Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Off The Air?

Perhaps you've heard this story.

A Marine joins a class room and the professor stupidly calls to the heavens at the beginning of class, “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me from this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes.” Time passes as the class room remains silent. “Here I am, God. I'm still waiting.”

Allow me to interrupt for a moment. I completely admit I choose this story to badger my producer, Tom Wits, a Born again Baptist who may not agree with what you say and fight to repeal your right to say it. Let that be known, fore he may enjoy this story, but it comes with a hefty moral at the end from your beloved radical agnostic. Continuing.

The time comes down to the wire and no lighting nor stormy wind has tumbled the professor. Finally, the marine arises, approaches the man, and socks him hard in the mouth, knocking him from the platform. He then, silently, returns to his seat and a stunned class room.

Eventually, the professor comes to and asks, “What did you do that for?”

The Marine responds, “God was too busy protecting American soldiers who protect your right to say stupid stuff and act like an idiot. He sent me.” And the class room cheers.

The moral I give of this tale is that arguments are best solved through the use of violence and bold unfair strokes across the mouth.

Last night, the show covered the first question about what Springhill thought of the TSA pat downs and possible invasion of privacy. This lead, for one reason or another, to the question of weather or not the War On Terror was an American holy war. Soon after the question arose, we were cut off. I didn't even get to invite people to Mina's Movie Club. The reason given was that I might offend the proper good church-going community with my questioning of what is obviously a touchy matter. You know, those church-go'ers who stay up until three in the morning.

I argue that if not a talk radioshow, where else would one gleen the oppinions of the insomniac college community, but, no, I'm on probation or whatever it's called when you're knocked off your platform by a marine. It's not like I asked God to do it. So, Mr. Wits, supporter of troops, but not discussion there of, I present to you this prayer I found in a holy book of my own.

"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. 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.”

-The War Prayer, by Mark Twain.

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