Mom on prayer

Since I seem to have handed mom the keys to my blog lately (and since everybody reading doesn’t seem to mind), here’s something she sent Sandy on prayer.

Pray for me if you must, but rather than pray for my sorry heathen soul, why not pray for god to help the thousands of starving children the world over. Ask him to drop a little manna from heaven, multiply a few loaves of fishes and “git ‘er done”. I’d be glad to cheer him on with a rousing chorus of “you did it before and you can do it again”.

But, god needs them in heaven! “God needs them in heaven”? Really? A divine, perfect being living in a perfect place “needs” them there to be happy? But, supposing that is true, why not give them a few decent meals first? Why must they be slowly tortured to death? Pardon me, but that just doesn’t sound very loving.

But, it’s all part of god’s divine plan! He has a plan for each and every one of us! Really? Then why pray at all? Does god sit in heaven, basking in worship, saying, “Ah, I’ve created it all. Perfect plan in place. Check. Perfect plan for every one of my children on it. Check. Now to kick back, relax, and enjoy this adulation! Wait a minute. What is this? Incoming telepathic message from (insert name). She wants me to show (insert name) the way and the light. Hmmm. I had this divine plan in place, but I think (insert name) might just be onto something here. That godless good for nothing needs to turn their life around. Time for Divine Plan B.” (Insert name) sure wields a lot of power.

The contradictory quality of prayer continues to befuddle. After any disaster. the testimonials come out. “God spared us”. What about the family down the street , huddled together, praying for god to spare them, yet they all perished? Did they not pray right? Perhaps god was busy listening to other prayers at that moment and theirs got overlooked? Or once again, it was all part of god’s divine plan. If so, what good did the prayers do for those who died? Does god change his divine plans for just the right prayer? Who is in control here?

So, pray for me, if it makes you feel good. And since god listens to you and you have the power, could you ask him to send me a good landscaper who works for free? I’d appreciate that a lot.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Synfandel

    So, God spares some people from a disaster and lets others perish, either because it’s all part of his divine plan or because some people prayed and others didn’t, and we get a certain outcome: some people live and some people die—clear proof of God’s hand a work.

    But hypothetically, what would the outcome have looked like if god had sat back and done nothing? Perhaps some would have lived and some would have died?

    Or—hypothetically, of course—what would the outcome have looked like if god had never even existed? Perhaps some would have lived and some would have died?

    Quel coïncidence!

  • Steve

    I don’t get that one either. Either god has a plan or you can influence him by prayer. Which is it?

    • cswella

      God’s kinda lazy, so you have to keep bugging him to get off his ass and work on his plan.

  •!/Erulora Erülóra Maikalambe

    re: God’s plan

    Why would an all-powerful god even need a plan? Plans are for things that require time and effort to accomplish. I don’t formulate a plan when I need to stand up, or scratch an itch. I just do it. So why would a being that can supposedly wish a universe into existence need a plan that takes thousands of years to unfold and requires untold death and suffering?

  • Zengaze

    TRIGGER WARNING… Description of horrific violence

    The prayer thing is to me the weakest point in the whole xtian nonsense.

    Really you believe when you mumble so random shit in your head that an all encompassing creator of the universe is actually listening, and waiting for your requests to be made. That he always knew yu would make, and had already decided if he was going to grant. Really you actually be that?

    I’ve been given the prayers have been answered nonsense, but what it always comes down to after you’ve demonstrated the whole concept to be crap is………… How can we understand gods mind, it’s like a child trying to understand a parent….. Do I have to explain just how bad that fucking argument is.

    But what gets me about the heaven thing is the gratuitous suffering this god guy seems to get his kicks from, hey look throuout the book of bullshit, when he has babies and children eradicated for offending the great one, he doesn’t just click his fingers and remove them from existence….. No this all loving ever good psychopath has his minions descend on them, bashing their small skulls into the ground, hacking and slashing bodies to bits…… Or he sends violence from nature, filling tiny lungs with oceans, and obviously relishing the terror a small child feels as their final moments of life are spent in a storm of suffering and unimaginable fear.

    And people honour and worship this concept!!!! Irrelevant of its non existence, the fact that people apologise for these behaviours demonstrates to me how rancid humanity can be. Christians are not good people they worship the concept of a monster and by doing so are themselves monstrous.

  • eric

    No you guys, god just kinda sucks at this kind of thing.

  • gwen

    It always offended me that a bunch of people will stand before a (baseball, football, basketball, etc) and pray for a win…as if it is REALLY that important..Why not stand before a game and pray for world peace, end of hunger, or something that really matters. For all that, why pray, why not use you hand to work towards world peace, end of hunger etc…and make real inroads into the problems.

    • Steve

      World peace is hard to do. Rigging a ball game is something god can do without effort

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    #1 Synfandel
    How do you decide if something is a statistically rare outcome vs a miracle (an “impossible” outcome)?

    Traceh & Jen of Atheist Experience do the a take down of this nonsense in Episode #693, 1/23/2011 (1 of 2):
    (2 of 2):

  • Brandy

    I would love to have a woman like your mom in my life on the daily, lucky boy!

    • Liz B.

      I agree. Wow. Just wow. That’s what I’ve always wanted to say and just didn’t know how. What a woman!