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A Christmas Miracle: The Power of Prayer

12:00 PM EST on December 28, 2009

With the mountains of snow and the exchanging of gifts, many of you probably missed that the health care reform that was (according to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell) "sprung" on the Senate after years of debate on the issue finally passed.  To get it open to a vote, the Democrats had to override a filibuster effort by the minority Republicans which takes sixty votes (as opposed to a simple majority).

Last week, when it became clear that this was going to--barely--happen, Oklahoma's junior senator called in a prayer request to the nation:

What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can't make the vote tonight. That's what they ought to pray.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I will assume that Senator Tom Coburn was wishing car trouble, or a happy family emergency (such as the birth of a child) that would keep a voter in favor of ending the filibuster from appearing.  In the Christmas season, one would be crazy to accuse the politician/Baptist deacon of wishing ill upon anyone, right?

As it turns out, he probably should have been a little more specific.  Not only did he fail to instruct people not to ask Jesus for smiting, he also forgot to ask the prayer chain to specify which political party should miss.

As a caller to CSpan tearfully pointed out the next day, the prayers worked and a senator did miss the vote.  It just turned out to be Oklahoma's senior senator, Jim Inhofe, who would have voted to keep the filibuster alive.  Let's look at what Abraham from Georgia had to say:

Our small tea bag group here in Waycross, we got our vigil together and took Dr. Coburn's instructions and prayed real hard that [92-year old Democrat] Sen. Byrd would either die or couldn't show up at the vote the other night.How hard did you pray because I see one of our members was missing this morning. [cue sobbing] Did it backfire on us? One of our members died? How hard did you pray senator? Did you pray hard enough?

Look, I'm not going to take a stand that the Healthcare reform bill is good or bad (but the fact that it is opposed by both super conservative people and super liberal people is a good sign), but was it really important enough for Senator Coburn to nearly kill his colleague Senator Inhofe?

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