By citing Dr. James Dobson's prayer for rain to fall on Barack Obama and applying it to a frozen national mall where hundreds of thousands gathered to rally before the start of this year's 2014 March for Life ("Anti-abortion movement confronts a cold reality," Record-Courier, Jan. 24) Dana Milbank asserts that Christians received a taste of their own medicine by implying God's disapproval of the pro-life movement.
Stating that "various religious conservatives have said that hurricanes, earthquakes and other meteorological phenomena were divine punishment of wayward humans," Mr. Milbank quickly draws the conclusion that "the participants trudging about in snow and ice in Wednesday's March for Life" were themselves the wayward recipients of "the wrath of an angry God." Backing his deduction with Gallup polls that suggest little progress in the anti-abortion movement, he then went on to categorize the prayerful marchers as card-carrying members of the Republican Party and further declared them as carrying out a "war on women."
Dr. James Dobson's selfish petition for rain on someone else's parade was impertinent and ungrounded. His prayer, therefore, could never be associated or compared with the prayers of those who would travel hundreds of miles to gather together in the bitter cold. The thousands of people who sacrificed their time to march on the frozen streets of the nation's capital did so out of love for all of God's children.
While weather phenomena has and always will be mysterious in its timing, those in the deepest relationship of prayer with the Almighty know that He allows everything in order to accomplish His holy will. If God allows catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes it is only to draw out a much greater good -- an act of divine mercy. This is the heart of Christian belief found in the ultimate tragedy-- the crucifixion and death of God's only begotten Son -- and triumph -- His glorious resurrection.
No matter what human beings experience on earth, Christian hope springs eternal. While prayers for an end to abortion continue amid trials and seeming losses, they nonetheless are offered knowing that God's timing is always perfect.The bitter cold experienced by the thousands who came to Washington in order that "all human beings might have life and have it to the full" (John 10:10) was an opportunity for them to unite their discomfort with the sufferings of their crucified Lord. This is the mysterious joy of the Christian faith -- a joy found in humility -- a joy found in any trial or circumstance.
Stephen M. Marchand, Randolph