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Nov 21 2012

Dobson and Nance: God Said No

As I discussed many times prior to the election, there were a whole bunch of prayer rallies, most of them lasting 40 days, to beg God to release the country from the grip of Obama’s tyrannical reign. And yet none of them worked; Obama won anyway. James Dobson and Penny Nance say God did answer prayer, he just said no.

Dobson: Many, many, many Christians were praying and we really need to address that issue first: where was God? Because there were these ’40 Days of Prayer,’ there were several of those that took place, where people fasted and prayed for forty days asking the Lord for His intervention on Election Day. We did a program last week where my wife Shirley came in with her vice-chairman John Bornschein and told how three hundred Gideon prayer warriors came to Washington, went to every single office of the House of Representatives and the Senate and prayed for the occupant, prayed for our representatives, went to the White House, went in a vigil to the Supreme Court, which is now at great risk, and went to the Pentagon. People like that were praying all over this country and the Lord said no.

Nance: He said no.

But didn’t Jesus say that whenever two or more ask something of him, it will be done? Yep, he did. But he apparently didn’t mean it. And how was God supposed to make this happen? Was he going to go all Svengali on people and forcibly change their mind? Whatever happened to free will? Fundamentalists simply cannot grasp or admit that the things they believe about prayer are completely incoherent and inconsistent. And they eliminate the cognitive dissonance this creates by inventing post hoc rationalizations of what it all means. Like this:

Dobson: Because we lost this election does not mean that the Lord has turned His back on us. I think this is a time of judgment but those of us who are trying to serve Him and defend the things that He has taught, may yet see Him act. He said no this time but who knows what will happen in the future. Nobody knows.

Nance: Nothing is too big for God. God can use this President just like He can anyone else, and He has throughout history used people who were not believers and were not followers of the Lord or followers of the God throughout the Bible to do his work, so we will pray to that end and trust the Lord knows what He’s doing, but I’m already looking ahead to 2014.

Yes, you’ll keep praying. And it will change nothing, but no matter what the outcome you will simply invent another post hoc explanation for it. This is how the silly belief in the power of prayer is made invincible to rationality.

28 comments

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  1. 1
    Michael Heath

    One of the first viral videos I still recall was some guy on the Internet pointing out that praying to a jug of milk will result in the exact same set of responses praying to God will.

  2. 2
    Artor

    I can pray to a jug of milk for some sour cream and be pretty sure I’ll get my wish, in a few days at least. Therefore, a jug of milk is more powerful than God!

  3. 3
    brucecoppola

    “Nothing is too big for God”. Geez, what a great example of how infantile religion, especially fundy religion, is at bottom. That is precicely the kind of deep theological insight I used to have when I was, like, eight.

  4. 4
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Well, I asked the jug of milk for an Obama win. It was a pretty big jug, though.

  5. 5
    fifthdentist

    Actually, James and Nance, I just got my Almighty-to-English translator perfectly calibrated, and here’s what His awesome answer was to you guys: “Shut the fuck up you miserable, moronic, drooling fuck-nuggets who are ruining everything you touch — kind of like a reverse King Midas who turns everything to dogshit instead of gold — and whose incessant, whiny voices give me galaxy-size migraines. Also, just fuck off and kill yourselves immediately and leave the Earth to those people who actually enjoy it and care for it.”

  6. 6
    greg1466

    Classic example of “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

  7. 7
    hexidecima

    the milk jug video: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/video8.htm

    warning it plays automatically.

    it seems that Jim and Penny can’t figure out that it was the prayers to their god *for* an Obama win were those that were answered. Golly, it’s the only answer, isn’t it? :)

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    Where is this jug of milk? I must possess this jug of milk!

  9. 9
    John Pieret

    God can use this President just like He can anyone else …

    I agree! He used Obama to make you look like real duffuses. Oh, wait a minute, you didn’t need any god’s help in that regard!

  10. 10
    John Hinkle

    I think this is a time of judgment but those of us who are trying to serve Him and defend the things that He has taught, may yet see Him act.

    Sounds like a threat. Translation: Hang tight. When we get back into power, we God will make liberals suffer!

