Anthony Stevens-Arroyo of the Washington Post’s On Faith blog took left-wing moral equivalency to new lows in a November 24 post where he compared Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hassan to General Patton and World War I hero Alvin York. What does this mass murderer have in common with two American heroes, in Stevens-Arroyo’s view? All three recited what he labeled “bad prayers.”
Matthew Archbold of the Creative Minority Report blog devoted an entire post on Monday to picking apart the Washington Post writer’s arguments. Before Stevens-Arroyo compared Hassan to Patton and York, he cited other examples of such “bad prayers.”
In citing the worst prayers in the world, I start with the thanksgiving of the Pharisee in the Gospel (Luke 18:10). He was thankful he was not like “other people.” His conversation with God was replete with political and religious prejudices against others whom he scorned. It was a bad prayer and you don’t have to take my word for it; listen to Jesus....
Number two on the parade list is the so-called “Prayer for Obama,” that cites Psalm 109:8 and applies it to the President: Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow....You can buy T-shirts...trinkets and coffee mugs with this “prayer.”
In biblical terms, this is not a prayer at all, but rather a curse. So here are so called “Christians” spending time and collecting bucks to curse the president of the United States, his wife and innocent children. Some prayer! Certainly, among the worst in the world!
As bad as Stevens-Arroyo portrays these “worst prayers in the world,” there is something much worse in his book:
But the granddaddy of bad prayers is, “Allahu Akbar!” uttered before shooting innocent people or setting off bombs to slaughter innocents to advance your own salvation. Such abuse by violence of God’s will was not invented at Fort Hood. After all, General Patton ordered the composition of a prayer for good weather so that thousands of Germans could be bombed. Army sharpshooters - like the famous Alvin York of the First World War - prayed to God for a good aim to kill people. And the tradition goes back to the Crusades and beyond. But the Muslim version is the most current and the one with the least amount of disguise as we approach Thanksgiving 2009. It is quite simply and without equivocation, “The Worst Prayer in the World!”
p.s. I owe the idea of the “world’s worst” to Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. The content here, however, is all my own. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and don’t use bad prayers.
The Washington Post writer must have wanted to be doubly-sure to maintain his left-wing credentials in this column. Not only did he make the obligatory damning reference to the Crusades in his condemnation of Hassan’s prayer, he credits Olbermann for giving him the idea for the “worst prayer in the world.” That aside, Archbold rightly and brilliantly took Stevens-Arroyo to task for this “blatant and ridiculous display of moral equivalence:”
The prayer Arroyo is referring to which Patton disseminated was actually written by Catholic chaplain James H. O’Neill who wrote:
Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.
So according to Arroyo, General Patton asking for God’s help in defeating the scourge of Nazism was similar to Nidal Hasan taking out his fellow American soldiers with a prayer to Allah.
Maybe Mr. Arroyo isn’t aware but war is different than murder.
Nidal presumed to know God’s will and to kill in his name. Patton’s prayer is a prayer for assistance, leaving the response to God.
One is a request, the other a statement.
And impugning Alvin York is outrageous as well. York was a war hero who, at first, was a conscientious objector but finally (after much prayer) saw fit to fight in World War I after praying on a mountainside for two nights.
York was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest, taking 32 machine guns, killing 28 German soldiers and capturing 132 others....
I’ll ask Mr. Arroyo, how many prisoners did Nidal Hasan take?