What ever happened to the real reporters? The ones who were not afraid to ask the obvious questions? When I watch television or read the paper, it makes me wonder if there were ever any real reporters at all.
For instance, I was watching one of those news talk shows recently. This one was hosted by George Stephanopoulos, who, in my opinion, is just as intelligent a TV journalist as any of the rest of them.
He was interviewing Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and host of the 700 Club - a kind of Christian "Reggis" program with a mixture of news, talk, and preaching with a little faith healing on the side.
Everybody knows Pat Robertson, he ran for President some years back and is still considered a major player in the right wing arm of the Republican Party.
Stephanopoulos asked him a few questions, including the possible candidates Robertson felt would make good presidents in 2008. I was fixing to change the channel when I heard Stephanopoulos ask him if he thought God was responsible for the Christmas tsunami in South Asia which resulted in a couple hundred-thousand deaths.
Robertson explained that God doesn't interfere with the natural works of nature. As for presidential candidates, he liked former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliana, but under no circumstances would he vote for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
At some point in the rather short interview, Robertson said that the most important thing in the process of coming up with the best president to lead America was "the power of prayer."
So there it was. God has no power over a killer tsunami, regardless of how many hundreds of thousands are killed. But God does take a hand in selecting our presidents through "the power of prayer."
What are journalists afraid of? The Christian majority? In my opinion a real reporter would have asked the most obvious question right at the get-go. Stephanopoulos never even brought it up. The question? What news from God? What's God saying these days? What's It into? What's the latest thing It said to you?
That's the very first thing I'd want to know from these God blessed preachers who talk to God on a daily basis, speak for God and are able to tune in to God's healing channel whenever they want.
I love these preachers. I flipped the channel and a lady preacher was saying that God told her to go to Australia. "I told him," she said, "if you want me to go to Australia, you'll have to come up with the money."
Let me tell you something folks. Anyone who claims that God has ever said a word to them in their lives is just taking advantage of the gullibility and stupidity of the human mind and trying to pull the wool over their eyes.
And yet, hundreds of millions of people believe them. Not only do they swallow the lies, I suspect that millions become liars themselves and talk about two-way conversations they've had with God themselves.
These people look down on folks like me who cuss and take the name of the Lord in vain, and yet they think nothing about lying on God itself and making false claims that God actually talks to them. Now I wonder what God thinks of that?
I wonder what they think that God thinks of that? My suspicion is that they don't really believe in God at all, or they would never do it. The reason I never lie on God is because I believe that God hears me when I talk and knows my thoughts.
The power of prayer, my foot. When a person prays, the least they should do is keep their mouth shut and keep it between them and God alone. I look down on people who say grace at the table. Who do they think they are impressing? God?
There must be millions saying grace at any given moment. Do they think that God is so stupid that It is going to even take the time to listen, much less be impressed by their self-righteous silliness?
The same goes for any public prayer. "Listen up here God. Drop what you're doing and listen up here now while we pray out loud and impress ourselves with our goodness and our holy ways. When we're done, you can go about your business."
Let the world be stupid and insane. I can't accept the fact that God is an idiot. I can't accept that God can be directed by prayer. "Listen up God, please, please do this and do that for me and give me some of these. And make George W. Bush the president."
I can't picture God, in its infinite wisdom, thinking to itself, "I'm glad you brought those matters to my attention. Why yes indeed, I'll do this and do that and give you some of those and make George W. Bush president. And I'm going to put a gold star by your name, my friend, because of your wonderful goodness and direction."
I don't have anything against personal prayer. I don't look down on a person crying out to God to save their lives or the lives of their loved ones. It's a natural impulse. But if God is worth praying to at all, I suspect that It already knows what's happening and going to happen.
I don't think there's anything wrong with having a conversation with God, as long as we realize who we're talking to and that God does not talk back. I don't think there's anything wrong with thanking God from one's heart for whatever a person honestly wants to thank It for.
But I think there's a whole lot wrong when we start claiming to know the will of God and everything else about It. And notice I refer to God as It. It's just the dumbness of man that insists on It being a male. I don't care what the Bible says about it, God is not formed in the image of a human - male or female - because there is no reason for it.
Not only do I believe in God, I believe that there should be no separation between a human and God, not even religion. Most of the horrors of life and the horrors to come can be traced directly to the Church door and the stench of hypocrisy that emanates from it.
No, I don't have any trust in the power of prayer. But I have a great deal of faith in the power of doubt. This world would be a whole lot better off if we would be honest and take a good look at our doubt instead of lying to ourselves and everyone else about it.
What if Pat Robertson is right, that God doesn't interfere with the work of nature? What if God considers man a part of nature too and doesn't interfere with it? Are we so egotistical that we can't accept that possibility?
The fact that we, as a human race, have killed so many millions of innocent men, women and children, without God doing a damn thing about it, and that we're continuing the killing, is compelling evidence that it is true.
Shouldn't that tell us that it's time to quit blaming the hell that we've created on the devil and start taking responsibility for turning this world into a Garden of Eden where all is peace and good will toward man?
Or is it just too late and we're doomed to follow the old gods and traditions, the preachers, popes, potentates, presidents, czars, sheiks and kings until we have blown up the whole world and everything in it?