Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hear Our Prayer

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic (of course), a deeply, deeply moral man, shares a lovely poem with us.

This is a typical Bradley Burston effort, beautifully-written and deeply
moral. He'll get some criticism from the right for this, but he should take it
is a compliment. He's a Jew in full. Here's the link, and here's an

Lord who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this
accursed day. God
whom we call Blessed, turn your face to these, the
children of Gaza, that they
may know your blessings, and your shelter, that
they may know light and warmth,
where there is now only blackness and smoke,
and a cold which cuts and clenches
the skin. Almighty who makes exceptions,
which we call miracles, make an
exception of the children of Gaza. Shield
them from us and from their own. Spare
them. Heal them. Let them stand in
safety. Deliver them from hunger and horror
and fury and grief. Deliver them
from us, and from their own.

How moral of them to pray for the children. How kind, how sensitive, how exceptional of them to worry about the children of Gaza. Dearest God, they pray, give us a miracle and spare the little children whose lives we are ending, not deliberately mind you, just collaterally, and really not very many at all, considering, and what about Israeli children?

I prefer Mark Twain's sarcastic war prayer. He was a much more honest man.

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our
shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their
patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their
wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a
hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with
unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to
wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and
thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken
in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and
denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their
lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way
with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We
ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the
ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with
humble and contrite hearts. Amen.


Anonymous said...

The bombing and invasion of Gaza is for Teh Children! Huzzah!

Anonymous said...

I look forward to hearing all the criticism The Right dishes out regarding this deeply moral, yet controversial poem.

Anonymous said...

The Mark Twain prayer is snark at its finest. Nice post.

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks, Dillon.

I'm also reminded of another poem--The Walrus and The Carpenter, in which the Walrus grieves for the poor oysters he is eating.

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.