Pastor John Hagee, one of the looniest of all the TV megapreachers, was on Glenn Beck’s internet TV show recently and claimed that the reason the North won the Civil War was because Lincoln proclaimed a day of prayer and fasting — two years before the war ended.
The thing that brought the Civil War, in my mind, to an end, was that Abraham Lincoln called for a day of fasting and prayer for the whole nation… and it was approved by the Senate and there was a specific day that he called all of the people of America to pray…
The nation was ripped apart by hatred as brother fought brother and father fought son but, when this man, this godly man, this man whose speeches are laced with bible verses, got down and asked our nation to pray, suddenly, things began to happen that brought the Union together and Robert E. Lee had the grace to surrender a battle that couldn’t be won, and the Union was preserved.
That day of prayer was March 30, 1863. The Civil War ended in June, 1865, more than two years later. In fact, the war went on longer after the day of prayer than it had gone on before that day. And in between, Lincoln was assassinated. Your mythical deity has an odd way of answering prayers. In fact, the way he answers prayers is indistinguishable from the way a non-existent god would do so. Funny, that.
But that’s the thing about prayer. If anything bad happens, you need to pray — even if lots of people have already been praying. If anything good happens after that point, it obviously happened after the prayer. And if bad things keep happening, that just proves how much you need to pray. Or maybe God is teaching you a lesson that you have to discern. Any set of events and facts can easily be explained — or explained away, if necessary. It’s a mobius strip of irrationality.