Preposterous Universe

Monday, September 20, 2004
Staring hard questions in the eye

Fafblog! has another hard-hitting political interview, this time with that wacky duo, God and Satan.
FB: What can we do to make sure that American politics is Godly politics?
GOD: Vote for Godly Republicans, like Tom Coburn and Alan Keyes! You will know them by Mine mark: they will be alight with the Holy Spirit, and shall speak in strange tongues - equating the estate tax with slavery, and calling for the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions on rape victims!
SATAN: No, Fafnir, listen to me, and be seduced to the Dark Side by my vile policies of nuclear non-proliferation, equality of all citizens, and fiscal discipline! BLAAARRRRHHH!
(Is it me, or does Satan sound like Howard Dean?)

But the best part was the link to the always-zany Presidential Prayer Team. With the power of prayer on their side, the visionaries at the PPT are never afraid to confront the difficult questions that bedevil those of us of lesser virtue. Consider for example today's PPT Poll Question: "Have you, personally, grown spiritually stronger since September 11, 2001?" Happily, we click on the link to discover ... Yes! Most of us have grown stronger! Only a tiny fraction have declined, or merely maintained their previous level of spiritual strength (no distinction between these two possibilities was made in the poll). And perhaps they clicked the wrong choice by accident (for example, if they were from Florida).

We fear, naturally, the creeping menace of sample bias -- perhaps only PPT visitors have grown spiritually stronger? What if the rest of the country has weakened in the face of adversity? Pray harder!

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

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