You Think You’re Helping… But You’re Not

I’m just going to leave this video right here…

The highlight occurs at the 1:28 mark.

My favorite part is the fact that they have to go to a specific physical location to pray.

Because we all know God won’t hear them if they pray at their own homes…

(via MisterDoctorE)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HUHIP23UNZBYV737J7HU4Y2Z4Q GetReal

    Press 8 to get near the 1:28 mark.

  • Conspirator

    What does it mean that “organizers expect to meet some resistance”?  Do they believe that people are actually going to try to prevent them from praying or recruiting people to pray?  Or are they just concerned about a lack of interest from people not willing to waste their time on something so pointless?

  • http://www.mattkane.com/ matt

    My favorite is at the 1:10 mark– You can see Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ hanging in the background.  

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ

    • Popeyewooly

      wow, you have sharp eyes!!! lol

    • Wild Rumpus

       Yeah, why is Piss Christ there?  Do you think the hipster Christian finds it to be a lovely sepia toned tribute to her saviour?

  • Anonymous

    Hey, maybe the FSM can help too! Pray to the pasta god!

  • http://twitter.com/FaithlessFemale FaithlessFemale

    Lets create “Thinking Spaces.” If people were researching, studying, and focusing on finding solutions to our problems every hour of every day THEN we’d see some change. 

    • Alex

      We have them, and they are called libraries. Sadly, most people choose to avoid them like plague.

  • Waltz707

    let me say this:
    If prayer worked, I would have won American Idol, Have a 2.5 mil home, and still have a father. 

    Hows that working for me?

    Hmmmmm…

    • VBDon

      Still ignoring that the answer to your prayers is NO!!!  It’s not God’s fault that you don’t know what to pray for.

      • http://www.facebook.com/keithacollyer Keith Collyer

        the best way of getting what you want through prayer is to pray for something that is going to happen anyway

  • Recovering Agnostic

    Sorry, I’m not that bothered by the location thing. I don’t think it’s that they believe it only counts if you do it in one place, so much as a pragmatic way of making people actually set aside time for it, rather than promising to do it at home and “forgetting”.

    It’s all nonsense, but if I were organising something like this (not that I ever would), I think I’d do something very similar.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Every group that claims(?) the name of Jesus

    So… none of those Buddhists or Muslims or Jews or Pagans or Hindus.

    • Anonymous-Sam

       Right. Not a specific religion, just the ones they think are real. :p

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/biodork Biodork

      Yup, that was the part that caught my attention too. Infidel prayers need not apply.

  • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

    Prayer: Been there, done that. Got the souvenir prosthetic leg.

  • Popeyewooly

    i love that old guy they interviewed!!! the main guy… hmmmm… i get a weird david koresh vibe off him… lol

  • http://wading-in.net/walkabout Al Denelsbeck

    You know, even if you actually want to buy the idea that, when something happens, it must be able to be attributed to god, there’s this little logic issue here.

    Doing something – actually working, donating, or just plain helping someone across the street – always has an affect. Always! We can see it!

    Praying? Eh, sometimes, perhaps. Doesn’t seem to matter how many people pray or how hard, there are times when it simply gets zilcho in the way of results. Most especially, in those times when random probability has virtually no chance of generating a beneficial outcome.

    Pray for someone to stop bleeding, and it might happen, slowly, about at the rate blood clots (or exsanguination occurs.) Direct pressure, however, is remarkably effective. The message from god seems to be, stop trying to win my favor by being pious and go with what’s dependable.

    Funny, that’s the exact same message you’d get from no god.

  • Dementedsketcher

    Regardless of if a God or gods exist or not, acts of man are better than acts of gods.Don’t pray for a cure to aids, donate to fund research. Don’t pray for the homeless, go out and feed and shelter them.

  • Anonymous

    It’s nothing but hubris and narcissism to  think that you can somehow change god’s alleged plan. How self-centered do you have to be to think that your god cares about your trivial issues when he lets millions of people suffer and die?

    • Anonymous-Sam

       From the late Reverend George Carlin,

      Pray for anything you want. Pray for anything, but what about the Divine Plan? Remember that? The Divine Plan. Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn’t in God’s Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn’t it seem a little arrogant? It’s a Divine Plan. What’s the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and fuck up Your Plan?

      And here’s something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren’t answered. What do you say? “Well, it’s God’s will.” “Thy Will Be Done.” Fine, but if it’s God’s will, and He’s going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn’t you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It’s all very confusing.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Because we all know God won’t hear them if they pray at their own homes…

    We know that won’t work.  After all, God didn’t command anyone to pray in private, behind closed doors and not make a spectacle of yourself like those hypocrites over there. Oh wait!!!! Yes he did.

  • abutsimehc

    This:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-tl9fPy7bk&feature=relmfu

    (link found in “about us”) seems to be their theology … modus operandus.
    Also, Google Maps places their address in a storage bin (blue overhead door) in a “transitional” neighborhood of Charlotte.

  • Carla

    “God helps those who help themselves” I thought the saying was?

    Can we enlist some Muslims and Jews to sign up? I want to see what they do.

  • Alex

    Meh. It is a pointless waste of time, but at least it’s harmless in this instance. At least it makes somebody feel better about themselves.

  • T Ray

    Matthew 18:19
    Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching
    any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which
    is in heaven.

    18:20
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the
    midst of them.

    This is why they should gather.  It is also a testable hypothesis which fails often. 

    To quote Judd Nelson/John Bender:
    So it’s sorta social, demented and sad, but social. Right?

  • Kevin mays

    If these people would go out and help the community for an hour there would be no reason to pray for an hour. Better yet how about a help the poor 24/7 same idea but where you actually go out and help the poor. Genius idea or common since?


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