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One minute each night


So, I received a forwarded email today. It's one of those emails that I receive from a family member trying to save my soul. While I will admit from their perspective my soul may need saving, I will also admit that forwarding chain emails to me won't actually help. I'd be happy to talk to said family members and friends about religion, but, well, those conversations usually end poorly. It's a testament to the quality of my friends and family that continue to talk to me at all after those conversations.

Given that none of said people are here to discuss the email, here is the email with my thoughts interspersed.

It begins:

This is the scariest election we as Christians have ever faced, and from the looks of the polls, the Christians aren't voting Christian values. We all need to be on our knees.

Every election is the scariest election. This email has been going around at least four years, if not longer. The older a person becomes, the more disconnected from the previous generation she seems to become. Memories grow fuzzy, the hormones aren't raging, and the issues so important before you had a lifetime of experience are just plain different. Of course this is going to be the scariest election, the upcoming one always is because it is unknown: people find the unknown scary.

As for Christians not voting Christian values, they often don't. It's not a reflection on Christians per se, it's a reflection on the system.

And the knees line? Sounds like a call by a guy demanding a blow job from the next person.

Do you believe we can take God at His word? Call upon His name, then stand back and watch His wonders unfold. This scripture gives us, as Christians, ownership of this land and the ability to call upon God to heal it. I challenge you to do that. We have never been more desperate than now for God to heal our land.

The bible is written by men. While people claim this is the Word Of God, and therefore should be believed in full, it was still written by men, and therefore open to interpretation. It was also translated and copied many times over, often with omitted words and notes in the margins. There have been different books in the bible at different times, solidifying into the current format fewer than 500 years ago (and is actually not really solidified, there are different versions of the Christian bible). So, can you take God at His word? Probably, if you knew what it was. Can you take men at their word? Maybe, if you understand their motivations.

What I find interesting in the next line is the thought that an omniscient deity would bother to pay any attention to a bunch of lesser beings. To ants, we're probably god-like, yet don't really pay much attention to their calls. Bees or other insects are probably the same. "But, but, they aren't conscious! They don't think!" is a typical response to the analogy, which always makes me wonder how people would know this. I mean, have they actually communicated with anything such that they would know? Some people say animals aren't self-aware, don't think - I'm pretty sure they aren't farmers or pet owners.

Anyway, call upon His name, see him do stuff. Impressive that a human can command a god. Kinda makes me wonder about the definition of god and said human's place in the structure of his world.

The world that exists now is the result of human actions. If the author of the email thinks, "we have never been more desperate than now for God to heal our land," I'd probably suggest he head out and actually do something more than just send out emails.

This election is the scariest I remember in my lifetime. 2 Chronicles 7:14. 'If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.'

Last time I checked, the United States is not "the land of God." Pretty sure that's some place else, but okay, yeah, whatever.

During WWII, there was an advisor [sic] to Churchill, who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute, to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect, as bombing stopped.

The last line of this section makes me laugh when I read it. It wants the reader to infer that the bombing of London stopped because a group of people prayed for a minute every evening. It wants the reader to believe in a direct causation: you pray, bombs stop.

It wasn't the praying that stopped the bombs. It was men fighting men with guns and more bombs, it was the starvation of an army, it was the politics and strategy and effort of men that stopped the freaking bombs. It wasn't the praying.

Give me hands that do, over mouths that pray, any day.

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America.


The United States of America, and our citizens, need prayer more than ever!!!

Three exclamation points! It must be true!

What the United States of America needs more than ever is education in science and math. What the United States of America needs more than ever is an end to the victim mentality that pervades every part of its society. What the United States of America needs more than ever is the end of the overwhelming sense of entitlement. What the United States of America needs more than ever is people who believe in the good of people, in cooperation, rather than the us-versus-them winner-takes-all take-no-prisoners mob mentality of the non-thinking masses.

What it really doesn't need more than ever is more praying, it needs more doing: fewer words, more action.

If you would like to participate, each evening at 9:00 P.M. Eastern Time, stop whatever you're doing, and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, for peace in the world, the upcoming election, that the Bible will remain the basis for the laws governing our land, and that Christianity will grow in the U.S.

Fuck no.

History lesson for anyone who missed it in his high school civics class: the Constitution is the basis for laws governing our land. If you didn't figure that out, maybe you should go read it, it's the one that grants you religious freedom, a freedom that too many fundamentalist Christians want to take away from non-Christians. Here, let me quote the First Amendment to those forgot the Constitution was the basis for laws governing our land:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Hey, there you go. THE CONSTITUTION.

The author of the email really should memorize it, as IT is the basis for the laws governing our land.

If you know anyone who would like to participate, please pass this along. Someone said if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.

If prayers are the most powerful asset we have, we are in deep shit.

Prayers don't build roads or buildings. Prayers don't fix the plumbing. Prayers don't plant trees or raise children. Prayers don't *DO* anything other than, when done properly, move the speaker into a meditative state (which can be powerful, sure, but your hands, and sight, and brains are each a far far far more powerful asset than a prayer is).

Thank you.

You're welcome.

Please pass this on to anyone who you think will want to join us.


Which is to say, I didn't forward it to anyone.


People who do not call upon God, who never feel the presence of God cannot be expected to understand the power of prayer. People who do not accept the the Bible as the Inspired Word of God and choose to believe only that a bunch of men just wrote a book cannot be expected to understand the true nature of the Almighty God. Even after Moses went to the top of a mountain and received the Ten Commandments etched into the stones by the Hand of God Himself, there are those who still choose to believe God had no part in writing the Bible. We choose to believe and do what we wish. As Christians who have felt the mighty presence and peace, and overwhelming joy of the Almighty God within our souls understand the need to prayer for our nation. We understand the importance of reading God's Word. We understand something that the world cannot understand and we are not ashamed. Christian family members will always pray for their unsaved loved ones because we love you!

If you really think the 10C were etched into stone by the hand of God™ you are an idiot.

WHICH is part of the problem.

Maybe instead of that, Christians actually followed the teachings of their Messiah, or, heaven forbid, actually the 10C, the world would be a better place.

I have family members who keep forwarding these stupid emails to me all the time too. I wish they would at least put some thought into something before just forwarding mindlessly to everyone in their address book! I'm also fed up with the small but relentlessly loud subgroup of people who call themselves Christians who are determined that their beliefs should rule everyone's lives.

As a United Methodist pastor, I have to pretty much agree with everything you say, but would add this: the emailer is scared and wants me to be scared, too. That is not a Christian trait. I refuse to be afraid. I choose to live by faith.

... because your response is the best I've heard. I like the idea of using knowledge to combat fear, and appreciate the observation of the emailing being scared and wanting to perpetuate that mentality.

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