Ditch the Prayers

Many will offer “prayer” in the wake of the Orlando tragedy. Whether it’s done in a church, over a microphone by a politician, or through Tweets, Facebook, and blog postings … prayer will be the common response to what has been described as “the worst killing spree in U.S. history.”

Yet the truth remains … the ONLY efficacy of prayer related to any tragedy is for the people doing the praying.

Over a period of many centuries, it has been indoctrinated into the human psyche that a loving, invisible entity hears a person’s pleas and will offer comfort and solace to those in need. Thus, by simply uttering a few relevant words to this unseen being, many believe they have helped to ease any suffering and/or pain experienced by the loss or injury of someone else’s loved ones. In other words, they have “done their part.”

Few (if any) ever take the next step — even though the teaching of their “Good Book” says … “let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18) Or, as the ISV puts it,  “we must stop expressing love merely by our words and manner of speech; we must love also in action and in truth.”

Opening the mouth and directing a few words “heavenward” may be quicker and easier than actually doing something, but the truth remains … actions speak louder than prayer.

Even when miles separate us from those who are hurting, there are ways to ease suffering. Try contributing to the Red Cross or other disaster funds. Send a virtual hug if you know the affected parties. If you happen to live close by, perform simple, small acts of kindness. Offer words of solace and understanding. In other words, be human. And ditch the prayers.

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43 thoughts on “Ditch the Prayers

  1. I gotta admit, I don’t think candlelight vigils are very effective either. People keep prayin’ and burnin’ candles after these awful events, and, yet, they keep happening. It ain’t workin’ people. Ya know what might help? A ban on assault weapons and weapons like them. Let’s see if that at least slows things down a bit. It’s worth a try, I think. And, money donated to victim’s families will, indeed, be more helpful than candle burnin’ and prayin’, too.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, agreed. If you have the ability to gather a large number of people together for a cause, how about a political protest instead of a vigil? Take your candles if you want, but have your gathering on the steps of your legislature, and make it about getting rid of discrimination, and enacting gun control. Sitting around your church singing Kum-by-yah a bunch of times does exactly nothing.

      Liked by 5 people

    • I disagree somewhat with your idea that candle vigils have no results. As any kid struggling with being gay and seeing an outpouring of support like that and they feel better about themselves. Even adults like me take heart in seeing people, an amount of people willing to stand out in public and say they support us, they grieve with us, they see us as people. I know my attitude is formed from a time when very few would publicly support us, and my own adoptive father said on learning I was gay that he had better buy my grave and that he would have to support me because no one would hire a gay and I would only die soon. However while I went on to make my own way in life and having a wonderful 26 year long so far relationship, the one alone and that they had to support all their life was their offspring son. So after years of being told no one normal likes you, no one normal wants to be seen with you or admit they like you.. to see these outpouring of support.. Yes it means something. That is my own view. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • What I meant was candle light vigils are not stopping mass shootings, not that they don’t make people feel better. I’m tired of having to watch them because nothing is being done to stop bloody gun sales in this country. Are candle light vigils stopping gun sales? Are they telling Congress to wake up and enact laws to stop this kind of mindless slaughter? I don’t think so. We need to have fewer of them, and the only way that’s going to happen is if something is done to stop the reason they’re happening. Will that happen? Will Congress look at all the saddened people at all these vigils and enact laws to help make them unnecessary? No. No, they won’t. Thus, candle light vigils and prayers for the suffering will go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, as will the shootings, the violence, and the suffering. And that, my friend, is my point, not that gay folks haven’t suffered horribly, not that said vigils don’t help show unity and support-they do. They are not, however, doing a damn thing to change the reason why they’re being held so often in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I normally agree with you , but in this case I do not. I know that these acts have not YET brought about the changes you mention, such as new gun control laws. However they are impacting congress, and government officials.

          First the number of supporters of these things use to be very small, just local groups. Now it is almost world wide. I have read reports that many countries not normally caring about the USA have been showing signs of support.. For example the different place that are being lighted in gay pride rainbow colors.

          Second I think of all those mayors and attorney generals that are getting raked over the coals because they were so against any gay rights, any gay marriage, any acceptance of gays… saying the most hurtful and harmful things, now trying to jump on the bandwagon of sympathy and love for LGBT.. I think of trump ( who I know for a fact is homophobic as I live with one of his EX-butlers ) and here is him saying gays love him and he is better for gays than others.. when he said that he not only doesn’t believe in same sex marriage but would appoint judges to the supreme court that would overturn the right.

          My point is only by outpouring of support, only by showing politicians that a majority of their voting public support LGBT will the same politicians began to support the LGBT that they use to disparage because they thought that the people wanted that!

