Do New York Times editorial writers pray? Ever?

Augh!  With so much going on that I would love to write about, I think my brain is about to explode!  Yet, with so many other things to do, I don’t see writing about the vast majority of those things happening any time soon.

So, I will pick a quick thing: Do any of the folks at the New York Times every pray that God’s will would be done?  You know, like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Not My will, but Yours be done”?

As I have said plenty of times, I do not vote nor participate in my country’s politics or policies (e.g., see here and here).  This presidential election will be no exception to that stance.  But I freely admit that the race is fascinating, and at this time in history — all the more, given what prophecy has to say about the years I believe to be just ahead — anyone not paying attention doesn’t understand how the outcome of this election will possibly affect their lives and the lives of their children.

That said, I have been paying MUCH attention, and the coverage concerning Governor Sarah Palin has been as wild and interesting as any political coverage I have seen since the 2000 election debacle and the Counting of the Chads.  As one might imagine, watching the media cover the issues and the non-issues surrounding Mrs. Palin has been like watching sausage being made — except that the sausage maker is rather like the unscrupulous Thénardiers from Les Misérables, who knowingly throws in the most disgusting of “meats”.

(That said)², the New York Times today picked up on a talk Sarah Palin gave at a church in which she asked that the folks gathered there would pray that the leaders of the nation who are sending our boys and girls to war would be “sending them out on a task that is from God” and that they would pray “that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”  For some reason, this is considered a bad request.  See, for instance, the New York Times’ mostly moronic editorial yesterday that mentions it.

Here’s my question: What’s wrong with such a prayer request?  If you believe in God and you believe that our boys’ and girls’ lives are precious, who in the world would be bothered by someone’s saying that we should pray that they be sent to fight only if it is a task from God and not just some kooky idea of man?  Or by someone’s saying that we should pray that any plan used by our leaders is God’s plan as opposed to our own?

I can understand the offense of one of those “if you believe in God you are insane” folks.  But that doesn’t seem to be the case, here.

It seems more likely that the offense is caused by the fact that the NYT editorial writers — assuming they are being sincere and not intellectually dishonest — never pray such things.  They never pray that God’s will would be done instead of their own — that He would mercifully override our faulty, human judgment with His own and that He would protect us from the consequences of our own stupidity.  As a result, when they hear language such as this they assume that Ms. Palin is saying that we are fighting in Iraq because it is God’s will, or that our plans are His plans — not that she is asking others to pray that our leaders’ will and plans will be brought into line with God’s, either because or inspite of our intentions.

I suppose that those who do not pray not only do not understand those who do, but even the very words, themselves, of the prayers become incomprehensible — even when they should be as clear as day.

I try to assume the best of people, and in cases like this I feel like I am caught between a rock and a hard place: is it better to assume that the editors of the New York Times are so overwhelmed by their extreme political ideology that they are purposefully twisting this woman’s words, or that they are so out of touch with the minds of sincerely religious people that they can’t even comprehend the most fundamental of prayer requests?

3 thoughts on “Do New York Times editorial writers pray? Ever?

  1. rakkav

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    > I try to assume the best of people, and in cases like this I feel like I am caught between a rock and a hard place: is it better to assume that the editors of the New York Times are so overwhelmed by their extreme political ideology that they are purposefully twisting this woman’s words, or that they are so out of touch with the minds of sincerely religious people that they can’t even comprehend the most fundamental of prayer requests?

    At least in this case I’m not so far out of touch with the thought pattern (as I was with that behind the monstrosity that is abortion) that I can’t give my opinion. I honestly believe that both problems exist at the same time in the same minds. Their extreme political ideology not only forces them to twist their opponents’ words in general, but keeps them from even understanding those words in a specifically religious context. I see no necessary contradiction here. It wouldn’t surprise me if concentrated study and prayer would let us reconstruct how this could be so.

    Exhibit A: the endless political debates on the bulletin boards (Frays) of Slate.MSN.com, out of which I pointedly stay (save for Poems Fray). The same people often will twist their opponents’ arguments generally and find religiously based arguments completely incomprehensible specifically.

  2. Carolyn

    The thing I was wondering about this past week with Gustav not causing nearly the damage that was predicted, why hasn’t anyone mentioned that the prayers of a lot of people is what caused the weakening of the hurricane? I have heard weather reports that it had something to do with a wind from Arkansas that had an effect. But I have not heard one word from any of the press that perhaps it was indeed the prayers of many that changed the impact of Gustav. In fact, I don’t remember hearing much about God at all. I do remember, though, how God’s name was mentioned when Katrina went through.

  3. Pingback: Is Anderson Cooper 360 correspondent an NYT editor? « Thoughts En Route

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