Thursday, July 30, 2009

God and Politics

I hate dinner time. Hate it hate it hate it. If you haven’t seen the video I posted, which features a not-that-uncommon dinner scenario at the Jennings’ household, you should probably check it out. Especially if you’re looking into birth control. Heck, show it to your teenage kids. It will scare the living doo-doo out of them.

Dinner always starts out rough. Friends and family, especially our non-Christian friends, are always incredibly amused by the fact that our older boys fight over who gets to say the mealtime prayer. It’s gotten to the point where I have to keep track of who said it last. If Caleb says the prayer at breakfast, then Ben says it at lunch, Caleb says it again at dinner, which means that Ben gets to say the prayer twice the next day. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I would just say the prayer myself, but I might end up praying that God turns my children into mutes, which probably isn’t a good thing to petition God for.

The prayer itself is pretty basic. In fact, the boys don’t waver in their address to the Lord Almighty at all. It goes like this:

Dear God. Thank you for this day. Help us to get a good sleep. Bless this food to our bodies. Help G__ the Bear to get better. Amen.

(G__ the Bear is really just G__. He is John’s best friend from college, and is currently tussling with cancer. We attribute all of the success of his treatments directly to the many prayers the boys have offered up on his behalf.) Why G__ the Bear? Before his chemo treatments, G__ had a sizeable beard (think Civil War general) that made him appear, well, bear-like to the boys.

I have no idea how sleeping got incorporated into the mealtime prayer. Whatever.

Things go downhill from there. Sometime I will tell the extremely sad and somewhat horrific story of the night I served Tilapia.

Caleb, a budding Christian fundamentalist wack-a-doo, is that kid in Sunday School who raises his hand after every question and answers… “Jesus?”

He is also (and this may seem odd) an ardent fan of Barack Obama. He voted for him in his elementary school’s presidential election. He gets giddy if he sees the president on television or on the cover of a magazine. He is a bit star-struck, the same way he is about Spikes, the mascot of the Rochester Red Wings baseball team.

He is, I believe, a little flummoxed that his own father voted for the other guy. Here is a conversation they had earlier this evening:

Caleb: Why didn’t you vote for Barack Obama?

John: I didn’t think he was the best candidate.

Caleb: You voted for McCain?

John: Yup.

Caleb: You thought he was the best guy?

John: I didn’t think he was the best guy. The re-animated corpse of Ronald Reagan would have been better than McCain. But I thought he was better than the other guy.

---pause… Caleb is thinking…pause---

Caleb: God is the best guy.

John: Well, God can’t be president. He isn’t a natural born citizen of the United States.

And I end it there. And now you know that this is a blog you can turn to for your daily dose of religion and politics.


btobey said...

Glad to hear that you guys are raising little democrats! :D

Chris F. said...

My son loves praying at the table too. He must pray first and he must have absolute silence. His prayers go through phases. The current phase sounds like this:
"Dear Lord, I love you. Help G___ (a little boy in our church with the same name also with cancer) to feel better. Bless this food. Take me up to heaven, amen."

1) In his eyes saying, "I love you" to God makes his prayers much more effective than those who don't,and he let's us know this every time we pray.

2) While I desire for my son to go to heaven, I really would prefer God hold off on that request till after I'm dead.