God Blew it Again on National TV! Maybe He's on Strike, Right?

In light of my previous discussion about unanswered prayer, this is precious! Again God Blew it on National TV!
Just before the Senate vote on the first of three procedural motions to move its health care reform bill toward final passage, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appeared to urge Americans to pray that a member of the majority caucus would not show up to vote, thus leaving the Democrats one vote shy of breaking the GOP filibuster:
COBURN: What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight. That’s what they ought to pray.
As it turned out however, all 100 U.S. senators voted on the measure, which passed on a party-line 60-40 vote. This morning, the Senate health care reform bill jumped the second procedural hurdle, with all 60 senators in the Democratic caucus voting to pass the measure. However, only 39 Republicans voted against passage. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) was the Republican who missed the vote.

On C-Span this morning, a caller wondered if perhaps Coburn’s prayer request had “backfire[ed]” against his own party:
CALLER: Yeah doctor. Our small tea bag group here in Whitecross (sp), we got our vigil together and took Dr. Coburn’s instructions and prayed real hard that Sen. Byrd would either die or couldn’t show up at the vote the other night. 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?
While Barrasso didn’t answer the question directly, he said he didn’t know why Inhofe missed the vote. Both Coburn and Inhofe’s offices did not respond to inquiries from ThinkProgress for comment. Watch it:



When Coburn asked Americans to pray that a Senator miss these crucial health care votes, he never specified Republican or Democrat.

Hilarious, absolutely hilarious! Christian, is God that impotent, or does he just not care? How many excuses will you make for God when he doesn't lift a finger to help?

7 comments:

John said...

Was that caller a prank of some sort? The guy was CRYING!

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Hey, maybe it's just that God wants healthcare for Americans. You know, all that stuff in the Bible about helping the poor, and caring for the "fatherless and widows", all those stories about Jesus and the apostles healing the sick, the reminders to "remember the poor", just in case the churches had forgotten. Maybe -- just maybe -- God is just not into this "I got mine" mentality.

(/snark)

Rob R said...

The situation of american politics is so convoluted and complicated, this is a far worse test case than the million dollar survivor context.

John, God doesn't answer (at least affirmatively) one prayer to thwart our political process for one moral issue (abortion), and this is supposed to be a challenge for the faithful in the church who's natural state is actually under much greater political and national tyranny and evil than we are used to? Ever hear of Rome? Don't you think Christians prayed against that evil? And yet the oppression of christians did not let up about 4 centuries.

Israel prayed and pleaded with God to lift the foot of the Roman oppressors, and what did God do? He put his own neck right under the boot and allowed it to be crushed. The temporary triumph of evil is only a road bump to it's ultimate failure and the victory of God which has been modeled for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus.


I don't deny the importance of praying for these sorts of things, but to pray as Jesus taught us is to pray for God's kingdom to come, and it will not come because of how America makes it's laws. It will not be hindered one way or the other. If you want our faith to be this shallow to depend upon what congress does, why should we not question that your own faith was so shallow and short sighted?

John said...

Rob R: What is the point of prayer, exactly, especially the petitionary kind?

Do prayers change God's mind, as if He's sitting back watching all hell break out and only finally decides to intervene when enough people complain or ask Him to help? Why does He need to be asked in the first place? Doesn't He know what the need is?

I know this is difficult to accept, but the net effect of prayer is ... nothing.

Do you have kids? Do you wait for them to be half-starved and begging for food before you give it to them? Yet, this is exactly what the image of God is among many Christians, and they still accept this.

- John N

Rob R said...

Do prayers change God's mind, as if He's sitting back watching all hell break out and only finally decides to intervene when enough people complain or ask Him to help?

Yes, they do change God's mind. that certainly isn't to say that God is sitting back until we change his mind.

Ex 32 gives an example of petitionary prayer in action, of Moses changing God's mind in order to have mercy on his people who had just made the golden calf by appealing to God's purposes. Of course the course that God had informed Moses of was in consistency with his purposes and he could've answered Moses' arguments, but Moses petition still had God's plans at heart. Opposing the the healthcare plan, while there are several things about it that may be offensive is still not a request that goes to the heart of God's intentions for this world nor his current method of acting in the world.

Why does He need to be asked in the first place? Doesn't He know what the need is?

Prayer is the need. Relating to God is the need and focussing our attention on him. We live in a broken world, in the context of redemption for our broken souls, a context where opportunities to depend upon God even desperately have arisen and prayer is part of the outworking of that dependence.

I know this is difficult to accept, but the net effect of prayer is ... nothing.

I know this is difficult to accept, but we finally live in a post modern world where we know that interpretation of even these things is not so clear cut as insisting that the general validity of prayer can be tested so easily.

You see a situation where prayer has been invalidated. I see a situation where a simplistic view of prayer is invalidated.


Do you have kids? Do you wait for them to be half-starved and begging for food before you give it to them? Yet, this is exactly what the image of God is among many Christians, and they still accept this.

This is an image. This is a metaphor. It reveals reality and yet it has limits to that revelation. We are not God's kids any more than we are runners in a race who are instructed to run with all our might or sojourniers carefully seeking and following the straight and narrow path, or potentially reluctant guests invited to a wedding banquet who'd be better off joining in with the outcasts who instead recieved the honor of attending.

If you think we've been promised to get our way in legislation, I'd say you have selectively read the new testament and have grossly missed much of the book that promised virtually the opposite, oppression, persecution and hardship, and paradoxically amidst that, joy.

America is actually the aberration when my Christian brothers and sisters suffer daily under communists, Muslim, and Hindu radicals. This is not a defeating circumstance of Christianity. This is it's normal habitat as it was from the beginning even as the scriptures were written.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Someone was asking what the purpose of petitionary prayer was - I think it serves the purpose of keeping an inner resolve and vision/goal alive during times of struggle.

I believe the parable that speaks about making petitions toward an uncaring judge is making a reference towards those who are praying for justice and it seems as though their prayers are taking a long time in being answered. Jesus was saying that God cares more about justice than those praying for it, but He also poses a question; "who will have faith when I return?" God's goal is save ppl from being victims but also victimizers. So faith is the higher call than justice. The faithful goal is about inviting ppl out of victim/victimizer roles into God's salvation.

Jonathan said...

@Rob R

Question #1 How did Moses change God’s heart? Moses ground the golden cafĂ© into powder and forced the Israelites to drink it. Afterwards Moses ordered the Levites to kill the calf worshipers and 3000 were slain.

Question #2 Can you give a example of petitionary prayer that is not in the bible but one that is in recent memory like in the last 10 years? If prayer does work than you could bring an example that isn’t over 3000 years old. I quite sure you can find something recent.

You said We are not God's kids any more than we are runners in a race who are instructed to run with all our might or sojourners carefully seeking and following the straight and narrow path,. If we are not God’s kids anymore then we don’t have to pray for anything, because we should have the wherewithal to figure it out for ourselves. Another thing how do you go from God’s kids --> runners in a race then too --> sojourners on a path where are you going with this? This whole paragraph is way too metaphorically than it needs to be.

You said “America is actually the aberration” Christian persecution? Huh? During the Age of European exploration didn’t the Christian nations force conversion on the native populations of their so-called colonies to Christianity? During the reformation didn’t Christians persecute other Christians? Didn’t Christians persecute the Jews living in Europe? Didn’t Christians persecute Hindus or Muslims during the British colonization of India, Asia, or the Middle East?
In the nameless countries were Muslim and Hindu radicals dwell do you think these countries have any kind of civil rights that offer the general population any protection?

Are you asking that the US should go into others countries and protect its native Christian populations?

Thanks