‘God, about that Florida recount ...’ The Rev. Pat Robertson was in the news last week for his “prayer offensive” against liberal Supreme Court members. In case you missed it, he asked all the viewers of the 700 Club television show to start praying, and keep praying for 21 days, that God find a way to get Justice John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsberg out of office. While he stopped short of saying God should strike them dead, he did point out to the Lord that Stevens and Ginsberg are very old and have had medical problems. He let the Lord read in between the lines. It kind of reminds me of Eric Cartman of South Park, who periodically prays for his foes to develop cancer and die. Besides being a homophobic, dried-up old hypocrite who spent his career living off begged money, Robertson is unleashing some powerful forces he may not want. It sets up a very interesting precedent. If God is going to start injecting himself directly into partisan politics, then it’s only a matter of time before the liberals get involved. I mean, if Robertson can pray for some liberals to die, then it seems natural that some people might start praying for conservatives to start dropping like flies. Me, I’m never going to pray for the death of an incompetent leader. I’m just going to start a prayer offensive of my own and see what happens. I would ask for all who read this to join me in this prayer for the next 22 days. So picture me as Pat Robertson. I’m sitting on a couch with my eyes closed, talking into the television camera with a smooth con-man voice. “Dear Lord, we thank You daily for the blessings You have brought us. In Your infinite and unfailing wisdom we rejoice. However, we feel You have made several key mistakes in the way You have operated politics in the past few years. “Your compassion is all-encompassing. However, we ask You to balance the federal budget and eliminate excessive tax subsidies for the rich. “Precious Lord, we ask You to please reconsider Your decision in Bush v. Gore, in which You used illogical reasoning to inject the federal courts into a state matter. Oh Lord, Satan controlled the voting process in 2000 and we pray for You to provide an accurate count of the vote this time around. “Is it not too much to ask, dear Lord, that we can see a miracle in the Supreme Court? If you can grant a long life to the liberal members, perhaps they can retire when a Democrat is president. You need only extend their lives to January 2005. “We pray for You also to give our leaders the wisdom to do their jobs honorably. Furthermore, we pray that Monica Lewinsky meets President Bush and gives this leader, as she did the last one, the contentment needed to restore prosperity, peace and happiness to our land. “Please, oh Lord, rescind the Patriot Act and return John Ashcroft to the fiery depths of hell from which he emerged. His Satanic policies are oppressing our people. “We pray for Thee to give opposing viewpoints equal time in the media. Dear Lord, You have chosen to turn over our radio airwaves to infidels and devil-worshipping conservatives. Please grant our prayers that Rush Limbaugh’s tongue turn to ash in his mouth and that Ann Coulter learn American history. “Dear Lord, You have cut student aid programs to the bone. Please restore affordable college tuition for all. You have also inexplicably allowed medical costs to exceed the rate of inflation. Please give insurance companies and doctors strength to reduce their prices and to allow all who are sick to receive aid. “While we’re at it, oh Lord, could you also give Trent Lott sickle cell disease? We know You have a sense of humor and can surely accommodate our request. Thank You.” Does that sound mean and venal? Sure. It’s horrible. But, for some reason, we’ve allowed conservatives to hijack religion and patriotism for their own uses. It was less than 40 years ago that it was different. Ministers and churchgoers were the driving forces behind the civil rights movement. Preachers railed against the war in Vietnam and for social justice. Martin Luther King regularly quoted the words of the Founding Fathers. In the past few years, however, conservatives have tried to paint themselves as the only true custodians of God’s word and of patriotism. They’ve tried to convince the rest of the country that liberals wear upside-down crosses and urinate on the flag. Just because we don’t want to rename everything after Ronald Reagan doesn’t mean we’re unpatriotic. Just because we don’t worship George Bush doesn’t mean we’re traitors. The argument could be made that it’s those who allow the government too much power — as we’ve done the past few years — are the ones betraying our country. So while I’m not actually calling on anyone to pray for Bush’s defeat, I do think it’s time we take our country back. Fly your American flag proudly, just as I do. Attend the church of your choice and call on your ministers to avoid claiming God belongs to any political party. And if you threw in a prayer for Pat Robertson to become a sodomite, well, that would just be good clean fun.