Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sarah Dumb and Backwards Tee Hee

As pointed out by Nancy Mclaughlin over at The Front Pew (with a detectable snicker of disdain), we read at the San Francisco Chronicle, the words which were prayed over Sarah Palin by Kenyan Bishop Thomas Muthee in the pulpit of Palin's home church, the Wasilla Assembly of God Church,

"Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan," Muthee said as two attendants placed their hands on Palin's shoulders. "Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. ... Use her to turn this nation the other way around."

Tee hee, ha ha, isn't she so backwards and quaint.

I am no Pentecostal, but, Jesus certainly believed in a real Satan and real demons and prayed for his followers to be protected from them. So have Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians from their beginnings. If someone wants to pray over me for protection against their influence then I am all for it. 301 S Elm room 516...Maybe Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Congress, and Main Street could use some of those prayers too. No, they're all great. Isn't it obvious?

And if you have ever talked to folks that have come out of animist religious backgrounds, the presence of overruling and evil spirits is a extremely concrete part of their past experience. So maybe the good Bishop knows more about that stuff than you or I do.

"Make her way" is no different than what the Psalmists say and pray over and over, that God would make our paths straight or direct our steps.

And from our standpoint as Christians no matter what we do, whether we are campaigning or working at a bank or selling cars or teaching school or fund raising or praying we are to do everything "in the name of Jesus." Duh. So how is that news?

That he would want her to be used of God to help turn her nation around, well, our American culture is not really so envied all over the world in case you haven't noticed. And I would assume, if Obama is the Christian he says that he is, and I am not doubting it, that he has prayed for God's strength and enabling to help bring change to America.

And as the spiritual center of Christianity moves away from the Wonderful West to Africa and South America and parts of Asia, our brethren are praying for us and sending missionaries to us, because they see us caught up in greed and sex and drugs and war mongering and infanticide and general godlessness and they're not real cool with that. I hope they come over in waves.

Can you imagine the outrage if this were footage from a synagogue or mosque or wiccan service with the associated withering and disdainful commentary?


Sue said...

"...Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus..."

Joel, praying for wisdom, clarity, patience, health and hope are truly worthwhile (so are so many more things). But for money? In the name of Jesus?

I don't care about the language, customs, dress or hand motions; there are plenty of unusual ones to share. But praying for money? In Jesus' name?

I think that's where most of the "disdain," if what you interpreted was the intent, might have come from.

Joel said...


If being active politically and running for office is a worthwhile endeavor, which it is, and if to run for office one has to raise money, which one does, then one would obviously pray for success in the raising of money. I would expect that you would pray for business. If you would not then you must not think your business worthwhile or making a living worthwhile, and praying for business means, bottom line, praying for God to bring business your way, which means also money. There is nothing less noble about praying for money than there is praying for wisdom if one wishes to win an election. Both are required. If I were running for office I would pray every day that God would bring the money that is needed for me to get out my message and compete in the election.

The phrase "in Jesus' name" in my opinion, is grossly misunderstood by people who are not "on the inside" of the sub culture and lingo. Jesus commanded his followers to pray in his name, which means many things. To many this means saying the words "in Jesus' name" all the time. It's not necessary but it's not wrong. Christians are also commanded to do all things "in His name" which leads many people to say the words "in Jesus' name" all the time.

There is nothing untoward in praying for success in fund raising "in Jesus" name."

Anonymous said...

Hello Joe,

This is Alan Gantt. I know you back from our A.C. Flora High School days. I stumbled onto your photographic work for as I was looking at photographs of Columbia, South Carolina. I became aware of that site by one of its contributors from my church. I discovered that I could get a sense of many of the world's cities [Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Lagos, Accra, Kingston, Paris, etc.] from viewing member uploads which eventually led me to check out what I might find regarding Columbia.

I had heard that you were in the ministry, but I got the impression that you were more of an evangelical type preacher. This current blog states that you are "no Pentacostal". I have looked at most of your uploads and I finally decided to Google your name. That is what brought me to your blog page and get the confirmation that you are indeed a pastor. I never got a sense of any evil emanating from you so I think your profession fits you.

Politically, I see we differ. Although, I too want to see the country come together to deal with our problems I feel there is a greater chance for a successful outcome if we follow the Barack model. I have, actually, always liked McCain because I do find that he will tend to truly put the country first, at least more so than the typical Republican candidate. However, in seeing him run this campaign so far, he is starting to scare me. I find that I am in agreement with George Will that McCain does not have the temperament to be president. Also, there needs to be measures taken to seriously reform health care and the insurance industry. McCain does not see the urgency of doing anything but status quo plus some tax credits. . . way too little. McCain is also a little too militaristic. It seems he is always looking for a fight. There is already too much unnecessary suffering going on in the world already. Our defense budget already equals the defense budgets of the next largest twenty-five nations combined. We can't afford to put to keep putting $100 billion annually into Iraq, especially with the economic mess the current gang has brought us. And the idea that McCain, a 72 year old man, would put on his ticket a person who has shown no interest in world politics (among other things) is totally bewildering. There is a higher probability than normal that that person will have to take over as president during the next four years if McCain were to win this election. Doesn't that possibility freak you out.

Enough politicking. It's good to communicate with you after 34 years. I live in Silver Spring, MD and am a member of a new thought church [Unity of Washington, DC]. It is christian and Bible-based but interprets some of the events from the Bible in a metaphysical way. I still get to Columbia fairly often. I did get to my class' Twentieth reunion.

Enough for now. Take care

Joel said...

Alan, wow, how cool is this! I remember the very last time I saw you -it was after we had graduated and we were standing outside the old public library downtown.

We probably differ on less than it seems politically. I am just tired of all the ridicule and mocking of Sarah Palin. Really tired of it.

But I am pretty strongly pro life or anti pro abortion rights, so, that's a problem for me with the democrats.

Anyway, enough politicking. Great to hear from you. if people only knew how terribly unlikely it would have been thought that I would ever be a Christian or a pastor! Hah! Let's stay in touch.

My e-mail is

Anonymous said...

Great post, Joel.

Joe Guarino