Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Prayer assaults: Attack of the self-righteous!

Why do fundamentalist christians pray for bad things to happen to those who don't share their religious beliefs? And when events such as tornados or plane crashes occur, these zealots will proclaim that it's a sign from God.
In Canada, claims were made that the potential closing of abortion clinics in Montréal was an answer to prayer assaults but it turned to be a false alarm - or perhaps a false prophet, it's challenging to keep track of all the christian rightwingnuttery at times.

As JJ blogged here, in the USA, "all manner of nutjobs can and do run for office on whacky platforms". And once voted into office by the gawd-fearing, they do what they threatened to do; become a festering sore in the side of a public or governmental institution impeded in its work by the sordid scandals or Rovian tactics of aforementioned elected officials.

Such an event, replete with the MASSIVE theatrics demanded by the rightwingnutters was held last week in Minnesota.

On Wednesday Rep. Michele Bachmann was part of a star-studded “teletownhall” meeting to discuss health-care reform. The event, billed “Keeping Faith with the Unborn,” was sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion advocacy group. The organization’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, claimed that there were some 350,000 listeners on the line. Bachmann was joined by North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx, most famous for calling Matthew Shepard’s murder a “hoax” and former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave

... Bachmann repeated the myth, adopted early by Sarah Palin, that the health-care plans being debated in Congress would set up “death panels” to determine which old folks are entitled to health care. “Thank God that Sarah Palin said that,” she told the callers. “These are true.” In response to a caller from Minnesota who wanted to know if there was a plan afoot in Washington to require all medical doctors to perform abortions, Bachmann didn’t exactly shoot the suggestion down.

“Unless we explicitly restrict these items, I think we can fully expect that these radical pro-abortion individuals could very likely make those decisions,” she told the caller. “All of us who have labored tirelessly in the pro-life cause for years and years and years, we know what these people are capable of.”

But it was Bachmann’s fervent call to utilize prayer and fasting to beat back health-care reform efforts that was the true highlight of the call. “That’s really where this battle will be won — on our knees in prayer and fasting,” she told the

Meanwhile, over in Minneapolis, some nutjob claimed that God sent a tornado to disrupt the Evangelical Lutheran Church convention because ungawdly things were happening. Some non-fundamentalist, non-zealot religious folks held a different view. least one pastor disagrees with the idea that God sent the tornado. Marty Duren, a Southern Baptist pastor in Georgia, took issue with Piper’s conclusion.

"I have no trouble at all ascribing responsibility for the storm to God (even insurance companies did so for decades, though some now opt to term them "natural disasters"). I’m simply demonstrating the danger and seriousness with which those who claim in some capacity to speak for God, better be sure when assigning motives to Him. These types of attributions (including the wild claims of Pat Robertson over the years) open the doors for skeptics to point out the rightful contradictions in the way that we interpret events (”If a tornado bloweth upon the Lutherans, it is God; but, if a tree falleth on our house, it is an attack of Satan”). This inconsistency is a greater tool of the Evil One than any believer would care to admit.

Despite the weather, the social statement relaxing church teaching on homosexuality passed by exactly one vote. Two days later, under a sunny sky, the ELCA approved a measure to allow gay and lesbian clergy in committed relationships to serve the church.

As JJ warns: Incoming!!! We know what these people are capable of - indeed.

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