These were the words spoken by a relative after a recent shooting in California that killed (at least) four people. At the time of the prayer, information was still sparse and the victims had not been named. Apparently, the person had a brother and a niece who worked in the building where the shooting took place.
In any event, this type of utterance in a time of tragedy is typical … and worthless.
The deed has been done. There is no turning back. If this person’s relatives were killed, no prayers are going to bring them back to life.
If they were not victims of the shooter, then any prayers are pointless since the relatives are alive and well.
There is little doubt that prayer is for the benefit of the person doing the praying. And that benefit is purely psychological because NO GOD is going to make a spectral appearance and change the events – of this incident or any other human circumstance.
And yet … the “faithful” continue to pray, expecting and “believing” that all will be well.
Yup! Three EVANGELICAL church leaders are very unhappy with Governor Newsom because they contend his closure ban violates their First Amendment rights and that it’s an “unprecedented attack” on the freedom of worship. In their view, singing and praying aloud as a body of Christ is a biblical mandate.
Question: Does a biblical mandate override a State Governor’s mandate?
It’s been well-documented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that singing is a proven way to spread the COVID-19 virus. Yet it seems these pastors (along with scores of other people) prefer to ignore medical advice and instead follow the instructions put forth in a book that is several thousand years old.
Further, what these individuals seem to overlook is the governor also mandated that all bars across the state must close and that restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms must suspend indoor activities.
Contrary to their objections, they are not being singled out. The governor’s action is not discriminatory, nor is it persecution. It is a desperate attempt to reduce the number of cases and deaths that are occurring everyday in his state from the spread of the coronavirus.
And finally … a few absurd words from Jordan Sekulow (one of the plaintiffs) whose father is Jay Sekulow, a member of President Trump’s legal team: “Banning singing in California churches is an unconstitutional abuse of power, and to do it in the name of a pandemic is despicable. This ban is clearly targeted at religion.”
A quote from Isaac Asimov seems an appropriate closing for this post:
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.
While our dear devoted “Christian” president and his loyal and dedicated vice-president both send the usual “thoughts and prayers” to the survivors of the recent El Paso shooting, I heard one presidential candidate send “love, encouragement, and support.”
Unfortunately, I don’t recall who it was — it was mixed in with all the news reports being broadcast on TV — but it immediately caught my attention and I thought YES! Finally someone knows how to show concern and respect to people in a desperate and frightening situation.
I often wonder if the individuals who repeat the rote phrase have any clue of how meaningless it has become. Apparently not because they repeat it again … and again … and again … and again.
Further, I would lay odds that not ONE SINGLE PERSON who “sent prayers” actually prayed.
I’ve often thought if those people who actually believe there’s a god would do a little preventive praying, maybe such killings wouldn’t occur. Then again, as many of us know, such action is nothing more than a “feel good” effort anyway and it’s going to take a LOT more than “prayers” to stop these senseless killings.
I would be interested in your thoughts on the following excerpt. It was taken from an article written in 2007 related to the efficacy of prayer in a medical setting.
Intercessory prayer is a request to God to change his or her mind about the already established plan for the universe and make it go another way. Of course, this implies that a perfect deity’s plans, which would (by definition) have to be perfect, should now be altered at the urging of an imperfect being.
You must “register” to read the entire article. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments and I’ll provide the link.
I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. - M. Cole