Focus Tries to Hide Its “Pray for Rain” Video

On July 31, Focus on the Family’ posted a video featuring Stuart Shepard asking supporters to beseech God with prayers so that Barack Obama’s Democratic Convention speech at Mile High Stadium in Denver would be washed out with “rains of biblical proportion.”  But don’t bother clicking the link to watch the video, because Focus has now removed it, as the Colorado Springs Gazette reports:

Focus on the Family Action pulled a video from its Web site today that asked people to pray for "rain of biblical proportions" during Barack Obama's Aug. 28 appearance at Invesco Field in Denver to accept the Democratic nomination for president.

Stuart Shepard, director of digital media at Focus Action, the political arm of Focus on the Family, said the video he wrote and starred in was meant to be "mildly humorous."

But complaints from about a dozen Focus members convinced the organization to pull the video, said Tom Minnery, Focus Action vice president of public policy.

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

"Pray for Rain" was posted July 30 and blazed its way through the Internet, scoring 20,000 page views, Shepard said.

It was one of Shepard's weekly video commentaries that appear on www.citizenlink.org, Focus Action's Web site. The general timbre of Shepard's videos is tongue-in-cheek as he examines political issues from the conservative Christian viewpoint of Focus Action.

Most of "Pray for Rain," which lasted less than three minutes, showed a lighthearted Shepard at Invesco Field asking viewers to pray for "torrential" rain during Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention.

"I'm talking ‘umbrella-ain't-going-to-help-you rain,'" he said on the video.

The video's point, Shepard said, is that in his view Obama has not clearly stated his stances on abortion and gay marriage, important themes within the Christian right.

"I'm still pro life, and I'm still in favor of marriage as being between one man and one woman," Shepard said in the video. "And I would like the next president who will select justices for the next Supreme Court to agree."

As for his praying for a deluge: "It's called hyperbole," Shepard said Monday. "It is meant to be humorous."

Minnery said the video was taken down because several Focus members complained that prayer shouldn't be used to bring harm on someone else.

"We are not about confusing people about prayer," Minnery said.

Focus has gone all out; disabling the video and removing it from their archives, as well as from their GodTube and YouTube pages but, unfortunately for them, that hasn’t prevented others from capturing the video and posting it themselves [Good As You has the video as well]:

Despite Focus’s best efforts to remove their video and pretend they were only kidding, it wasn’t enough to keep Shepard from earning himself the top spot on yesterday’s Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World”