          So I guess you have to take the longer view than just one night, one week.. even one year. We have made great strides, but it is only because people are willing to be seen, to be outspoken , to be willing to stand up .. then we get closer to equality as LGBT people. Be well. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

        • This latest incident has pretty much solidified my bleak outlook. While there are certainly many wonderful, well-meaning people in the world, and in America, this gun situation isn’t going to improve any time in the near future. Prayers and candles mean nothing to the NRA. They simply do not care. The NRA’s power and wealth and ridiculous conservative and religious nonsense seem to dictate what, as a culture, we think is important and what we value. There will be no change of any merit on the issue of gun sales in this country. I applaud the filibuster the Democrats staged the other day, but it will amount to nothing. The NRA is simply too rich, too powerful, and backed by too many conservative lunatics who think guns are a wonderful substitute for an emaciated penis to ever restrict their sale. I’m sickened and outraged about what happened last Saturday. Sickened because I, like the rest of us, have seen it over and over again. I’m outraged for the same reason. My anger is very overpowering at the moment. I apologize for that, but I’m terribly pessimistic about our future.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I can only hope that the more of us.. the more they count bodies and votes, they will see it in their own interest to change.. other than suddenly getting huge amount of money that is the only way we can make them change. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

        • “they will see it in their own interest to change.. other than suddenly getting huge amount of money”. Sorry, prayers and candles will do nothing to change the craving lust for $ that dominates the NRA, and the uncontrollable need those with emaciated penises have for wielding guns. What the Democrats did in Congress the other day needs to be done every day. Candlelight marches on Washington with hundreds of thousands of people, nightly, may help, but, in a few weeks, all the candles will have burned out, all the filibustering desire will be spent, and the NRA will still have control of Congress, guns, and bloodshed. In a few short months or years, another lunatic will shoot up a school or a nightclub, and candles will once again burn, prayers will once again be said, and cries for change will ring out like the howls of wolves into the night, for a few weeks, at least. And, once again, nothing will change. Perhaps if the situation with guns was changing for the better rather than for the worse, I’d see this differently. But it is not improving. Last Saturday highlights this perfectly. Burning candles is about as effective in ending the NRA’s reign of bloody power on our country as blowing air onto to a fire is to extinguish it. It’s impotent in all ways except that it makes people feel, momentarily, better. I’ll end now with this: In a few months, when we have another incident like this one, ask yourself how much influence the burning of candles and the kneeling in prayer to a god have helped make the situation any better than the one that occurred last Saturday night in Orlando. The answer will be short, quick, and easy: None. None whatsoever. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong about this, but, sadly, I do not see that happening in my lifetime.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Tell me about it. With this new condition that developed I am doing that twice a day. It started with just liquid if I had too much soda too fast, they told me I had a sensitive tummy… Now that food is coming up and it is several times a day not just once in awhile… they say I MAY.. they always use MAY.. have this crappy thing. Be well. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

      • Scottie, sorry if I’m overly harsh sounding here. I’m certainly not directing any of it toward you. I’m just blowing off steam. You’re a terrific follow with a huge heart that’s filled with optimism and hope. I admire that in you, and, on an individual level, I’m right there with you. I, too, see much good in many, many people. The folks we blog with, like Nan, for example are outstanding human beings. I’m pessimistic, however, about us as a species on the whole and as Americans in particular. This recent shooting has shown me just how little has changed in America to curtail the violence guns heap upon so many innocent people in our land. I truly hope I’m proven wrong and optimism wins out. I really do.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Jeff, you passion about this issue is obvious — and I agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s a damn shame that we have to lose lives just because certain individuals put the possession of their beloved guns ahead of human lives.

          I know there are responsible gun-owners and I hate lumping them in with the jerks but unfortunately, many of them are no better when it comes to any discussion of gun control. They all have their “reasons” why it wouldn’t work. The most repeated ones is that the “criminals will still be able to get guns.”

          If we are to objectively look at this whole scenario, it isn’t really about the guns. It’s about human society. In too many instances, it’s all about me-me-me. This has been proven time and again by the disregard for those less fortunate … and/or the hate and intolerance towards anyone who is “different.” And, of course, as you and I both agree — tRump has consistently reinforced this state of mind.

          Sometimes I wish aliens truly would attack our planet … maybe then the human race would learn to pull together. That is, if we can put any credibility into the movies! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • I agree. There are responsible gun owners. I know a few. I’ve no huge issue with Jimmy-The-Orange-Coated-Duckie-Hunter whackin’ duckies on Sunday mornings during duckie season. Problem here is, the conversation about restricting and/or banning the sale of assault-type weapons needs a 14 and a half hour filibuster in Congress just to get discussed! It’s crazy. Yes, criminals will have guns if they REALLY want them. Right now, people are buying assault-type weapons LEGALLY and slaughtering people with them. Are these wackos NOT criminals? This isn’t about Al Capone using a Tommy gun to whack his gang-land rivals. It about Joe Little-Penis needing an AR-15 to hunt deer and protect his house from Obama’s planned home invasion. This “need” is entirely ludicrous and dangerous. What this is about, to me, is keeping these weapons out of the hands of narcissistic lunatics who can obtain them legally, readily, and easily. We need to stop this or at least make a damn strong effort to try.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Hello Jeff. I know you’re trying to help. What you say makes sense. I just can’t look at one side, the bad side, the hard side of it all. We are making progress on guns, I just read an interesting article I will try to post on how the NRA got so powerful and what steps are being taken at a much lower level. I guess because for a long time in my life, in childhood, I had nothing and no hope. I knew what was going to happen was bad, hurt, was nothing I could do. No promise could be made, no begging would change the situation… and I felt so alone. I was in the world some times, but never part of it. When that all changed, when I got out of it, and I started to dream or better and new things, I could control me now, and … well I found good things. Ron helped me so much, he never got discourages, he never sees the bad , he looks for the good. I guess that made an impression on me. I think the world needs both of us Jeff. It needs people like you to call it like it is , to point out the shit is shit when it is shit as a friend of mine use to say. But the world needs people who can say yes it is shit but look how it makes the garden grow. Be well. You are a great guy and a wonderful friend. Hugs

          Liked by 2 people

    • Why can’t people see through his showboating?

