have foreseen how our great nation would
be crippled — both economically and spiritually — by
Bush and his Council of War and Greed. I’m speaking of
Raytheon, Halliburton, Bechtel and their brethren in the Denomination
of the Dollar.
Bush as their front man, these evildoers steal from our treasury
to finance their military crusades.
lie to the American people to justify unprovoked attacks on
anyone who threatens their profits.
cast aside peace and environmental treaties.
seek tax breaks for the rich while the hungry want for food;
the thirsty want for drink; the homeless want for shelter.
though we walk through the valley of the Bush Administration,
we fear no evil, for a higher tribunal exists. Now is the time
to cry out for redress of our grievances. We pray for a President
who espouses not the doctrine of the Carlyle Group, but the
will of the people. We pray for a President who loves us, as
he loves himself.
is a long journey ahead. But let us rejoice. When our time comes,
the almighty boot from on high will swiftly kick the hindends
of those who blindly worship the raw ideology of materialism
and shop for shoes on 5th Avenue while their charge is drowning,
country deserves better. Our world deserves better. As lovers
of liberty and equality, we bow our heads in prayer.
protect us from your followers.
let it be. Amen.
Callahan, September 15, 2005