Stranger Than Fiction

After 24 hours of traveling, including a cancelled flight, lost luggage, and a passenger’s medical emergency that almost forced us to land in Greenland, I am back in the Netherlands. I almost never check luggage, and I got a very valuable reminder why today: United Airlines has no idea where my luggage is. Thanks, guys – especially for asking me to stand in a line behind 400 people after you cancelled a pair of full flights in quick succession. As I overheard one lady ask, “How can you call it customer service if you can’t service your customers?” But I digress…

Had the following been in the plot of James Kunstler’s recent book, World Made by Hand (reviewed here), I would have dismissed it as absurb. Yet here it is, a story that is uniquely American:

Tired of paying through the nose, Americans try praying at the pump

“Lord, come down in a mighty way and strengthen us so that we can bring down these high gas prices,” Twyman said to a chorus of “amens”.

“Prayer is the answer to every problem in life… We call on God to intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high,” Twyman said on the gas station forecourt in a neighborhood of Washington that, like many of its residents, has seen better days

At the Shell station, Twyman had dire words of warning for those who are raking in profits from high gas prices. “Woe be unto those people that are really greedy and taking advantage of American families,” he proclaimed from his pump pulpit.

“These prices will come down, just like the walls of Jericho came down in the Bible,” he said, as another chorus of amens punctuated the sound of cash flowing out of the gas pumps.

Something tells me that these people would have struggled mightily in an Old Testament setting, where Job was losing everything he had in a test of character, and plagues of locusts were regularly descending on the crops. No, these pansies are praying for God to “intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high.” How about praying for the strength to restructure your life in the face of higher gas prices? How about praying for the strength to reduce your energy usage? No, easier to smite the “enemy” who is causing you to pay $4 a gallon, about 50% of what gas costs in the Netherlands.

Check out the story. Judy Dugan from the Oil Watchdog crew even makes an appearance. It would be a funny story, except it’s true. That makes it pretty sad.

10 thoughts on “Stranger Than Fiction”

  1. I dunno, praying for “knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry it” out has done wonders helping folks out of ethanol problems, maybe it will have some effect on oil addiction. Although, I have a feeling that low gas prices aren’t God’s will for the big picture.

    Maybe the preacher pumping up his congregation could have got together with Hillary pumping votes. They seem have a mutual pump at the pump theme.

  2. Could sanity be returning to the US senate? Twenty-four Republican senators, including presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona, sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency suggesting it waive, or restructure, rules that require a five-fold increase in ethanol production over the next 15 years.

    Of course, the ethanol crowd is not going to give up the pork without raising a stink: Ethanol is “one of the only solutions for holding down the price of oil in the long-term,” according to Jeff Broin, president and chief executive of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Poet, the nation’s largest ethanol producer.

    Perhaps we need to pray that ethanol goes away, since it is already doing such a great job holding oil prices down…

  3. Well, it seems that this is not the first time that God has inspired Mr. Twyman.

    He was also inspired to lead a call to give Ophrah Winfrey a Nobel Peace Prize .

    He is asking for divine inspiration to control the tongue of Rev. Jeremiah Wright .

    Mr. Twyman founded “The Reliqous Movement to Forgive Michael Vick”
    (search for Twyman here) .

    He was inspired to gather signatures for a condolences book for murdered Washington Redskin, Sean Taylor, and to conduct a memorial service for Mr. Taylor at Twyman’s Seventh Day Adventist church in Gaithersburg, MD (attended by 7 people).

    He also helped to sign up over 1,500 african american bone marrow donor cards.

    Mr. Twyman, 59, is a public relations consultant from Rockville, MD who has appeared on a number of cable news shows and in national publications. This is by far his best gig.

  4. Which brings up, of course:

    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
    My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
    Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
    So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

    Janis Joplin

  5. Note the source of the article: AFP.

    We (America) have been known to tease the French mercilessly at times, sometimes with good cause and sometimes without. They would be remiss to turn down the opportunity to return the favor, with such a big juicy target as Mr. Twyman presenting himself. Bravo, AFP.


    how many farm state sens. were on the list of 24?

    how many farm state sens. in total senate?


  7. “Lord, the prices at this pump have gone up since last week. We know that you are able, that you have all the power in the world…” said Mr. Twyman in the article.

    There you have it. Oilwatchdog, Twyman, et al, must believe that Exxon is at least for the time being more powerful than God. With just a little more intercession, He will recover his strength and smite the mighty Exxon.

    I suspect though, that He may be more occupied by Darfur, Iraq, and Myanmar than US gasoline prices.

  8. “How about praying for the strength to restructure your life in the face of higher gas prices?”

    Higher everything Robert. Prayer has as much chance as anything else to lower fuel prices. It never killed anyone to hope,right? I’m starting to suspect these high prices have nothing to do with peak oil. Unless all those other commodities picked the same time to peak as well.

  9. If I ever buy a bumper sticker, it will say “Stop praying, start working.”
    By the way, latest figs from the Golden State: Jan. gasoline consumption down 4.5 percent from a year earlier.
    It is just starting. Smaller cars selling better. Even the busses have people on ’em.

  10. Truth is always stranger than fiction. You just can’t make this stuff up!

    RR asks rhetorically why people don’t take action to restructure their lives, etc. The answer is the American sense of entitlement. They believe God has entitled them to high consumption of cheap resources and energy. That’s why they pray instead of restructure.

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