We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have always believed in God, praying every night for illnesses to leave particular people. I used to pray so hard when I was a child for my alcoholic father to stop drinking and putting the family through the wringer. He finally did quit when my mother moved him away from the city where he was more at peace. Once in a blue moon he would find a way to get to some beer. I have a number f friends that have said that things are so bad they no longer believed in God and they certainly didn't believe in the Devil and didn't believe in evil. How could one not believe in the Devil and evil and witness the horrid things occurring in the world today. I think God and the Devil are still with us and fighting it out every day.
From PJ O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores: I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.
God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle aged male, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God's heavenly country club.
Santa Claus is another matter. He's cute. He's nonthreatening. He's always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who's been naughty and who's been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without the thought of quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he's famously generous to the poor. Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus.
Assistant Village Idiot
I tell my friends and family that I believe God answers every prayer. No is an answer! It may not be the answer that we pray for but, God in his infinite wisdom really does know what is best for His created. So many people turn to God like He is some sort vending machine rather than the maker of the universe. They think that if they pray hard enough God will perform a miracle and when He doesn’t...they’re mad at him. I like God’s response to Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”
I personally wasn’t present but, do you know who was there? Satan! The Great Deceiver! He was present! He doesn’t want you to turn to God Almighty, Creater of Heaven and Earth. He wants us to separate ourselves from our salvation, our joy and our peace. C.S. Lewis gives the best image of Satan and his minions in the Screwtape Letters. It should be read by every Christian. Satan doesn’t care if you believe in him or not, he only cares if you believe in God or not.
In the 5 books of Moses the words used for prayer literally mean "calling", "shouting/crying out", or simply "saying/speaking/affirming" or "singing".
Leah is the first person in the bible to use the word "praise" - when she finally overcomes the rivalry and bitterness of her life and names her son Judah.
Hannah is the first story where the word most commonly translated as "prayer" appears - tfila, from a root meaning consideration/judgement. This root is typically used in the reflexive form - indicating that prayer is primarily inward directed meditation to clarify or align the understanding of the person praying with g-d's will, rather than to "change g-d's mind".
Similarly the word siyach - literal meaning is "conversation/discourse" but it means meditation. This is the word used when isaac goes out into the fields to commune with nature and meets rebeccah's caravan.