      Arch one of the discoveries for me in this current election cycle in the U.S. has been to observe how political delusion seems eerily similar to religious delusion.

      People see what they want to see and find ways to exclude the evidence that conflicts with that.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A very good point Nan. Ditch all the talk, and start doing the walk and WORK! 🙂

    There is a significant quandry, however, that Faith-believers must wrestle with OR use as an excuse, a justification to use only their “faith in prayer”. After all, God is omnipotent and omniscent so why must little depraved human sinners have much to do anyway?

    That quandry is “God’s Promise” that He WILL bring Armeggedon, Apocolyptic Extinction, and for His “true Believers” — depending on WHICH Abrahamic “believer” you seem to be — a euphoric Rapture and Reward. So with that sort of “promise”… why not HELP usher it into fruition, like so many “Believers” or “Messiahs” or “Christs” try to do and have tried many many times all throughout known recorded history, particularly the Abrahamic religions!?

    That mentality right there Nan, is what is so grave for us Seculars: We have too many deluded millions NOT really helping, collaborating to survive our species and avoid extinction! It (too?) often seems like they are helping extinction arrive as soon as possible! A virus of apathy. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Evangelicals troll our streets quite regularly here. Small busloads of about twenty who then spread out into groups of two on either side of the street. If only these people took that bus to an animal shelter and said, “We’re here to help, what can we do?” I would have more patience for them.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. What Ricky Gervais tweeted after tornados in Oklahoma in 2013:

    “@MTVNews: Beyoncé, Rihanna & Katy Perry send prayers to #Oklahoma #PrayForOklahoma”

    I feel like an idiot now…I only sent money.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Only when the US electorate votes for a presidential candidate who, woth the full backing of his party, promises to introduce gun control measures as one of his election manifesto priorities will your country see change.

    As the saying goes, you will get the government you deserve. As we all do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just yesterday, Democrats in congress staged a filibuster for about 14 hours and forced Republicans to allow a vote on gun control to take place. http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/orlando-nightclub-massacre/filibuster-ends-after-gop-agrees-allow-gun-control-votes-senator-n593396 This is the first time I can think of in,,well,,forever, that Democrats showed some backbone and fought like this for something important. It won’t matter, as the NRA practically runs Congress, but it’s at least a tad encouraging to me to see Democrats showing a bit of courage for once. Now, I’m off to hunt quail with my brand new rocket launcher. Wish me luck.

      Liked by 3 people

      • But have they even hinted at what sort of controls?
        Suggestions might be in the form of:

        1. No Firearms will be sold to prospective buyer unless identity verified by:
        1 parole officer,
        or
        2. former prison warder
        or
        3.juvenile correction officer.

        Failing this, a sworn affidavit of mental competency must be produced by prospective gun purchaser’s local drug dealer, or a Church minister, Rabbi, Iman Cult Leader not on any FBI TO Watch List or local law enforcement pedophile list.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It’s a mute point. Nothing will change. The NRA runs the show, and they will simply not allow restrictions on gun sales. Like I said, unless NRA meetings become the consistent target of gun-wielding whack-jobs, nothing will change. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go into my basement and polish my nuclear missile collection.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Just read this on Facebook:

        Guns do in fact kill people. That’s what they are designed to do. If you feel you need a gun to protect yourself in America, you are probably living in the wrong neighborhood and should move before you go out and buy a gun. There are like a billion places to live where you won’t need a gun, or even need to lock your front door.

        I think he’s on to something … 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, You are going to pray to your invisible friend? Gee thanks…

    No matter if a person is going to the dentist, or in light of the worst imaginable tragedies, they all rush to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

    This by product of religion has had me saying wtf? for decades.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are right about that. Which saddens me even more as it was bad enough to think they could look the other way , but even worse that they want bad things to happen to others, will even line the others up for the bad thing, if it will just prevent them from being the one. Sad. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

      • You are dead right. It is also very sad when all these people believe God has a divine hand in selecting Trump for presidency. I cannot help but wonder how bad God’s selections of leaders around the world has been in the past. I think they should be praying for God to keep his nose out of politics and they should vote for candidates supported by logical thinking…….oh hang on, I forgot, they have none of that do they?

        Liked by 2 people

        • I love it.. You made my night. See I have been watching a bunch of trump stuff and getting more and more down. You found the right words to make me see it better and get a laugh at it. Thank you SKLYJD. I look forward to more conversation with you. Hugs

          Like

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