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The Prayer Amendment

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The Prayer Amendment: A Satire of Southern Politics and Religion

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Category: Fiction
Format: Trade Paper, 272 pages
Pub Date: 2003 Spring
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-58838-118-7
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Alabama Governor James Forbe was elected to office on one simple promise: he would make Christian prayer mandatory in public schools. And he delivers, making more than half of his home state ecstatic.
Two grade-school girls, Emma and Susie, follow the Governor’s orders and begin reading the prayer off the chalkboard every day at school. But strange things start happening when Susie and Emma accidentally invert some of the words; the prayers—all of them, no matter how outrageous or heartfelt—begin coming true.
The effects of the little girls’ prayers begin to unhinge the state, and the country, as they pray for an end to disease, to poverty, to racism, and for new computers for each public school student. The characters—ranging from Brother Johnny, a perpetually Bible-quoting fundamentalist preacher, to Reverend Janet Gyalor, an acid-tongued Unitarian minister living as a hopeful stranger in a strange land—struggle to find meaning and happiness against the backdrop of extreme changes in the social order, while author Dennis Hale probes the theological implications of any state-sponsored religion. As Susie and Emma continue to pray for an ideal world, they only have two things to lose: their innocence and the purity of their faith. And the adult world, with all its self-imposed complexities and desires, is more than willing to strip both from the little girls.
Part fable and part wake-up call to the politicians and voters who continue to push for the convergence of church and state, The Prayer Amendment is biting, funny satire at its best, with well-intentioned individuals caught up in the maelstrom of religious politics in the Deep South.