The following post was submitted by Jeremy Wells, AKA the Not So Friendly Atheist, who blogs about the logical flaws in religious arguments.
On July 4th, my 67 year old father-in-law and his Christian wife got kicked out of his “Christian” daughter’s house. They moved into her house because her and her husband couldn’t afford to pay their bills. My father-in-law wanted to help them and agreed to pay their rent and power for a year until they paid off their car. My sister-in-law gave them a room and the house rules.
The rules were: 1) All guests must be out before 5pm. and 2) My father-in-law and his wife must go somewhere else every weekend so the “man of the house” could relax. After three weeks my father-in-law had enough and complained, his daughter said that it was THEIR house and he needed to show them respect because THEY were doing him a favor. My father-in-law and his wife came over to our house frustrated at the lack of gratitude and we helped them.
We live in a two bedroom apartment with two kids, but even two heathens like us want to help family in need. During the week we made them feel comfortable in our house. We found them an apartment and helped them move in. The entire week his wife respected our atheism and avoided religious comments, but the first thing she said after we finished setting up their new apartment was…. “Thank You Jesus!” I felt like telling her, “Our name isn’t Jesus, but you’re welcome.”
This inspired me to write about the most annoying act in Christianity. Thanking god for another person’s actions is illogical. If someone gets an A on a test they thank Jesus. Why is it so hard for someone to take credit for the hard work they put into studying? If someone gets a promotion at work they thank Jesus without admitting that they were qualified for the job. When someone receives help they thank Jesus. Why not just thank the person that provided the help? Religion has taught people that they are incapable of doing anything on their own and must give credit to god for every good thing.
This reasoning fails to answer the obvious questions. If god helped once then why did he choose not to help every other time? If god will respond then why study for tests or prepare for job interviews? Christians tend to say that god uses other people to deliver his supernatural miracles, but they rely on natural methods as a backup. We must show gratitude to the people that we know have helped instead of thanking a deity that occasionally appears to help.
It is easy for a Christian to believe that god used a bystander to save their child from drowning, but what about the thousands of other children which drown each year. Did god choose not to save those children? If someone believes god answers prayers then they must explain the times he doesn’t; to find the truth we must scrutinize every “supernatural” event. If something can be explained by natural means then it should be considered a natural phenomenon instead of a divine miracle.
Many Christians consider giving god credit for their lives to be an act of humility, but I don’t consider this humility. It is arrogant to believe that god would answer one prayer while ignoring millions of others. What makes them any more important than anyone else? It is more likely that someone else is the cause of your “miracle.” Thanking god for someone else’s kindness is disgraceful to humanity.
If there was a god then there would be no reason to give him praise for answering a prayer because it is something an almighty god should do. It is much more amazing that a wretched species like ours could go completely against our sinful nature to reach out to someone and become the help they need. Humanity is all we have and we owe our gratitude to every human being that helps us on our journey.