A commentator working for the political arm of Focus on the Family thinks it would be cool for prayer-believin', right-thinkin', right-wingin' Christians to pray for some torrential, "network cameras can't see the podium rain" during Barack Obama's open-air acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention.
Yea, verily the Almighty will unto us giveth a sign, and it shall be wet.
ACTUALLY, with Stuart Shepard's video, the Almighty already hath given unto us a mighty sign: Focus on the Family has gone nuts. Loony. Goofy. 'Round the bend. Here are some details from the Colorado Springs Gazette:
Focus on the Family Action pulled a video from its Web site Monday that asked people to pray for "rain of biblical proportions" during Barack Obama's Aug. 28 appearance at Invesco Field in Denver to accept the Democratic nomination for president.WELL, I GUESS confusing people about prayer would be worse than the usual menu of confusing people about the Republicans' actual commitment to fostering "Culture of Life" social aims.
Stuart Shepard, director of digital media at Focus Action, the political arm of Focus on the Family, said the video he wrote and starred in was meant to be "mildly humorous."
But complaints from about a dozen Focus members convinced the organization to pull the video, said Tom Minnery, Focus Action vice president of public policy.
"If people took it seriously, we regret it," Minnery said Monday.
"Pray for Rain" was posted July 30 and blazed its way through the Internet, scoring 20,000 page views, Shepard said.
It was one of Shepard's weekly video commentaries that appear on www.citizenlink.org, Focus Action's Web site. The general timbre of Shepard's videos is tongue-in-cheek as he examines political issues from the conservative Christian viewpoint of Focus Action.
Most of "Pray for Rain," which lasted less than three minutes, showed a lighthearted Shepard at Invesco Field asking viewers to pray for "torrential" rain during Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention.
"I'm talking ‘umbrella-ain't-going-to-help-you rain,'" he said on the video.
The video's point, Shepard said, is that in his view Obama has not clearly stated his stances on abortion and gay marriage, important themes within the Christian right.
"I'm still pro life, and I'm still in favor of marriage as being between one man and one woman," Shepard said in the video. "And I would like the next president who will select justices for the next Supreme Court to agree."
As for his praying for a deluge: "It's called hyperbole," Shepard said Monday. "It is meant to be humorous."
Minnery said the video was taken down because several Focus members complained that prayer shouldn't be used to bring harm on someone else.
"We are not about confusing people about prayer," Minnery said.
Still, it's troubling that anyone at the organization -- or its political action group -- would approve such an audaciously stupid video. It also points out just how tone-deaf the evangelical politico-cultural machine has become . . . and how mindless.
Really, if the ancient Israelites had been this gobstopperingly stupid back in Old Testament times, Yahweh might have been forced to move up the Babylonian captivity by decades. Which brings up a funny thing about the Almighty and His often self-righteous posse -- a lot of the time, the Wrath o' God comes down a lot closer to home than "His people" were expecting.
Before I go, here's something I found on YouTube that struck me as just totally capturing that hysterical, "James Dobson jumps the shark" vibe Focus on the Family has been giving off for a few years now.