This Week in God

THIS WEEK IN GOD…. First up from the God Machine this week is a look at something called the “prayercast,” organized by Family Research Council Action PAC, a leading religious right outfit. The point of the event was to organize right-wing activists to pray for the failure of health care reform in the Senate.

It’s hard to truly appreciate the true madness surrounding the event and its neo-theocratic organizers/participants, but I found Rachel Maddow’s coverage helped capture some of the more disturbing elements.

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Of particular note, remember that high-ranking, elected federal officials were integrally involved in this rather bizarre right-wing gathering. Alongside religious right heavyweights like Tony Perkins and James Dobson, Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) were on hand, and Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) even helped lead attendees in prayer against health care reform.

Right Wing Watch had some of the best coverage of the “prayercast” anywhere, and posted some striking clips from the event, including this one in which Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) argues that the Bible should be a “blueprint” for American government, and this one in which James and Shirley Dobson ask God to “frustrate the plans of the Evil One.”

Also from the God Machine this week:

* Megachurch pastor, televangelist, and John McCain ally the Rev. Rod Parsley is apparently hurting financially, in part because of an abuse lawsuit stemming from an incident at his church’s daycare center. This week, Parsley claimed to be the victim of a “demonically inspired financial attack.”

* An evangelical legend passed this week: “Evangelist Oral Roberts, founder of the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University, died Tuesday from complications of pneumonia in Newport Beach, California, his spokeswoman said. He was 91.”

* Citing a study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the New York Times’ Charles Blow reported, “Democrats were almost twice as likely to believe in ghosts and to consult fortune-tellers than were Republicans, and the Democrats were 71 percent more likely to believe that they were in touch with the dead.” (thanks to reader D.J. for the tip)