When your favorite tactic doesn’t work.

Ed Brayton posted a link to the FRC where they are encouraging their followers to pray that the SCOTUS judges make the “right” call in the two gay marriage cases they’re taking up this week.

May God guide us in praying for each member of the Supreme Court: for Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, Chief JusticeJohn Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Sonia Sotomayor, and Clarence Thomas. May each Justice be governed by the fear of God and fidelity to the moral law and Constitution (2 Sam 23:3; Ps 9:17; 111:10; Pr 1:7; 9:10; Is 5:20).

May the attorneys defending traditional marriage (see ADF Prayer Guide) be given anointing, clarity, effectiveness, conviction and persuasiveness in presenting their arguments. May traditional marriage prevail in the minds of a strong majority of the justices, and may traditional marriage be reaffirmed as the law of the land (Pr 16:1, 11; 25; 18:17; 21:3; Is 9:7; Mt 19:4-6; 2 Cor 5:11).

May those arguing on behalf of same-sex “marriage” present their arguments in an inept, confusing and unconvincing way. May they fail to gain traction in the minds of the Justices. May the right of Californians to amend their state constitution to protect marriage be confirmed by the Court, and may the Defense of Marriage Act be ruled constitutional (Lev 20:all; 1 Sam 2:8-10; 2 Chr 14:11; 20:12-27; Pr 22:28; 24:21; Is 8:18-20; Dan 7:25-27; 2 Cor 2:5).

They don’t seem to get that if prayer worked the Prop 8 supporters wouldn’t have needed to appeal and we wouldn’t even be in the Supreme Court.  Similarly, prayer didn’t work for them during the Presidential election.  And if the SCOTUS judges reject the first century in favor of the twenty-first, you can bet that they’ll pray again next time as if it has any track record of working.  At what point do you accept that sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t, just like in a universe without any god stacking the deck in favor of a particular group?

This is why we love science: it works every time.  Airplanes fly, cell phones makes calls, etc.  Prayer does not.

Sure, sometimes you pray for your lost sock and you find it, but that’s not evidence that prayer works – it’s evidence that looking for it yourself works.  If you really want to test the power of prayer to move god to intervene, pray and don’t do anything.  Pray for your candidate to win and have faith that god’s going to make it happen, but don’t go out to vote.  By going out to vote, you’re acting like god can’t handle it and he needs you to use secular methods.  And when you want the SCOTUS to reach a certain decision, let them know you’re praying for them and don’t send a lawyer.  Otherwise you risk the results of human effort getting attributed to god.

Of course, hardly any religious person believes in prayer that much.  And when they do, their children have a tendency to die from neglect.  This is because prayer is useless and obviously so.

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.


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