Shepard's All Wet: Rain Man Reined In At Focus On The Family
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 11:07:07 AM EST
It's good to know that there are some members and supporters of Focus on the Family (FOF) who do not believe God is petty and vindictive.

These FOF backers spoke up recently after Stuart Shepard, FOF's director of digital media, made a short video for the Religious Right group's Web site urging people to pray for rain during Sen. Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. Obama plans to give the speech outdoors at Denver's Mile High Stadium, so rain would be very unwelcome.

Shepard didn't just call for rain, however. He asked people to pray for a deluge. He called for "abundant rain, torrential rain...flood-advisory rain" and added, "I'm talking about umbrella-ain't-gonna-help-you rain...swamp-the-intersections rain."

Later in the segment, Shepard explained his reasons for urging people to pray for a rain like this: "I'm still pro-life," he said, "and I'm still in favor or marriage being between one man and one woman."

Devout people know that calling for precipitation prayers as part of a cheap political stunt trivializes prayer. Apparently, some of them belong to FOF, and they didn't find Shepard's comments amusing. Perhaps some of them live in the Midwest, where recent floods were no laughing matter. Or they might have just been embarrassed by the juvenile tone of the piece. In any case, FOF responded to their complaints by scrubbing the video.

Shepard claimed the video was meant to be funny. In an attempt to be hip and with the times, Shepard makes short videos that he believes are edgy and witty. I've seen several of them, and hate to break it to Shepard, but the truth is, his efforts are usually just not funny or insightful.

Last Christmas, Shepard claimed to be celebrating "Tossmas" and filmed himself throwing out every seasonal catalog that failed to include the word "Christmas." After Americans United won a federal appeals court ruling curbing a New Jersey public school football coach from leading players in prayer, Shepard made a film of himself being interrupted by a referee every time he tried to pray.

There is nothing worse than someone believing that he is clever and so badly missing the mark. Shepard's latest effort, so bad it even offended many FOF members, is a sign that he ought to turn in his camera.

By the way, FOF needs to learn that it's 2008, and it isn't so easy to drop something down the memory hole once it has been online. Despite FOF's efforts, Shepard's rant remains on You Tube. You can see it here.  

"If people took it seriously, we regret it," Minnery said Monday

"Jeez guys.  I was only joking!   It's not my fault you guys take things way too seriously."

Sound familiar?

by tacitus on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:10:41 PM EST

Shepard should pray for rain (and not flooding rain) in parched areas like Northern Georgia. They surely need it more there. He reveals himself as a petty person with his prayer for rain.

by khughes1963 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:53:14 PM EST

It seems that picking the "right" SC justices is more important than arid lands.

by trog69 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 03:40:23 AM EST

But Good As You still has a working copy:

by Emproph on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:17:46 PM EST

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