What Glendale Needs…is Prayer

The city council of Glendale, Arizona is trying to decide whether they should open their meetings with prayer. They say it would be diverse, that all religious groups in the city would be invited to rotate in and do a prayer (90% of which would be Christian, of course), and the mayor has a brilliant reason for wanting to do it:

The Glendale City Council is considering whether to begin its meetings with a prayer. There’s already a moment of silence — and some say that’s a perfect time to pray. The mayor says it’s not enough.

“I mean obviously look at some of the problems we’ve had in the city over the years. A little help would go a long way I think,” says Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers.

This reminds me of the absurd arguments we hear for abstinence-only sex ed. Since they can’t show that teaching abstinence actually leads to kids not having sex, they instead just point out how great it would be if the kids didn’t do so. “Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid getting pregnant.” Yes, that’s true. But that has nothing to do with whether telling them to remain abstinent will actually make them abstinent. Same premise here, that it would be great if God would help solve the city’s problems, but that doesn’t mean that praying will bring any help.

Does he think that there aren’t people in Glendale who are already praying to fix whatever problems they have? Does he think if he offers a prayer in private or at church asking God to fix those problems that God won’t hear that one? Does God get better reception at city hall? Or do public prayers count more than private ones?

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  • From what I recall of Glendale, Arizona, “diverse” prayer would mean alternating between a Mormon bishop and a Catholic priest.

  • sqlrob

    Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid getting pregnant.” Yes, that’s true

    Ironically enough, not true according to those that tend to push this in the US 😉

  • rikitiki

    So, yeah, let them pray – just set it up that each prayer is to a different god. Since there’s like, what? maybe 3800 deities man has come up with through history, even if it’s a daily prayer, it’ll be like 10+ years before Jesus comes up again. How long do you think that would last before they shut it down?

  • raven

    ….alternating between a Mormon bishop and a Catholic priest.

    That could be amusing.

    Historically, the two groups don’t much like each other and consider the Other to be heretics.

    They both have Popes. They both have Vaticans. They both are The One True Xian Religion.

    And they both…can’t be right!!!

  • No, the problem is a single prayer gets dispersed by the atmosphere on its way to Heaven, so God does not always get all prayers sent to Him. It is like pointing a flashlight at the moon. But praying the same prayer in a group, out loud is makes the prayer cohesive and can make it to Jeebus. It’s like a powerful laser that is beamed straight to Heaven. It is basic science/theology.

  • serena

    I’ve had to live in Glendale/Peoria (all the Phoenix & Metro Area suburbs are contiguous) all my life; should check it out on google earth, the entire “valley of the sun” is something like 100 sq miles of pavement and there’s a church every 1-5 miles in any direction.

  • brucemartin

    It’s a chance for the citizens of Glendale collectively and officially to REPUDIATE the words of Jesus, in Matthew 6:5 etc.

    Sure, the AZ legislature disavows Jesus’s instruction of no public prayer, and they do that every day they meet publicly. But that’s not enough anti-Christ activity for a good Christian like Weiers.

    By the way, do AZ politicos need to be sane? No.

  • Ryan Jean

    “Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid getting pregnant.” Yes, that’s true.

    I hate that line. Part of why I hate it is because it is not true. No, I’m not making a joke about Virgin Birth, either (#2, sqlrob, already has that one covered).

    The problem is that the very question of abstinence only meaningfully applies where the woman had the ability to make a choice, and where that choice was respected by the men around her. Far too often women are assaulted and raped, by drugs/alcohol, force or both, and when their autonomy is cruelly stripped in this manner pregnancy is not uncommon. They may have been very committed to abstinence; someone else simply didn’t care what they thought or wanted.

    Abstinence is only 100% effective in a world without rape, and the right wing nuts that push for abstinence-only are also the same ones working hard to ensure that rapists are protected and their victims thoroughly punished… sometimes in the form of an unwanted pregnancy.

  • birgerjohansson

    @5, “…makes the prayer cohesive and can make it to Jeebus”

    You need a collimated beam of prayer, a prayer laser (praser). For this, you must plug a lot of people into a hub that can convert the raw prayers into a single praser beam.

    Then you must point the beam in the right direction. Theoretically God is everywhere, but only statistically so. You can measure the location or the direction of God, but not both. This makes it very unlikely that you can intercept God with the praser at the right moment.

  • Larry

    Dear lord, we humbly beseech thee to stop doing to the fine citizens of Glendale, all the shit you’ve been doing because without all this praying and stroking of your ego, you are a real dick. We get the point. Amen.

  • It’s about time. Finally, they’re doing something to combat the problems that are happening. Maybe next they’ll do something that works, instead.

  • madgastronomer

    Seconding Ryan Jean. Abstinence is a choice. Rape is not. Rape happens regardless of abstinence. Rape can result in pregnancy. Therefor, abstinence does not prevent pregnancy. Why do intelligent people keep repeating this bs?

  • It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

  • John Pieret

    Modus, you should run for the Senate in Missouri.

  • John Pieret, can’t. I’m too moderate.

  • Synfandel

    Shouldn’t the city councilors of Glendale, Arizona, be spending their time doing the work they’re being paid for rather than wasting it praying?

  • Larry

    So basically they’re admitting they have no control of their city nor any real solutions to its problems and so are asking a mythical sky fairy to intervene and fix things they are incapable of fixing even though that was what they campaigned on and what they were elected to do.

    is that about it? If so, why are they still drawing a salary?

  • matty1

    @9 For dealing with supernatural entities of that magnitude you really need a properly earthed summoning grid and properly trained occult agents to deal with it if it does respond. Really though what you need to do is try *not* to attract their attention, gods can get tetchy especially when hungry and this one hasn’t been to earth for a decent meal in nearly 2000 years.

  • Ryan Jean @8: Good catch, well said.

  • UnknownEric the Apostate

    Well, the Glendale council keeps praying they’ll eventually get some of the money they squandered on keeping the Phoenix Coyotes there back, so they’re used to futile prayers.

  • exdrone

    The Glendale City Council is considering whether to begin its meetings with a prayer.

    So they didn’t pray over the decision? They seem to be inconsistent about how useful this prayer-thing is.

  • oranje

    I imagine it’s something along the lines of: “Dear , please let something happen to that fucking stupid arena we built for hockey. Hockey in the desert. Get us out from under this terrible deal, let our taxpayers off the hook, and let our insurance policy not lapse. Also, let us hire a fucking urban planner before we do anything else stupid. Amen.”