    … so we will pray to that end and trust the Lord knows what He’s doing…

    You’re damn right you’ll trust the Lord. How dare you even think of questioning him. Now shut up get back to praying. You know the Lord needs constant ego-stroking, or else he’ll roll some terrestrial catastrophe your way, and you will quiver with fear and soil your pants when his external voice booms…

    Sorry. Too much coffee.

  11. 11
    d.c.wilson

    Maybe God just hates you, Jimmy.

  12. 12
    fifthdentist

    Modusoperandi, that’s the beauty of it; any old plastic gallon milk jug works. I’m not sure whether half-gallon jugs or glass bottles only work half as well or require twice as many prayers to be as effective.

  13. 13
    rolfboettger

    Here’s something Dobson, Nance and the rest can chew on. Maybe their 40 days of prayer and fasting didn’t work because God just didn’t want a Mormon in the White House?

  14. 14
    parkjames

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/god-answers-prayers-of-paralyzed-little-boy,475/

    Sometimes I can’t tell whrich stories are real and which are from the Onion.

  15. 15
    Gregory in Seattle

    Milk cartons? The shoe! The shoe!

  16. 16
    Moggie

    three hundred Gideon prayer warriors came to Washington

    This cracks me up every time. Prayer warriors! It’s so transparently self-aggrandising. “Stand back! I’m a prayer warrior! I’m not like ordinary Christians, I’m special!” What happened to Christian humility?

    Personally, I think they failed because they didn’t fast long enough or hard enough. I suggest they live on water and dry white toast until 2014: that ought to do it.

  17. 17
    grumpyoldfart

    Dobson: Because we lost this election

    We?

  18. 18
    timgueguen

    I’m surprised we haven’t seen a growing chorus of “God didn’t answer our prayers because we backed a Mormon|” A lot of those kind of folks were holding their noses as they voted for Romney in the first place, so you’d think they’d now be moaning about how they should have known better.

  19. 19
    evilDoug

    “… any old plastic gallon milk jug works…”

    Friends, cut your praying time! For only $99.95 plus shipping and handling, I will send any US citizen one genuine Canadian jug of milk – fully Four Litres – that’s more that Two Hundred Millilitres more than a puny US gallon.

  20. 20
    concernedjoe

    Maybe Jesus sort of didn’t like the R-Brand.

    Maybe He likes playing it by his rules.

    How would we know this? Perhaps from his play book?!?

    Little things like: Mark 10:21 “sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven” or 10:25 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” or Luke 3:11 “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.”

    I don’t know – but sounds possible to me.

  21. 21
    llewelly

    God elected Obama to punish conservative Christians for their sins.
    They must REPENT!
    … by sending money.

  22. 22
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    “Nothing is too big for God”.

    A HA! So he can’t make a stone so big he can’t lift it.

  23. 23
    dingojack

    Did god sound like this, by any chance?
    Dingo

  24. 24
    captain_spleen

    I like to think of this discussion as having taken place between Pat Robertson and *Jack* Nance, as he appeared in Eraserhead.

  25. 25
    sunsangnim

    This open contempt for democracy is appalling. If the leadership of the country should come down to god’s will and not that of the people, why even have an election in the first place? Let’s just go back to tribal chieftains who are descended directly from the sun god.

  26. 26
    wscott

    And how was God supposed to make this happen? Was he going to go all Svengali on people and forcibly change their mind? Whatever happened to free will?

    No you see he will “open men’s hearts.” Because The Truth is obvious to anyone who’s heart hasn’t been hardened by Satan. So what they’re really asking is for God to stop Satan from blocking our free will.

    Or, you know, some bs.

  27. 27
    twincats

    I suggest they live on water and dry white toast until 2014: that ought to do it.

    either that wil do it, or they’ll get the band back together.

  28. 28
    martinc

    wscott@ 26:

    No you see he will “open men’s hearts.”

    The Aztecs used to do that.

  1. 29
    OC Weekly will not apologize to Mormons.

    [...] the Mormons the courtesy (and the respect) of communicating in a very forthright fashion.  Like god said to the millions doing 40 day prayer rallies before Obama was re-elected, the OC Weekly firmly, and without equivocation, told the Mormons “no.”We’re not [...]

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