So, I was listening to NPR today this morning in our early-morning-nursing ritual (will that warp little minds?) and as has been traditional for the past twenty-one months, a good portion of it was political. And there were a ton of soundbites of different voters from different regions of the country. Determination, exhiliaration, consternation, all sorts of different emotions from these different voters. What they were doing to get out the vote, change the vote, support the vote.
And there was one group of voters from--well, I guess the where isn't all that important, which is good because asking me to remember details from pre-dawn nursing ether is a worthless task--from somewhere who said that they were praying, their minister told them to pray, that prayer was the only thing that worked, and what they were praying was, "Dear Lord, save our nation and make John McCain the next president."
Leaving off my own beliefs on who the next president should be and my own beliefs of prayer, what struck me was the twist of logic that prayer denotes. Shouldn't prayer leave the method of salvation up to God? What if the best thing for the nation isn't John McCain? Is it just my--let's not say agnosticism, because my spirituality is something not-quite-agnostic--my lack of churchy-going-ness that makes me ignorant of how prayer works? Isn't it arrogant to assume that the prayer-maker needs to tell God how to save the nation? Is that how God works?
And if you're so sure that God listens to you, how can you be sure that what He's granting is to save the nation? Maybe He's doing it to teach a lesson, or to let our nation's downfall save the world. Or something. I'm certainly no god, and couldn't understand the workings of one who is. What human being could understand the workings of the infinite? Or deign to tell one how to acheive Their goals?
If you believe in God and the power of prayer, of course. If you don't, then it's all the power of man. And the power of man is built on each vote. So vote your conscience, and either way it works: the power of man prevails, and let God's will fall as it may. But don't preach of salvation and tell me how to get there. You can't have both sides.