As the time for a vote on health care reform in the Senate approached, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) invoked divine intervention to stop at least one Democrat from voting. That, he said, was what the American people should pray for. I am not in the camp of those who believe that Sen. Coburn was actually calling for god to strike a Democrat dead before the vote, but even the mere invocation of a deity to, let's say, have a Democrat be stuck in the snow and not making the vote is pretty vile.
Frankly, if I thought that prayer worked, I'd pray for Doc Brown to be real, so he could invent a DeLorean that could take Sen. Byrd back to the time when Sen. Coburn was being conceived and perform an on-the-fly vasectomy on Tom Coburn's father, but that's just me.
In any case, Sen. Coburn's prayer unsurprisingly did not work, which leads me to posit the following possible explanations.
1) It was 1 a.m. Eastern and the god of Republicans was fast asleep.
2) God is not partisan and, as he heard Sen. Coburn plea, he stopped what he was doing and exclaimed "Me, what have I done?"
3) God? What god?
In the face of such religious derangement, one has to wonder when people will realize that electing religious freaks is not good for democracy. Oh, that we did have a religious test for office: if you would bring your petty, anthropomorphic god into the hallowed halls of Democracy, then you cannot enter those halls yourself.
This is not the first time that Tom Coburn or other assorted religious idiots have come up with the idea of praying that health care reform go down in flames. Just a few days ago, Rachel Maddow showed a video where a panel of preachers and politicians, including Senators DeMint and Brownback, both Republicans from the heartland, were praying that God stop health care reform. I admit that I know very little about prayer protocol, but it would seem to me that if your prayer is that god should validate your point of view (in this case the idea that health care reform by Democrats is evil and wrong and must be stopped) your idea of prayer and god is that you, not god, know better and that god should humbly oblige in validating your point.
If I believed in an all-knowing, all-powerful god, my prayer might go something like this: "Oh lord, I pray that in your infinite wisdom you guide your humble servants in the Senate to vote your will. We are ignorant as to what that would be, but you know best. So, Lord, infuse their spirits with the wisdom they need to make the right decision for the lives of the people they represent, according to your divine will. Blah, blah, blah. Amen."
One word of caution. When you watch the video below, you might actually be deceived by Pastor Engle's words and think that his prayer is in fact like the one I described. In reality, the dear pastor and the politicians in attendance were not looking for inspiration (for they had already decided how a good, god-fearing Republican should vote), they were staging a photo/video-op for self validation.
File under religious lunacy.