Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Two Faiths of a Teleprompter

The teleprompter (Cf.) might have ended last night's speech on a fairly resounding peroration:

It’s a faith in the future that sustains us as a people. It is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the Gulf right now.
That form of faith -- a faith grounded in a history of challenges faced and unexpectedly overcome -- was a recurring theme of the address, one that has the virtue of being reality-based.

Alas, no. The teleprompter rolled on past that:
Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the region’s fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe. It’s called “The Blessing of the Fleet,” and today it’s a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea ... they came and they prayed. For as a priest and former fisherman once said of the tradition, “The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that He is with us always,” a blessing that’s granted “even in the midst of the storm.”
It's a little concern-trollish of me to carry on this way, but what else is a blog for -- god's blessing is not that he'll do anything, but that he's with us always? Really? That's the upside to a devoted personal relationship with him/her/it?

So, to review: under this second version of faith the teleprompter has invoked, we have an omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent leprechaun sitting on our shoulder -- exactly the sort of being we'd want for shoring up our technical acumen in the face of an ongoing calamity -- but he's going to sit this one out, and that's just fine. He'll say nothing and do nothing, but banish all worry because the awesome, fabulous leprechaun is there.

No thanks. The teleprompter rolled a few notches too many.

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