He Maketh Me To Lie Beneath The Still Waters

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 10:58 pm

Okay, okay, I’m sorry about the title. Honestly, I am. But this really got my thaumaturgical knickers in a twist.

I was listening to NPR on the way into work today (I spent the day putting out computer-related fires….almost literally) and caught a clip from the service at the National Cathedral that kicked off Bush’s “national day of prayer and remembrance” for those affected by the hurricane. The piece I heard was a prayer, offered up by Imam Yahya Hendi, a chaplain at Georgetown Unversity (I had to wait until I got home to get the facts about who was speaking and in what capacity). The prayer is reproduced below:

Almighty, Loving, and Merciful Creator!
We call upon your Glory to bless this nation and strengthen us with your
Give those suffering in the Aftermath of Katrina the courage to find hope
and healing. We ask for your blessings, God! On those children affected
by hunger, loss of loved ones and displacement from their homes. Give all
of our children the strength to hold true to their faith and experience the
loving kindness of our great country.
Let all the inhabitants of the America sing with joy Your praise
Let them recognize that you are the lord of all goodness.
May this service promote justice and equity and enable us to feed the
hungry, shelter the homeless and give voice to the voiceless.
May we bring the affected states back to joy and peace.
May we work together to tear down walls of separation, blame and fear
May we work side by side to put up bridges of hope and friendship!!
We ask this in Your Holy name, God!

I apologize in advance to my friends of faith, but I simply can’t get over the 5,000-pound elephant everyone in the chapel—not to mention the multitudes tuning in—was ignoring: according to your philosophy, you people are all sucking up to the very Person who engineered this tragedy to begin with!

“We ask for your blessings, God! On those children affected by hunger, loss of loved ones and displacement from their homes.” As a result of Your hurricane.

I realize I’m not thinking of this with the requisite level of sophistication. I’m not a total maroon; I understand the concept of faith in the face of adversity, of God’s joy in beholding His children taking strength from Him in spite of their tribulations, etc., etc.

I just can’t buy it. The only thing more astonishingly unlikely to me than the actual existence of God is the possibility that He both cares infinitely for us and allows this sort of horrible shit to happen. If I thought that God existed, I’d have to conclude that He either set us loose to live or die, prosper or perish, without a moment’s thought to the consequences, or else that He is a complete sociopath, tormenting us for reasons unknown.

*Sigh* Forget it. I’m not churning out yet another fulminating diatribe on the subject of, “If God exists why does He let bad things happen to good people?” The Blogosphere is doubtless already choked with them, and everyone either knows the answer (and knows they know it) or they don’t (and know they don’t….unless of course they don’t know that they don’t know the answer because they don’t know the question. You know?)

I’m not even sure why this particular public expression of faith sparked such anger in me, but it did. (Some of you—you know who you are—are doubtless thinking, “because you hate hearing the truth!” To which I say, maybe so; in an infinite universe anything is possible. But boy howdy, I sure doubt it.)

This bug is up my ass, not yours, I’ll deal with it. I just couldn’t let this event slip by without comment.

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