What’s the difference between Christian prayer and voodoo? I suppose it depends on which one you think is exotic and weird and which one you hear about every day.
This Gawker article tipped me off to a bizarre political/religious episode in the US involving Republican senator Tom Coburn asking people to pray for the death of Democratic senator Robert Byrd. Yesterday, a seemingly crazed person called CSPAN in a panic because despite his prayers, it was a Republican senator who went missing (Tom Inhofe).
How hard did you pray because I see one of our members was missing this morning. Did it backfire on us? One of our members died? How hard did you pray senator? Did you pray hard enough?
Here’s the video:
About Coburn’s appeal, Gawker writes, “This is not prayer. It’s black magic. And people who believe in magic are, at the risk of generalizing, generally idiots.”
Er, but how is this not prayer, exactly? Prayer, as I know it, is an appeal to a supernatural being asking it to intervene in the world. Is it because the prayer is a hope for death? People (including Christians) have been praying to their gods for death for ages. Sorry, but you can’t just gather up all the ugly realities of the religion you’re comfortable with and assign them to someone else’s religion or superstition.