Among the Reasons God May Temporarily Be Unavailable to Bless America
by Peter Laarman

It does not seem to occur to our suddenly devout nation that the universal prayer for blessing appearing on lawn signs, bumper stickers and shop windows might be theologically offensive, and offensive not just to thoughtful believers but to the One who is being addressed. Herewith, then, some reasons why God may not choose to grant America's petition…

  1. Because, in times of stress, this prayer too often means "God Bless White America."

  2. Because the world is not our oyster.

  3. Because U.S.-sponsored terror has killed too many children in Iraq, Angola, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Cuba, ________, _______, ________ (fill in the blanks).

  4. Because God has been taking an immersion refresher course in Arabic.

  5. Because God has had it up to here with the assumption that prayers for national exemption from pain and tragedy deserve an answer.

  6. Because God is too busy processing Americans' prayers for their high school football teams.

  7. Because God expects nations that enjoy extraordinary prosperity to be rather more generous with respect to international development needs than the U.S. has been.

  8. Because Heaven recently laid off its switchboard operators and went to an automated answering system requiring callers to enter a 15-digit code for "God Bless America".

  9. Because God takes it for granted that the bombs falling on Kabul are America's real prayers.
Because such a tasteless and lurid efflorescence of red, white, and blue (including flags wrapped around church steeples) gives God a massive headache.

Originally posted at, 2002

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