As you may be aware, Governor Rick Perry held a prayer rally last Saturday at Reliant Stadium. Dubbed "The Response" (and redubbed "Prayerapalooza" by some, or "Reliant's Preseason Concession Test Run" by us just now), the event attracted some 30,000 folks drawn by Perry's call to pray for "a nation in crisis."
I was forced to skip the rally due to a brain cloud, but our own Craig Hlavaty has written about the event in detail. Craig's coverage was thoughtful and came from a very personal place, so of course he was pilloried for it, both by those who felt he wasn't hard enough on the alleged hypocrisy of the organizers and those predetermined to assume a writer from the Press would make light of the proceedings with a surfeit of sarcasm and smart-assery.
Which is where I come in.
Prayer is all well and good (assuming you're praying for a cure for cancer or an end to hardship and not, say, that the Cowboys beat the spread), but it's hard to counter the assertions made by some that the tone of the rally was pretty generic, from a prayer variety standpoint. I'm just here to offer some more choices.
George Carlin's Prayer Carlin had a lot of prayers. His Hail Mary for when you're falling out of a truck ("Ha-men") is a favorite, but probably would've fallen flat in Perry's distinctly non-Catholic gathering. Personally, I like his pre-show prayer (which includes a request that God help him find "a nymphomaniac coke connection who owns a Ferrari dealership"), but there's no denying his prayer dedicated to the separation of church and state might have been a little more meaningful last weekend:
who art in Heaven
and to the Republic
for which it stands
Thy Kingdom come
One Nation, indivisible
as it is in Heaven
Give us this day as we forgive those who so proudly we hail And crown thy good into temptation but deliver us from the twilight Amen
Perry would have gotten a 30-minute standing O for that.
Clark Griswold's Prayer For Aunt Edna Now *this* is the kind of inclusiveness we can all get behind:
O God, ease our suffering in this, our moment of great dispair. Yea, admit this kind and decent woman into thy arms of thine heavenly area, up there. And Moab, he lay us upon the band of the Canaanites, and yea, though the Hindus speak of karma, I implore you: give her a break.
Something for everyone, right? Well, except the Westboro Baptist folks. Fuck those guys anyway.
Ricky Bobby -- "Dear Baby Jesus"
Let's face it, Talladega Nights wasn't very funny, it being the third in a series of unpleasant mid-2000s Ferrell movies (the first two being Kicking and Screaming and Bewitched). However, the prayer Ricky says before dinner thanking his corporate sponsors and expressing gratitude for all his money wouldn't sound very alien coming from Rick Perry's mouth.
Patton's "Weather Prayer"
General Patton's heart was in the right place; he wanted the storm cover lifted so he could bring Allied air power to bear and relieve elements of the 101st Airborne and 10th Armored Divisions under siege at Bastogne.
All mighty and most merciful Father
We humbly beseech thee of Thy great goodness to restrain this immoderate weather
With which we've had to contend.
For our purposes, you could just end it there. A week's worth of 100+ degree temperatures and the worst drought in recorded history is pretty goddamned immoderate. Pardon our French.
Conan's Plea To Crom
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So a lot of people had legitimate gripes with lack of representation at the prayer rally (those not of the Christian evangelical bent were largely S.O.L.) and the inclusion of divisive figures like John Hagee. But few are as oppressed as Crom worshippers, whose single-issue platform should play well in the Lone Star State.
Crom, I've never prayed to you before
I have no tongue for it
No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad
Why we fought, or why we died
All that matters is that two stood against many
That's what's important!
Valor pleases you, Crom... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge!
And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!
If only the famed Cimmerian had expressed his desire to secede from the rest of Thuria, Perry might have found himself a running mate.