Poe’s Law on the Campaign Trail

When I read that the following prayer was delivered at a political rally, I thought it had to be a joke:

I would also pray Lord that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their God — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his opponent wins for a variety of reasons.

And Lord I pray that you would guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you would step forward and honor your own name in all that happens between now and Election Day.

But I should have remembered Poe’s Law (which states that one can not tell the difference between fake religious fundamentalism and sincere fundamentalism since they both sound equally ridiculous). In any case, this childlike, childish plea to the “creator of the universe” was made by Rev. Arnold Conrad in Davenport, Iowa. 

Some in the crowd greeted the prayer with applause.

Can you guess for which candidate the Reverend was asking his god to spank those other gods?

9 Responses

  1. It’s weird because it seems as if he’s asking his God to show these other Gods who is boss. Except, his belief is in a ONE true God which would not recognize anyone elses lesser, false God. So in order for him to believe that his God can outshine someone else’s God, won’t he have to disbelief his own doctrine of a one, true God? I’ve heard it said you can not hate God and not believe in him at the same time, they are contrary ideas. So it makes sense, you can’t belief yours is the only God and then plead with him to make sure other lesser Gods are shown their own insignificance. Am I wrong?

  2. Yeah, I’d say those are certainly valid points… but I bet if you asked the Reverend he would say, that he wants god to affect the election to show all those other people that they are mistakenly praying to invalid gods — that they are wrong…

    the way he worded it, though, sure is goofy…

  3. In reading about this story on another blog, several commentors made the point that the ancient roots of the Abrahamic religions were explicitly polytheistic. The point being expressed in the Ten Commandments… “Yeah, there’s all these other gods out there, but we worship THIS one.”

    It’s actually a point that was illustrated in a very interesting way in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

    All this fuss over one tribe’s sun/sky/war god. And that tribe had other gods too, at one time, according to some.

  4. Wow… that is interesting, Chris… what blog is that?

  5. The blog is called The Agitator http://www.theagitator.com

    It’s the blog of a journalist named Radley Balko, formerly of the Cato Institute. His main themes revolve around the justice system, law enforcement, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective.

  6. that sounds correct, since early Christians made peace with Pagans to consolidate holidays, there is the evidence that at least other ‘tribes’ beliefs were acknowleged. it’s an educated guess to say all the false idol talk didn’t make it into scripture until many rewrites later.

    quoth the Raven, nevermore (Poe’s Law)

  7. Yeah, as you say megan, the way it’s presented is quite telling.

    I had some fun replacing words. Replace reputation with leadership, god by nation and “your own name” by “our own army”, would not be completly gramatical, but dangerously close to a threat of aggresive military actions….

  8. While, as you say, the ancient roots of Abrahamic religions may acknowledge other gods with their god being held superior, but either you give too much credit to todays religious minded or I give too little credit to them. Missionaries haven’t been saying “Your gods is there but our god is better” they’ve been saying, “believing in yours is a sin, foget him, worship ours”. And I’d wager most religious would say, without question or going back to these ancient rooted ideas, “There is one God. To believe any other exists is to deny the one, true God.” At least most of the ones that I know…in my own jaded opinion.

  9. @Megan,

    You’re right, of course. Judaism-Christianity and Islam don’t give credence to anyone else’s interpretation of God. Cause the first commandmant states. “I am your God, you shall have no others before Me.” Then the second says something about not worshipping “craven images”

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