A National Day of Prayer to “the Thing”
We know that it wasn’t a gaffe when President Joe Biden declared this a National Day of Prayer without even mentioning God. This wasn’t a random press conference, or a casual brush with the press. Those barely happened when he was running for office, and they sure don’t happen now. No, Biden’s tame writers crafted this statement, and he approved it.
So now we’ll have to rethink an incident from the campaign trail. Remember March 2020? Joe Biden seemed ready to say: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In the Beginning there Was the Thing
Instead, Biden told a crowd of supporters something else.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created, by the, you know, you know the thing.
Back then I commented:
What if Biden remembered, once he’d launched into that famous phrase, that it mentioned the Creator? And that sent the gears and pulleys, racing gerbils and tethered crows, of his Rube Goldberg intellect slamming into reverse. “Can’t mention the Creator — that will offend too many atheists. And they’re the core group in our party!” …
Instead, Biden invoked a much more important concept. The nebulous, undefined, in fact undefinable Thing that’s the source of human dignity, our desire for justice, and the reason we seek to grant all people equal protection under law. It can’t be the God of the Bible, who demands too much from us. Instead it’s a kind of materialist-spiritual, square-circle, self-contradictory … Thing. The kind of Thing that doesn’t and can’t exist.
Now it appears that my less charitable interpretation turned out to be correct. (Note to self: That usually happens. Perhaps man is Fallen … .)
Theism … Such a Buzzkill
The dominant wing of the Catholic church at the moment, to which Joe Biden belongs, is equally bored by talk of transcendent realities or heavenly beings. (I’ve said here that Pope Francis doesn’t speak or act like a Christian or even a theist. A pantheist at best.) It yawns at talk of personal “sin” or repentance.
That doesn’t mean, however, that it lacks any moral compass. Liberal Christian leaders, whatever shape hats they wear, are keenly attuned to “institutional,” “social,” and “structural” sins. What’s weird about that kind of sin (but also convenient, for busy, lazy people like us today)? It’s not the kind of sin you can go out and commit. Or decide to avoid. Or repent for if you’ve committed it. Individually, you are powerless over that kind of “sin.”
Nor can Jesus help you, should you come to Him in prayer, since His business is personal sin, not “social reform.” (He made that clear when He failed to hand Pontius Pilate, during those precious moments of face time, a list of demands from the Zealots for greater voting rights and redistribution of income.)
Without the Hive, We Can Do Nothing
If you’re part of an historic “oppressor” group, you can’t escape the taint of guilt, no matter what you do. If you’re part of a “victim” group, you’re never really guilty, no matter what you have done. None of our personal actions or inclinations make any difference. We’re termites in a colony, and only collective actions imposed by the centralized force of The Hive amount to anything.
The only sins Joe Biden appears to recognize as evil are 1) collective actions, 2) committed by other people, 3) in the past, which we cannot change. That’s why he fixates on the one moral cause that the left has retained as sacred: rebuking the real, past legalized racism of pre-civil rights America. And using those old sins as sticks to beat the sinners’ grandchildren like piñatas full of money.
The Sins We Can’t Commit, Repent, or Forgive
“Institutional” sins appear to be like the sin against the Spirit, which cannot be forgiven. Not the Holy Spirit, mind you, but the Spirit of the age, the Zeitgeist that moves in our hearts, immune to rational analysis.
Having realized all of this, I now see how “right and just” Joe Biden was to leave God out of his National Day of Prayer. The One God rebukes injustice of every kind, but His focus is on each of us as free, accountable souls. Since those don’t interest Biden, his prayers don’t interest God.
In the spirit of bipartisanship, of reaching across the aisle, in the spirit of the words of Rep. Elise Stefanik, I’d like to offer a prayer better suited to Biden’s religion.
Our Thing, Which Art in the Multiverse
O Thing that we reach for to justify our rights and claims upon the government,
O Thing that escapes any historical or theological description,
O Thing that dissolves when we touch it but slinks back when we’re sleepy or sad or tipsy,
Hear us today.
We know that random collisions of elementary particles in this part of the Multiverse hung the stars and spun the planets. For so says Science.
Its prophets spake to us, saying: Soulless chemicals fiercely competed to see which could spark Organic Life. And yea, inexplicable Randomness rolled the dice with their genes for age upon age, thus filling the seas with fish, the land with trees, and the earth with bugs and lizards.
Lo, as if addicted, it compulsively kept on gambling, till the skies filled with squawking birds and the forests with randy apes. And what Chance saw was Fit, it deemed would Survive. Then Chance and Fitness hooked up, and our species evolved. And Chance saw that it was Fit.
Look down upon us, O Thing, and teach us to labor as one. Suppress the urge to rebellion, squelch the spark of sedition, and lay down the pheromone tracks that will, we trust, inform each Worker of the long-term needs of the Hive. Keep safe and silent, too, our teeming masses of Drones, who fly not and work not, whose votes keep the Queen in office.
Damn our ancestors for their sins which we here condemn, and spare us the burden of children.
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream, and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”