Not exactly subtle, is it?
My thoughts exactly. We’re reaping what they have sown, and all they can do is say they’re praying for the victims…which does absolutely nothing except make you look compassionate and feel good about yourself.
Look, I’m atheist but I get it. I know that many people feel that the only thing they can do is pray, and I know that it makes you feel good. Of course in cases of natural disasters these praying folks could at least donate some money to help the survivors, though I’m sure many don’t because praying (and telling everyone about it on Twitter, naturally) is just easier.
But when it comes to these daily mass shootings, there’s definitely a feeling of helplessness. I understand why peoples’ first reaction is to pray for the victims, and that’s fine…whatever helps you cope in this increasingly shitty world. But when politicians make a big show of it, especially these right-wing champions of gun proliferation and American jingoism, it’s sickening because everyone knows it’s simply lip service and not genuine in the least. Worst of all, they take no actual action because doing so would mean they’d be perceived as “weak” by their frothy-mouthed supporters. Can’t have that, can we? Can’t risk those votes!
Not to mention that these shootings are a huge boost to their religious and racist agendas. I’ll bet Ted Cruz actually gets a raging boner each time news of a new shooting hits the wire. “OMG another one! I hope it was a Muslim! Ohhhh, baby…”
Meanwhile, people keep getting murdered, gun sales spike, and soon it will all happen again. And how fucked-up is it that we’re now used to it? We are a sick, sick country.
A post from AlterNet last year asks, “Is prayer selfish?” I think so, depending on what you’re praying for — most people pray to get things, or have have certain things happen (or not happen) to themselves. If this is the Supreme Being you’re praying to, why wouldn’t you make your prayers more about the welfare of others and less about your own self-interest? This is assuming your prayer is heard by anything, much less answered. And I have to question what kind of supreme being would divert a hurricane away from a political convention and towards a populated area where it can kill innocent people. But that’s kinda beside the point, I suppose…
Fall is prayer season. Some folks think of it as football season, and indeed, images of football players circled with heads bowed or pointing to the big guy in the sky are almost as familiar lately as birds flying south. But the real season kickoff this year was the Republican convention, where the fervent supplications of evangelicals and Pentecostals miraculously diverted Hurricane Isaac, so that the party could go on. Praise the Lord, Tampa was spared, and the death and destruction that might have befallen people who live there…befell somebody else.
Should the families of those who died in Louisiana and Mississippi sue the Republican prayer warriors for not being a little more specific? Couldn’t they have gotten the hurricane to touch down somewhere remote, where the only homes destroyed would be those of, say, birds and non-pet, non-farm and most importantly non-human mammals?
Can’t you just imagine the explosion of anger and moral outrage this is causing, simply because the school is being made to uphold the law of the land?
50 years of prayer stopped after school receives letter
TALLAPOOSA, GA CBS ATLANTA -For more than 50 years the Haralson County High School Rebels have been praying before football games over their public announcement system. For the first time since the prayers began all those years ago, the loud speaker was silenced. In their first home game against Bowdon things were a lot different. The changes came after a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation was sent to Haralson County Schools Superintendent Brett Stanton.
The letter, dated Sept. 19, 2011 asked the district to stop praying over the loud speaker because it was violating the constitution. According to the letter, signed by, Stephanie A. Schmitt, a lawyer for the foundation, it read; “First and foremost, it is illegal for a public school to organize, sponsor and lead prayers at public high school athletic events.”
Under the constitution, via separation of church and state, Stanton agreed that from a professional position, it was in the schools best interest to replace the prayer with a moment of silence instead. “We are going to follow the guidelines of the Constitution,” Stanton said. “I think it is a huge adjustment for this community, something they are having to adapt to. And something that has really brought them together.”
Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. This is my favorite quote, though:
“I am upset because I think our God-given rights are being taken away as well. We are a God-believing community and we have our rights too. This is needed in our community. If you don’t want to support the prayer then allow us to have our say.”
Oh for fuck’s sake! Nobody is making you stop praying altogether, as if such a thing were even possible. Go home and pray. Get into your car and pray. Hey, sit on the toilet and pray for all anyone cares (they don’t). But don’t make prayer part of a public school activity. You people who complain about the sanctity of your American rights sure are quick to ignore the things about our country’s church & state separation when it’s convenient for you.
I found this post in my Drafts folder from 2010. Why didn’t I post it? There are lots more where this came from, drafts from beyond the grave…
An interesting take on prayer and why you don’t seem to get an answer.
God answering prayer violates free will. Theists, whether Christians or otherwise claim that God intervenes in the world but simultaneously state that God can’t make us do good because this violates free will. But doesn’t any intervention by God into human affairs constitute a violation of free will? Why in one case can God affect and/or control human behavior without violating free will but in another case God’s action does? Is there a limit to how much God can intervene in human affairs before it becomes a violation of free will? Five percent of the time? How about ten? To me it seems a clear double standard that is in need of an explanation.
If one abandons the notion that God can intervene in the world to answer prayer God all of a sudden looks much different. Gone is the notion that the Holocaust could have been prevented and was part of God’s divine and “awesome” plan. Gone is the immense power for God to take sides in war as illustrated in the Hebrew Bible. Gone is a God that plays favorites. No longer can God be omnipotent as previously understood because God lacks the power to act in the world. For many who begin to interpret the divine in this non-theistic new light, God then becomes synonymous with love, creative energy and relatedness. Just because the theology of yesterday is insufficient for our modern standards doesn’t mean we need to abandon God, religion or appreciation for the divine.
This is our dog Saffy all the way, only with the UPS guy. I can practically hear her thoughts: “MAN IN LOUD BROWN TRUCK IS HERE! MAN IN BROWN SUIT FROM LOUD BROWN TRUCK IS COMING UP STEPS! MAN IN BROWN SUIT FROM LOUD BROWN TRUCK ON STEPS IS RINGING BELL! MUST ALERT 2-LEGS WHO FEEDS ME! ALERT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND oh he’s gone now.”
Once again, reality proves to be a harsh mistress to those deluded by religion’s ridiculous promises.
Madeline Kara Neumann Prayer Death: Conviction Upheld For Parents Who Only Prayed For Sick Daughter
Kara, who had been growing weak for several weeks leading up to her death, eventually became too sick to speak, eat, drink or walk. Her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, don’t belong to any organized religion or church but identify themselves as Pentecostal Christians and believe visiting a doctor is akin to worshipping an idol, the Supreme Court opinion said.
As Kara’s condition worsened, her parents resisted suggestions from her grandmother to take her to a doctor. Kara’s grandfather suggested giving her Pedialyte, a supplement used to combat dehydration in children, but Leilani Neumann said that would take the glory away from God.
Dale Neumann testified that the possibility of death never entered their minds. After the girl died, Leilani Neumann told police God would raise Kara from the dead.