Praise the Lord... When He Deserves It

Bloggified by Jake on Sunday, August 12, 2007

Of all the things that get under my skin about religious fanatics, I think what annoys me most is the cyclical logic and ill definitions applied to prayer and God's will. Someone wants something so they pray. If they get it, God gets credit for answering the prayer. If they don't get it, God gets credit for not answering the prayer because in His wisdom He knew better.

The other day on "Larry King Live," Paula Deen told a story about prayer that took this ignorance to a level I've never before witnessed. She was telling about a bad time in her life, before she was thrust into the homes of Food Network viewers on an hourly basis with her alleged Southern charm.

I was coming home, Larry, and I turned to prayer. I said, "Lahwd, send me a neighbor." Because I thought then when I'm leaving in the morning or coming home at night, I could see this other person and maybe just have a conversation. That's what I wanted.

So that night, I went to bed and when I said my prayers I said, "And Lord, please bring me that neighbor."
At this point, you might assume a neighbor moved in shortly thereafter and inspired her to cook foods drenched in butter and get on TV where she could expose her functionally retarded sons to us all...
And I prayed that prayer, Larry... for three years.
Holy shit, Paula! Even my dog figures out when she's not getting a biscuit after about five minutes of begging. It seems a bit of a stretch to give credit to God for someone moving into a house that's been empty for three years... but that wasn't what she was doing. Of course, that dramatic pause perfectly set you up to learn who this ideal neighbor God was hand-crafting for you was... and, boy, are you gonna be disappointed.
And that's when I moved.
Fuckin' what?!?

How is God even involved in this story? Let's put aside whether God is great or God is good or whether we should thank him for Paula Deen's food. At best, God's involvement is incidental name dropping. It would like if I said:
I ate at this restaurant the other night where Tom Hanks ate. I looked at the menu and saw they had a half-sandwich and soup deal so I got that. The sandwich was okay. It had turkey and cheese, but I thought it would have bacon. I guess it was just turkey instead of a club. The soup was really tasty though. It was a chicken vegetable and it had baby corn, which you never see in vegetable soup! That was a nice surprise.

Man, Tom Hanks sure is a good actor.

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