I just watched Michelle Obama give a really great speech at the DNC. I hope all the PUMAs (“Party Unity, My Ass” aka Hillary Clinton supporters) were listening closely. If they can’t support this woman and her family, they’re pretty hopeless (no pun intended).
I happened to be watching on CSPAN, which provides refreshing relief from pundits telling me what I just heard for myself and am perfectly capable of understanding. I was basking in all that warm, fuzzy glow the evening had generated and then — pow. Some preacher came on to deliver a very Christian “benediction” that included a lot of distinctly political requests.
Talk about jarring. I was stunned, considering all the talk about unifying Democrats and the country. I can’t think of a faster way to slam the door on any non-Christians who, until the prayer started, might have been feeling a part of it all. I also found it distasteful that so much of the prayer was for the granting of specifically Democratic goals. That was my impression, at least.
I’m going to guess the commercial networks cut away before the prayer started. I’m also going to guess I won’t be able to find video or text of the prayer to confirm what was said. But hearing it left me cold. Ours is a predominantly Christian nation, but public prayer has always made me intensely uncomfortable. Maybe this was another opportunity to remind voters that Obama is not a Muslim, but I’ve always found prayer at public gatherings to be, at the very least, presumptuous.
Note: Found it. Donald Miller’s closing prayer. He called it a benediction.
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.
Help us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world?
A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world?
Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
Lastly, father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.
God we know that you are good.
Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.
I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Let Him be our example.
Okay, I had to google Donald Miller (glad I have a computer in my cave). Seems he’s a best-selling evangelical author. I rest my case about Obama trying overly hard to show he’s a Christian.
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