one-time pastor and one-time tv meteorologist stuart shepard, director of digital media at focus on the family action, a lobbying arm for hardcore conservative evangelicals, asks his viewers to focus on rain:
hi, i'm stuart shepard. this is "stoplight".
would it be?
would it be wrong ... to ask people to pray?
would it be wrong if we asked people to pray ... for rain?
okay, not just rain. abundant rain, torrential rain, urban-and-small-stream-flood-advisory rain.
would it be wrong if we prayed for rain on, say, a particular day or night, at, say, a particular location?
oh, say, the evening of august 28th, right here at mile-high stadium in denver?
during the primetime tv hour, when a certain presumptive nominee is set to give a certain acceptance speech at a certain democratic national convention?
i'm talking-umbrellas-ain't-gonna-help-you-rain. not flood-people-out-of-their-houses rain, just good ol' swamp-the-intersections rain. we're not asking for hail the size of canned hams or lightning bolts to set the bunting on fire. just rain, beautiful rain, network-cameras-can't-see-the-podium rain. attendees-can't-walk-back-to-the-indoor-arena-without-wishing-for-hip-waders rain.
i know, you might ask why would i pray for that? well, i'm still pro-life, and i'm still in favor of marriage being only between one man and one woman. and i'd like the next president who will select justices for the u.s. supreme court to agree.
so i'm praying for unexpected, unanticipated, unforecasted rain that starts two minutes before the speech is set to begin.
would it be wrong to pray for rain?
i don't have any special insight or special connections. i'm just an ordinary guy who's looking for people, lots of people who feel like i do, to pray for rain.
now i know there'll probably be people who'll pray for 72 degrees and clear skies, but this isn't a contest. but if god decides — and it's always up to god to decide — if god decides that rain of biblical proportions would be a good and proper meteorological condition for that evening, we'll see it and we'll say that it is good.
and if he decides that it's not really necessary, i'm okay with that. i'll still trust in his wisdom and i'll rest peacefully knowing that lots of us offered up a humble prayer request.
would it be so wrong if we asked people to pray ... for rain?
so how'd all that wishin' and hopin' and prayin' work out for stu?
obama accepts nomination, rocks invesco
the night turned out as only [obama's] advisers could have dreamed. a huge crowd — roughly 80,000 in all — at times frenzied, at times rapt. perfect weather. fluttering american flags for the television cameras.
well, tough beans for the evangelicals, but stu's says he's okay with that. meanwhile, somebody, somewhere, is getting their prayers answered:
gop considers delaying convention
republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the gop convention in minneapolis-st. paul because of tropical storm gustav, which is on track to hit the gulf coast, and possibly new orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week.
the threat is serious enough that white house officials are also debating whether president bush should cancel his scheduled convention appearance on monday, the first day of the convention, according to administration officials and others familiar with the discussion.
... staging a convention during a major natural disaster would be a public relations challenge, for either political party. but gop officials say the burden could be especially heavy for their party, whose reputation was tarred by the bush administration's bungling of katrina and its aftermath in 2005.
... "the american people want to know the people they elected are paying attention, care about them and are making decisions they need to make," [former fema chief michael] brown said. "the smart thing is not to poke their chests out and say what a great job they're doing or going to do, but just to do what needs to be done."
would it be so wrong to pray for rain? let's ask the republicans.
rain is not all some are praying for ...