I was struck with a desire to pray today, having exhausted all useful actions with regards to politics, which is always problematic, because if I was required to nail down my religion, “Vague Pagan” would be the closest I could get, unless I’d been reading a lot of evolutionary theory that day, in which case my inherent atheistic tendencies come to the fore and I tend to mutter a lot about organized religion being a pox on humanity.
Whom, therefore, do I pray to?
Now, omnipotent gods are right out. I don’t believe in the Christian variety, obviously, and while I’m willing to accept that there may be some kind of Really Big Goddish Sort Of Thing out there, I’m pretty sure that if you’re that big, you have bigger fish to fry than one election of one country of one species on one planet in one rather small solar system out in the boonies. Anyone big enough to be effectively omnipotent is probably also way too big to be usefully interventionist, in much the same way that I am big enough and powerful enough to be a pretty good God for a millipede, but could not, for example, heal the millipedes or influence millipede politics, except by crushing a whole bunch of ’em. I have serious doubts that an interventionist specific god capable and willing of intervening exists, and if it does, it should make up it’s own bloody mind and not listen to me, because if you’re that cool, you probably have a better grip on things than I do.
However, being a vague pagan, I can always go for the handy, not-all-that-omnipotent-but-arguably-swayed-by-prayer pagan deities, who may or may not exist, but hey, at least they look cool. But whom? I had a soft spot for Anubis in my younger days, before discovering that he was unbearably trendy in the furry fandom, but he doesn’t seem like the type. There’s something very non-partisan about death. Death shows up for everybody.
So after some contemplation, I have narrowed it down to two remarkably dissimiliar candidates. And since gods as likely to read blogs as anybody, I suppose, and presuming that they can pick up a prayer as I’m writing it, I offer up the following.
O Great and Compassionate Ganesh, to whom I already probably owe something for having so shamelessly appropriated your image and compassionateness in a webcomic–although I assume you’re good with it, and hopefully even flattered, because the comic has not suffered any of the absurd and arbitrary random crises that I would associate with the displeasure of a deity–please remove all obstacles from the voting process so that the counting and recounting does not linger unto the seventh generation, but is immediately obvious. Likewise, in your infinite compassion, please grant us a president other than Bush, for lo, we have suffered enough under idiocy and long greatly for a change, and we probably don’t know the half of it compared to those poor buggers in Iraq, who I assume you’re already doing what you can for, although since it’s an Islamic nation, that may be Somebody Else’s job. But anyway, Kerry victory would be good, good clean voting would be fabulous. See your way, O Compassionate Rider of Rodents, to answering this prayer, and lo, offerings of candy will be forthcoming, although I promise it’s not a bribe, but rather a sincere expression of heartfelt gratitude, and if you have any links to any good temples to yourself that you want posted, drop them in my path, and I shall oblige.
The other one gave me some trouble, but I finally decided on a god that will have no interest in me whatsoever, but which I’ve always kinda found interesting.
O Mithras, patron of soldiers and sailors and travellers far from home, yours is a strictly fraternal order and you undoubtedly don’t give a rat’s ass what I want or don’t want, so I’m not gonna bother with the begging and whatnot. And yours is also a mystery religion, and nobody kept very good notes, so alas, I do not know how best to address you, and humbly beseech you to forgive the gaffes of ettiquette I am undoubtedly making. However, just in case nobody’s asked for your assistance, I respectfully request, O White Bull, that you lend what aid may be possible to our election woes, and respectfully suggest that one of the two combatants was a soldier long ago, and by most accounts, not a bad one, while the other one knows barely more of warfare than I do, but pretends to it with the flight suits and the mission accomplisheds and what not. Understanding that you’re a tough guy and don’t like people tellin’ you what to do, I therefore humbly and politely ask–but not insist–that you smite his ass, great Mithras, for having failed to be reponsible to those who do fall in your purview, but if you don’t want to, it’s up to you, and I won’t irk you by going on about it. Just thought you might wanna know the situation over here. Kindly spare us from bloodbaths, which if memory serves are also in your domain, and though I cannot sacrifice any large animals to you because of local zoning laws, I will paint another portrait of you if you are so moved to aid us, and hope you liked the last one. (I’m much better now.)
Well, that’s probably straining my credit with the divine way past the spending limit, and I doubt highly it matters one way or the other, since I believe in the power of prayer about as much as the power of placebos, but it killed an hour of pre-election jitters, and that’s all we can really hope for.