Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.

The Little Old Lady and Her Prayer

My brother treated me to this e-mail today (11/25/11).

In church on Sunday, I overheard the little old lady in the pew next to me saying a short private prayer. It was so sweet and sincere that I just had to share it with you:

“Dear Lord,
These past couple of years has been tough....
You have taken my favorite Actor Patrick Swayze,
my favorite actress Elizabeth Taylor,
my favorite Cowboy James Arness,
my favorite athlete Bob Feller,
my favorite singer Lena Horne
and my favorite salesman Billy Mays.

I just wanted you to know that my favorite president is Barack Obama.”


It’s hard to tell what to make of this story. At the very least, joking about anybody’s death is in poor taste. It could be racist, as many who oppose Mr. Obama are racist.

The anecdote is muddled: If we take the fictional “little old lady” at her word, and she really is praying sweetly and sincerely, she kind of reverses herself at the end regarding the President of the United States – who, I should point out, was elected with larger margins than Bush in 2004 and Clinton in both of his elections.

Let’s look at what she’s really saying: if she’s truly sorry Swayze, Taylor, Arness, Feller, Horne and Mays are gone, she would not be sincere in painting a target on the back of Mr. Obama. (This ignores the point that God, being God, would already know who her favorite President is!) But if she truly intends to make Mr. Obama a target, then she is saying, in effect, that she wished for the deaths of Swayze, Taylor, Arness, Feller, Horne and Mays. And that makes her “sincere” prayer insincere because she is lying to God. How sweet!

This little anecdote also shows how sick and twisted opponents of the duly elected President have become: wishing him to lose the next election is one thing, but wishing him dead is just sick. And un-American. The author of this little story cannot be a Christian – at least as the mainstream media typically portray Christians. Perhaps the Secret Service plan to interview the author. They will acquaint her with how “funny” it is to threaten a President. I would never have told the same story about W.

Furthermore, like him or not, Mr. Obama is the President of the United States. Wanting him to fail (in general) is the same as wanting the US to fail. You can oppose individual policies, but blocking him at every turn and not letting him do what he was elected to do is wishing failure not just on the man but on the nation. Just saying no is not a policy. It is not leadership. And it is not good for the United States of America.

On the plus side, the story shows, once again, the futility of prayer!

PS: Her favorite actor was Patrick Swayze? Really?
PPS: The author wanted Joe Biden to be President, right?

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.

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“No kingdom has ever suffered as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ,” wrote Montesquieu. “I call piety a malady of the heart.”

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