Is there something about religion, especially Christianity here in North America, which warps reality, halts comprehension and communication, defeats logic, and fans the flames of paranoia? There’s definitely something which fertilizes the feeling of entitlement, and encourages complaints about the expression of any unwelcome facts or opinions.
After my Dazed And Confused Op-Ed post, letters kept trickling in from Christians, dismayed and defiant, about things that were not said, and claims that were not made.
I was away on vacation, so I’m not familiar with what led up to the last letter about prayer. But two thoughts come to me in reading it, the first is that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
The second thought I have is that Christianity and its beliefs seem to be fair game these days for skeptics and pundits alike. We would not tolerate a public discussion of another religion’s deity or its practices in the glib and derisive way the writer does. Irreverently speaking or writing about God amounts to blasphemy, and I for one am offended by it.
So, you don’t know what’s going on, but you’d like to add your 2 cents worth anyway. I don’t see how you relate ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ to the previous letter, but you prove that it applies to your own.
Christianity is not the only religion these days which is fair game for skeptics and pundits, but it’s the one closest to (your) home. When you publicly broadcast your blind faith and belief without any proof, you create skeptics in job lots.
There’s no glib and derisive treatment of any other religion? Really??! There’s even a word for it – Islamophobia. Perhaps you’ve noticed some other ‘Good Christians’ doing it.
Speaking of ‘a little knowledge’ – a pundit is a learned person, not merely some street yob, spray painting anti-religious graffiti. Scientific studies prove that most Atheists and Agnostics know more about Christianity than most Christians, often including priests/preachers.
Merely writing about what God (allegedly) does, or does not, do, is a statement of fact, not an irreverence. It is not blasphemy. (See ‘little knowledge’, above) Other people have faith and belief that your ‘God’ does not exist. Respect their opinions. I am offended that you worked so hard to be offended.
Pray? What For?’s writer does not realize that those of us who pray do not need to justify it to him or anyone else, for that matter. Prayer is simply a relationship with or a conversation with God. He must know this, but for some reason seems to need to attack those of us who pray. And to attack people because of religion or because we pray for those affected by Irma is a new low. Perhaps this says more about him than it does about anyone else. He is free not to pray but those of us who do are doing just fine. Who is he trying to convince that prayer does not work, him or me? He should remember the saying that, “There are no Atheists in foxholes.” and it seems to me that someday he will realize this.
Despite your fevered, misplaced paranoia, the writer – Did not ask or expect anyone to justify their praying. – Did not attack anyone, especially for praying, or for their religion, or praying for the victims of Hurricane Irma. – Did not suggest that anyone must stop praying – though I doubt that he’ll join you. You even admit that it’s “simply a conversation with God,” not actually productive. What he did, was point out that, after all your self-congratulatory, self-satisfied praying – the Southern U.S. is still a mess.
Much of it is still flooded. Hundreds are dead. Hundreds of thousands are without homes, food, water, and clothing. Billions of dollars of property damage has been inflicted. A National Day of Prayer has been held, and your God is throwing another hurricane toward Florida. Aside from making yourself feel good – YOUR PRAYER CHANGED NOTHING!
Even if, somehow, some Southern victims were aware of your prayers, they might still give you the evil eye and ask why you didn’t donate – money, food, clothing, your time and energy to drive or fly down and help clean up and rebuild. Organizations like Red Cross and FEMA are doing that – without all the useless, feel-good prayers. (Your perhaps imaginary) God helps those who help themselves – and others. Get off your prayer beads and actually do something – besides whining about how attacked you feel.
An Atheist in a foxhole might strongly wish that there were a God, a Heaven, and a life after death. If wishes were horses, then beggars might ride. Faith is when hope replaces reason.