"The Lord's Prayer," say the Archbishop of Canterbury, concerned that not enough children are getting churched up there days, "should be taught in schools".And he's right, of course. It's a fine, compact piece of poetry that should be taught in English lessons, instilling values that have since been boiled down by the Holy Prophets Bill and Ted of the Church of Wyld Stallyns.
"Be excellent to each other. And, party on dudes!"
It is worth, in these circumstances, going through the Lord's Prayer, as it is currently spoken week in, week out in churches up and down this country, to find out what it really means. Speaking as a deity-curious atheist, it's good to know these thingsas knowledge of Theism is just as powerful as knowledge of Atheism. Let's start at the beginning:
Our Father, Who art in HeavenAnd not "Devon" as you might expect. Thanks to a sponsorship deal, Our Father now resides in "Heaven", the well-known London nightclub frequented by the LGBT community. Interesting to note that while the C of E favours regular Heaven performer Kylie Minogue; that Catholic faith has swung its weight behind wonky-faced sister Dannii.
Harold be thy nameHarold, of course, being TV's Harold Bishop from the Neighbours, who died and came back to life, as per the prophecy in TV Quick magazine. He walks amongst us, people!
Give us this day, our daily breadOf course, there was no way the early writers of the Bible could have foreseen the emergence of the Pot Noodle.
Forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against usWhich, when translated into everyday English, comes out as "Forgive us our pss pss pss as we forgive those who pss pss pss a pss pss pss", and when spoken in any school assembly sounds like an invasion of snakes. In fact, since the release of the film "Snakes on a Plane", this line has been omitted from many school prayers, in case of a panic.
And lead us not into temptationYour memory is playing you false. This line was only added in 1983 after Heaven 17 reached number two in the charts with Temptation. A prime example of the Church getting down with The Kids.
And deliver us from evilAnother pop reference: Originally "And deliver us from Devo" after church officials became weird-ed out by the US art-rockers, but dropped when they realised a new threat was emerging. Expect a change to "And deliver us from Bieber" at any time.
The power, and the glory, for ever and everand ever and ever and ever and ever and ever that's enough now ever and ever and ever no really stop ever and ever.
So. The power of prayer revealed, and it's up there with homeopathy. Your mileage may vary, but just don't rely on it to fix your car, that's all.