It's hard for me to watch the goings on of the Republican presidential race. And it's not that I begrudge the Republicans their politics or their right to disagree with me. I'm not sure how different their Tea Party is from those who are occupying Wall Street right now. Underneath bravado we are all just flawed humans beings prone to over simplifying complex issues.
What gets me though is the way they have high jacked my faith. At the prayer breakfast if the Holy Spirit speaks it is always in favor of tax cuts and less government regulation and preemptive military action. The Holy Spirit never comes out in favor of anything without clearing it with the Republican Party.
The Bibilist vow to put God back in the public schools, as if God were a small plaster icon and not the Creator of the universe. Evidently they can attend prayer rallies and sense the Spirit's presence. I don't. The public invocation (Father God, bless us, Father God, we ask you hear us, Father God hear this conference, Father God, of Northeast Iowa caucus voters, father God...) is a piece of sanctimonious boilerplate with the spiritual weight of a postage stamp. It has no connection to my understanding of prayer, the offering of myself in the presence of the Creator: Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world have mercy upon us. Or in Merton's words: the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. Saying the names of loved ones, putting myself wordlessly under God's wing, this is the prayer I known and understand. Campaign prayer is simply political speech directed at God as if She needed instruction. Why are these candidates and their followers so willing to exploit the Christian faith for political mileage? I can't answer that.
I just know that for all the prayers, if you try to find the love of God at work in the major political parties of America it may take you awhile.