Cease Praying in Somerset

Caroline Petrie is a community nurse who offered to pray for patient during a home visit.

The patient said she wasn’t offended, but she reported the “incident” to the nurse that changed the dressing on her leg the next day because she thought someone else might be offended if Mrs Petrie offered to pray for them. I suppose if someone is laid up with a bad leg, they have time to ponder the potential for political correctness in everyone else.

As a result, Mrs Petrie has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of an investigation. No doubt it will take a terrbily long time to determine if she offered to pray for the patient (which she acknowledges) or if the patient was offended (though she claims she wasn’t). I suppose they will want to find out if Mrs Petrie has actually offered to pray for anyone else. This would not be germaine to the actual incident for which she was suspended, but bureaucrats aren’t best known for due process.

What I’m not clear on is whether North Somerset Primary Care Trust has an actual official policy against prayer or whether it is rather a general policy against Christians.

Given the Third World quality health care in this country that can’t afford to pay for treatment that is standard in the rest of the civilised world, you would think they could use any available help, even in the form of divine intervention.

Prayer Warriors

Older Child: I’m doing “Our Father”.

Younger Child: It was your turn last night. I’m doing “Our Father”.

Me to Older Child: Younger Child is doing “Our Father”. It’s your turn to do “Most Holy Trinity. . .”

Older Child: Younger Child can do “Most Holy Trinity. . .”

Younger Child: I’m not doing “Most Holy Trinty. . .”!

Older Child: But I want to do “Our Father”.

Eventually everyone took their proper turn.

It’s not always easy being Orthodox.

In the Path of the Storm

Hurricane Ike is gaining strength and it is headed for my hometown. The projected path from the National Hurricane Center might as well have a bull’s-eye on the house where I grew up and spent nearly three weeks this summer. My parents are heading for the hills.

Fortunately my father is not feeling any side effects from chemotherapy, because he has to drive five hours to escape coming storm.

I always feel bad about praying that the storm will go somewhere else. That just means it will make a direct hit on someone else. Barring the dissipation of the storm itself, it is going to slam into the Texas coast somewhere. I just pray that if it hits my hometown, most things are preserved. Whatever survives the storm is my children’s inheritance.

Evangelical Leakage

I was surfing around the blogosphere and I have been observing some of the evangelical leakage to the Democrats in this Presidential election. It seems to come from three main sources, the emerging church movement, the black churches, and the apathetic. As I was reading in blogs, especially in the comboxes, I was struck by several things.

First, there is the appeal Obama has because he talks about compassion and helping the little people, especially with the big people’s money. It is spiritualizing the politics of jealousy. After all, Jesus said we should take care of the poor. Jesus didn’t seem to like rich people very much and said they would have trouble getting into the Kingdom of Heaven. The thing the emerging Christian socialist church seems to have missed is that Jesus never said we should rob the rich to take care of the poor.

What I have seen of the emerging “missional” churches seems to be Marxist Mennonite, squishy Anabaptist pietism, drunk deeply from the well of Ronald Sider. Obama is seen as the pacifist, caring candidate, who has adopted the views of the great philosopher Rodney “can’t we all just get along” King.

These churches also seem to be suffering from foetus fatigue. The abortion issue, for a long time the very first litmus test, is getting boring to some. The emerging church is quite wrapped up finding ways to live the word of Jesus in the New Testament and since Jesus didn’t talk about abortion, this has become a side issue. The only problem is that Christians that believe the Bible, whether Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox (in other word, other than a small liberal fringe) recognise that abortion is murder. So it seems that mass murder is not the issue it used to be.

Then there are the black evangelical churches. These had been moving more and more toward the Republican Party because in a election between two white men, it was clear that while neither was perfect, the Republicans have stood for traditional family values and those issues which have been important to all evangelicals. They could see how uncomfortable white Democrats were when they were campaigning in black churches (something with which the IRS would have had a field day if it had been Republican candidates campaigning in white churches, but that’s for another time).

During recent elections, black and predominately white churches were joining together in various prayer gatherings and vigils. They were all praying for the election of candidates that reflected the same set of values.

Now there is a black candidate. As I have said before, he is someone who has nothing in common with them culturally. He is not a descendant of slaves or a victim of racial discrimination. But he is black, mostly because his supporters are suddenly happy to adopted the One Drop Rule, ignoring the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia. Like I have said before, unlike almost all of them, he is actually an African-American. Suddenly the possibility of having a man with similar skin tone in the White House is all that matters.

Sadly, I don’t think that the addition of Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket will swing either of these segments of the evangelical vote. However, she has and will continue to energise the apathetic. These were the ones who got excited about Mike Huckabee. These are the ones the Left really loves to hate. In fact, the more the Left  vent their hatred on Palin, the more energised these people get. They had no reason to get excited about McCain, but now they have one of their own. Hopefully this will stop enough of the leakage.

The One and the Many

I would not have thought Steven Curtis Chapman would be so well known that the terrible news of his daughter’s death would be mentioned on BBC Radio 2. Thus it was a double surprise when I heard it on the way to work this morning.

I don’t want to take away from my sympathy for the Chapman family nor fail to pray for the soul of little Maria Sue.

At the same time, I couldn’t help but think that there are so many other families who face the tragedy of the loss of a child. Because they are not celebrities, Christian or otherwise, they don’t have countless blogs eulogising with strings of commenters offering condolences and sympathy. They don’t have the prayers of millions.

I wonder how many families lost a child today. I’m glad they are known to God, even if they are unknown to me. May His mercy and grace, His peace and comfort surround them. May the souls of all those departed children find a place of peace and rest in the bosom of the Father.

Prayer Wars

The older unnamed child may be getting jealous of his sister doing the prayers at bedtime. There has been friction as to how the Trisagion prayers would be divvied up each night.

The older child has gotten one up on the younger. Except for singing “O Heavenly King” as the introduction to the prayers, they have otherwise heretofore been spoken. Well, the younger child may be able to do subtraction and multiplication at the age of three, but she’s never tried plain chant. The older child started chanting “Most Holy Trinity. . .” and didn’t stop until “O come let us worship and bow down. . .” He turfed his sister out.  She was not well pleased.

Teetoddler

The Younger Unnamed Child is learning all of the Trisagion prayers, which form the basis of the bedtime prayers. Having not yet arrived at four years of age, she is learning them mostly by rote and doesn’t really understand fully when I have explained them to her and the Older Unnamed Child.

Not surprisingly, this leads to some misunderstanding of the words. After all, they are not in our three-year-old’s usual six-year-old vocabulary. We all laughed when she was learning “Most Holy Trinity . . .” and prayed, “Mister, pardon our inninnities,” instead of “Master, pardon our iniquities”.

It wasn’t until last night that I realised that she’s had an interesting take on the Lord’s Prayer. After all, she never missed a syllable of “Forgive us our tresspassess as we forgive those who tresspass against us.” Perhaps because, “And lead us not into temptation” was enunciated with perfection, I never realised she was praying, “And deliver us from the Evil Wine”.