Prayers are not the answer. In fact, prayers are the problem.
While some pray for Orlando after the attack that left at least 50 dead and scores more wounded, the Islamic State and her supporters celebrate the mass killing as an answer to their prayers, and a victory for their jihad.
The fact is, for the Islamic State, and those extreme Muslims who support ISIS, the death and destruction in Orlando serves as a validation of their faith.
Perhaps even more damning, those Christians and moderate Muslims who are praying for the victims of the terrorist attack in Orlando are praying to the same God, the God of Abraham, that the Islamic extremists who celebrate the attack supposedly worship.
The uncomfortable truth is that God that both terrorists and non-terrorists alike beseech with their prayers is useless, or worse.
Either God helps the terrorist kill and maim the innocent; or, God watches and does nothing while the terrorist kills and maims the innocent; or, much more probable, God simply does not exist.
Of course, the uncomfortable truth, a truth that many simply cannot accept, is that God does not exist, and that prayers are futile gestures expressing existential desperation and metaphysical confusion.
For all intents and purposes, prayers are spiritual masturtbaton: they might make the person doing the praying feel a little better, but prayers do nothing to effect change in the real world.
Prayers are the consequence of irrational beliefs, and it is irrational beliefs that allow people to do irrational things, like kill and maim the innocent s in the name of a God that does not exist.
Prayers are not the answer. More religion is not the answer. In fact, religion is the problem.
If not prayer, if not religion, what are we to do?
Instead of prayer we must stand against religious extremism. To defy the terrorists we must embrace our shared humanity. We must rise above the religious superstitions that divide us. We must be honest with ourselves and our communities.
As for more concrete action, Friendly Atheist suggests 4 things:
- Donate blood.
- Fight for sensible gun safety legislation.
- Actively promote LGBT equality.
- Donate money to the victims.
We must challenge the hypocrisy of so-called progressives who will rail against a Christian extremist refusing to give a marriage license to a same-sex couple in Kentucky, but will remain silent while gays and lesbians are executed in the name of Islam in the Middle East.
Whether it be Muslim extremists hating the freedom and liberalism of the West, or Christian extremists hating homosexuals in Kentucky, there’s a lot of hate that comes with following ancient and discredited dogma.
We must transcend that hate.
Religion divides us. We must reject religious extremism, and embrace our common humanity.
Bottom line: More love. Less Hate.
(Large portions of this post were previously published here)