A post from AlterNet last year asks, “Is prayer selfish?” I think so, depending on what you’re praying for — most people pray to get things, or have have certain things happen (or not happen) to themselves. If this is the Supreme Being you’re praying to, why wouldn’t you make your prayers more about the welfare of others and less about your own self-interest? This is assuming your prayer is heard by anything, much less answered. And I have to question what kind of supreme being would divert a hurricane away from a political convention and towards a populated area where it can kill innocent people. But that’s kinda beside the point, I suppose…
Fall is prayer season. Some folks think of it as football season, and indeed, images of football players circled with heads bowed or pointing to the big guy in the sky are almost as familiar lately as birds flying south. But the real season kickoff this year was the Republican convention, where the fervent supplications of evangelicals and Pentecostals miraculously diverted Hurricane Isaac, so that the party could go on. Praise the Lord, Tampa was spared, and the death and destruction that might have befallen people who live there…befell somebody else.
Should the families of those who died in Louisiana and Mississippi sue the Republican prayer warriors for not being a little more specific? Couldn’t they have gotten the hurricane to touch down somewhere remote, where the only homes destroyed would be those of, say, birds and non-pet, non-farm and most importantly non-human mammals?