I’ve been thinking about God lately. Or, I’ve been thinking about how God is used and abused in speeches, especially of the political nature. The other day, as I was finishing up Season 2 of Battlestar Galactica, I saw Michele Bachmann’s Iowa straw poll victory speech. Think what you will of Bachmann, in her excitement and adrenaline, she demanded, “God bless America!” and “God bless you!” at least a dozen times within a few minutes. I use the word “demanded” purposefully. Somewhere along the way, we as an English-speaking people went from asking or requesting that God bless us – “May God bless you” – to commanding this omnipotent, omniscient powerhouse to bless us. Whereas the omission of “May” may be a simple elision, that is, it was just more convenient for us to drop the “may” in order to be more efficient with our time. One syllable can make a difference.