There was a giant prayer and politics rally in Nashville, Tennessee last Saturday. Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback was there, and gave a political speech (a long prayer in which he asked God to intercede in the affairs of the United States in order to give the Republicans their way). George W. Bush sent a letter to the rally, promoting the idea of the United States as a Christian nation and asking for support for his war.
Mostly, however, the tens of thousands of people who attended the rally just stood there and swayed back and forth, listening to a list of religious leaders tell them how to direct themselves politically, socially and psychologically, to go to "war for the soul of the nation."
War for the soul of the nation? How do you do that? By throwing prayer bombs?
Apparently, one way to war for the soul of the America is to stop using cell phones to send text messages. That's what Lou Engle, the organizer of the rally, told the audience. "Turn off that text message," he said. "It's day after day and you can't find intimacy with God."
So the war for the soul of America, waged on behalf of God by people standing in big groups praying together, won't work unless people stop text messaging? Text messaging can thwart God's plan for the world?
What use is God if God can't even withstand the power of a cell phone?
Well, God does have a secret power, say the people who came together for the rally: The number seven. The number seven can be used to combat the wickedness of text messaging. That's why the rally was organized for the seventh day of the seventh month of the year 2007. Engle explained, "All through the Bible, there are a series of sevens. So, when you get three sevens to line up at once, you know something's up."
The idea is that the evils of America, such as Democrats and antiwar activists, can be overcome by getting a bunch of people in one place to amplify their supernatural prayer power with the numerology of the number seven. By this line of reasoning, the height of the rally's power would have been at seven o'clock and seven minutes, seven seconds. God is, according to this sort of belief, trapped in a giant cosmic clockworks, forced to do really big things only when there's the number seven in the time or date.
I have bad news for this group of prayer warriors. The presidential election will be taking place in 2008, in the eleventh month of the year. The election won't even take place on November 7th. November 7th will be a Friday next year, not a Tuesday. Apparently, God's powers to use prayer to zap his divine will into being will not be so strong during the presidential election.
The Religious Right's only hope is to ban text messaging on Election Day. Maybe, if everyone just turns their cell phones off for that one day, God can overcome the power of numbers in order to put another Republican in the White House.