And none of this was lost on me

And none of this was lost on me April 24, 2012

“Now for our prayer, we pray that the women who work in your [Military Religious Freedom Foundation] and the women in your family will befall fast moving breast cancer which can not ever be cured.”

For the church to lack love is for the church to lack everything. No heresy could conceivably be worse.”

I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids.”

“I am the Reverend Gloria Del Castillo, the Vicar of La Iglesia Episcopal del Buen Samaritano in San Francisco’s Mission District. After many years of working hard and saving money — and of being a loyal customer of Wells Fargo Bank — I am about to lose my home. This is my story.”

“Although the U.S. abolished debtors’ prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don’t pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans.”

“Reasonable Christian people, when reading these prayers, understand that these are honest prayers for women.”

One very good way not to talk about sex is by letting the world know just how grrrrreat your sex life is, and how they should have just as much sex as you do (in Church approved ways and with Church approved people).”

“These regulations are inadequate to ensure that taxpayers are not funding sectarian religious activity, and that the rights of citizens who receive services from those taxpayer-funded organizations aren’t violated.”

“Almost 50 Notre Dame faculty members have signed a letter demanding [Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky] to renounce his comments or resign from the University’s Board of Fellows.”

If I wanted America to fail …

“All you need to clean your house is baking soda, vinegar, soap, and hot water.”

“But Lord, during the hardest trials of my life, why was there only one set of footprints?

“Say what you want about Saladin, but the man had style.”


(Dry the River’s No Rest via Nevermind the Bricolage.)

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  • That still seems like a form of control by an intelligence, and that’s really the problematic part regardless of the intentions or the outcome.

    Tonio – having now woken up, I’m going to move on from my Buffy analogy to a D&D analogy…

    If my rogue elf friend has a ridiculously low Strength stat, and I provide him with an extra couple of points, then I’m making it easier for him to lift heavy things – if indeed he actually wants to. If he doesn’t want to put those extra points to use, then they’ll just sit there and do nothing.

    Similarly, if I ask God to give someone patience, I’m not expecting him to spray patience fumes into the air and cause them to be patient against their will. I’m expecting him to provide some extra patience reserves so that, if they want to use it to be more patient, it’s right there ready to be accessed.

  • hapax


    I do not understand intercessory prayer in a Christian context.

    Supposedly, God is good, right? And omniscient. And omnipotent. Why
    in the world would she need human beings to pray for other human beings
    before she did anything about human suffering? Does God care about how
    popular someone is?

    Well, in *my* *particular* “Christian context”, God is an incarnate Deity.  That is, not just as a one-off two thousand years ago, but in the eternal Now. 

    Which means, as a Being outside of time, God works through human beings.  An intercessory prayer is, at heart, a sacrificial prayer:  when I say, “Blessed Lord, I hold Joe up to You”,  I am volunteering to be God’s partner — or possibly God’s agent, or even God’s instrument — to help bring about whatever God’s will for Joe might be. 

    God doesn’t need me, or ANYBODY, to do for Joe.  But if I want to be fully human, and fully hapax, I need to work with God on this.

    That’s why I take intercessory prayer really really seriously.  It isn’t an offer I should make, if I don’t really mean it. 

  • dutchs

    “more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don’t pay all manner of debts”

    Not quite. They get arrested for ignoring court orders or subpoenas.

  • And nobody has ever sworn out a false court order, or subpoena, or otherwise used unethical methods to game the system to end-run legal prohibitions on debtors’ prisons.


  • Tonio

     Dumb rhetorical question for the hypothetical you – why should you care whether he actually wants to lift heavy things or want to use more patience? Sounds as if the hypothetical you still wants him to lift things or be more patient. My point has nothing to do with the merits of these, or the good wishes that may or may not be behind the expectations. It’s really about having expectations of someone else in the first place. These create the very real possibility that the person with the expectations will push harder to make the other fulfill them, or that he or she will be cruel in retaliation if the other doesn’t fulfill them.

  • Tricksterson

    This makes me think that at least some of the psalms were meant as spells.  Think of the Lord’s Prayer.  When you look at it a certain way it’s not just a song of praise but a request for protection from your enemies.

  • Dumb rhetorical question for the hypothetical you – why should you care whether he actually wants to lift heavy things or want to use more patience? Sounds as if the hypothetical you still wants him to lift things or be more patient.


    Okay – please try to understand that this is not happening in a vacuum. I don’t start praying for people out of nowhere.

    Real situation:
    – Close friend weeps all over me about her relationship with her mother and how much it sucks, and how she wishes she could figure out how to be okay with it.
    – I let her know I’ll pray for her.
    – I go and pray that she’ll figure out what to do, that her relationship with her mother will improve, and that she’ll get more peace about the whole situation.

    The way I know what to pray for my friend is because SHE’S TOLD ME WHAT SHE WANTS. And the reason I care is because I CARE ABOUT MY FRIEND. FRIENDS CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER. WACKY CONCEPT, I KNOW.

    I’m not going “How dare you not be my perfect programmable friend!” and manipulating their lives, I’m praying for things that my friends NEED. And I know they need things because I LISTEN WHEN THEY TELL ME.