Be careful what you pray for

Cause it might come back to bite you. 

As we all know by now Senator Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech last Thursday evening at the Democratic Convention in Denver


 
The weather was warm that day but there was no rain.  Well wouldn’t you know it, a couple of weeks earlier the socially conservative Christian group Focus on the Family  had a video where they called on their followers to pray to God to open up the heavens and let their be a downpouring of rain right before Barack Obama’s acceptance speech.  The video has been taken off the website and YouTube.

Prayer video that sought a Barack Obama drenching gets yanked

Political lesson of the day: Be careful what you ask people to pray for; you may find yourself embroiled in a public relations flap.

The political arm of the socially conservative Focus on the Family religious group today yanked from its website a video that called on folks to ask God to open the heavens and let precipitation pour on Barack Obama just before his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 28.

Stuart Shepard, director of digital media at Focus Action (and a meteorologist to boot), wrote and appeared in the video (see below) that he posted in late July.

In it, he rhetorically asked if it would be wrong to ask people to join him in praying for rain two minutes before Obama takes the stage for his big moment at Invesco Field in Denver. And not just a drizzle — in friendly, conversational fashion, Shepard said he had in mind “abundant rain, torrential rain, urban-and-small-stream flood-advisory rain.”

He added: “Not flood-people-out-of-their-houses rain, just good old swamp-the-intersection rain.”

Responding to initial questions raised about his message, Shepard said he was aiming to be “mildly humorous.”

But, as he made clear at one point in the video, his bid for bad weather stemmed from his concern about the possible fallout of an Obama presidency on issues such as abortion.

“Well, I’m still pro-life,” he told his listeners, “And I’m still in favor of marriage being only between one man and one woman. And I’d like the next president, who’ll select justices for the U.S. Supreme Court, to agree.”

As the video attracted more and more views, those questioning its propriety included some members of Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. The video was then pulled from the website of the group’s political unit.

“If people took it seriously, we regret it,” Tom Minnery, Focus Action vice president of public policy told the newspaper.

Focus on the Family, of course, is headed by James Dobson, who has had his issues with John McCain. But, as Dobson spelled out in a recent radio address, he really has problems with Obama.

How low can these so called Christians go? This sounds like talk of the devil, not of God.   Just because someone doesn’t agree with you politically you pray against them? 

There’s more from the Colorado Springs Gazette:

It was one of Shepard’s weekly video commentaries that appear on http://www.citizenlink.org, Focus Action’s Web site. The general timbre of Shepard’s videos is tongue-in-cheek as he examines political issues from the conservative Christian viewpoint of Focus Action.

Most of “Pray for Rain,” which lasted less than three minutes, showed a lighthearted Shepard at Invesco Field asking viewers to pray for “torrential” rain during Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

“I’m talking ‘umbrella-ain’t-going-to-help-you rain,'” he said on the video.

I’m bringing this up cause I’ve been reading that the Republican National Convention could be postponed or shortened due to Hurricane Gustav. Is this a sign?  Focus on the Family and their ilk pray for torrential rains to happen at Invesco Field in Denver and now Hurricane Gustav could cause the Republicans to postpone their convention. Even though the convention is taking place in Minnesota, I’m sure the Republicans don’t want to look bad by celebrating at their convention after the Hurricane Katrina debacle.  And let’s not forget that the Christian Right is considered the base of the Republican Party.

Stuart Shepard, director of digital media at Focus Action, the political arm of Focus on the Family, said the video he wrote and starred in was meant to be “mildly humorous.”

But complaints from about a dozen Focus members convinced the organization to pull the video, said Tom Minnery, Focus Action vice president of public policy.

Yeah, how humerous that is Stuart Shepard, but be careful what you pray for next time.

Update:

I found a link to the video at another blog.

Looks like that rain got delayed by a few weeks.

By the way here’s a response to Shepard’s video.

5 responses

  1. I absolutely loved the response video. I feel that way too! I am embarrassed by STUART SHEPARD. In no way do I share in his political views, but yet- (drumroll)- I am a christian. A God Fearing- Jesus Loving- Bible Thumping Christian- yet I am a Barack Obama supporter. FOTF has way overstepped their boundaries and have actually morphed into some frightening machine of influence that I believe has little to no accountability. God Forbid someone actually question their motives!!!

  2. I clicked on the video at the other site and there is a video available at YouTube. Someone must have copied the original posted by Focus on the Family. I love the response video.

  3. Good job on finding that video. Those people don’t represent Christians anymore than I represent Eskimos. 🙂

    They continued, insistent hypocrisy is rather astounding.

    Then again, it’s not.

  4. I guess you were following Stuart Shepard. And I’m just giving my opinion which I’m entitled to do on my blog.

  5. sounds like your as guilty as those you mock

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