A Prayer For Mr. Meany

The name of this piece is a wordplay on John Irving’s novel A Prayer for Owen Meany. It has been many years since I read it and I couldn’t remember much about it, so I looked up the plot to jar my memory and saw this:

Owen is a remarkable boy in many ways; he believes himself to be God’s instrument and sets out to fulfill the fate he has prophesied for himself.

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God’s instrument? Isn’t that what some Evangelicals think about The Don? Isn’t that what The Don thinks about himself, that he was ordained to return White America to its prominence on the mount? 

These days everyone is talking about praying. Not much of a praying man myself, I must admit that the acquittal of The Don by the soulless Republicans has me considering genuflecting. 

Now that I think of it, I have an old pair of ripped jeans with knee patches that I am going to search for in case I start involuntarily kneeling on the street. 

At the annual National Prayer Breakfast (where the menu includes wafers and lox?) Arthur Brooks, a Harvard professor and prominent conservative thinker, delivered a passionate plea to Americans to put aside hatred in national life and “love your enemies.”

“Contempt is ripping our country apart,” Mr. Brooks went on. “We’re like a couple on the rocks in this country.” Without mentioning Mr. Trump specifically, Mr. Brooks added: “Ask God to take political contempt from your heart. And sometimes when it’s too hard, ask God to help you fake it.”

 While the rest of the room gave Mr. Brooks a standing ovation, The Don’s response was tepid; and when Brooks was finished he went to the lectern and gave the anti-Jesus response we all expect of him:

 “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you, said The Don, “I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say.”

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Vengeance, grievance and the need to demean and divide are The Don’s gospel. Even at an event where a plea for civility (even if you have to “fake it”) was prayed for, The Don’s rage and need to retaliate took center stage.

“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” Mr. Trump said.

He targeted Mitt Romney, the lone senator with a moral backbone, who cited his faith in announcing his decision to vote for conviction.

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” clear reference to Ms. 

Then in the spirit of civility he went after Nancy Pelosi.

“Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so.”

When Pelosi had her chance to go to the lectern she addressed The Don’s comments:

“I don’t know if the president understands about prayer,” but that she prays “hard for him because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values.” 

“He really needs our prayers,” she added, “He can say whatever he wants. But I do pray for him.”

If you weren’t aware that Nancy Pelosi prayed for The Don, you are now.  

As I watched the exchange, I chuckled to myself and had an idea for a new reality TV show called:

I Pray For You, No You Don’t. 

During the first episode, Pelosi and Mitt Romney (the only Republican with a soul!) are sitting on the dais a few seats away from The Don. The camera zooms in on Pelosi as her head looks up. Her lips are moving and it appears she is praying. Let’s imagine what she was saying:

God, I am so sorry I ripped up the president’s speech for all the world to see. I know he is a dishonest, sociopath who wants to bring down the government, but I should have been more magnanimous, showed more love. But God, isn’t it possible to get a few freebies, you know, where you get to trash someone? Sorry God, can I take that back? And God, can you please enlighten me about why you visited the devil on this country?

Anyway God, I am praying that the president becomes more curious about things so he would know Kansas City (Thanks for the entertaining Super Bowl this year!) is in Missouri not Kansas; or not having to ask someone to explain to him what happened at Pearl Harbor; or realizing that Frederick Douglass died a long time ago.

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I am praying that the president can show more compassion and not find gratification in locking up children in cages, removing regulations on pesticides and our water systems, trying to get rid of preexisting conditions, devaluing Goldstar families, mimicking disabled people, calling wonderful countries like Nigeria shitholes– sorry God, I didn’t mean to use a bad word, but then again, we get a few freebies, right? After all I didn’t use your name in vain, right?

God, to be honest, allowing this man to lead the free world, is starting to create a mini-crisis in my faith. Just a mini one because I would never forsake you. Mini isn’t so bad, right? There is room for at least one mini, right? 

I mean God damn it, God? Oh no, I did it. I said your name in vain. Please forgive me. It’s just that being in the presence of the devil is getting to me. I am working so hard to stay connected to you in this distressing time but the devil keeps gnawing at me, filling me with nasty feelings and fantasies. Please help me God to have the strength to withstand this before my mini crisis morphs in to a maxi. Please give me the patience and humility to find the humanity in this amoral man. Please God, please help him become human and please God, stop me from strangling him.

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And one more thing God, was it some cosmic joke to have this amoral man give the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh, the devil’s bull horn. A man who has said things like:

Feminism was established so unattractive ugly broads could have access to the mainstream

The N.A.A.C.P.  should have a riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.

If any race should not have guilt about slavery, it is Caucasians.

Holocaust. Ninety million Indians? Only four million left. They all have casinos-what’s to complain about?

I guess maybe I haven’t been praying enough? 

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