Monday, April 7, 2008

Who Gets the Credit for Prayer?

OK, I was kinda busy last week so I didn't get a change to post as much as I would have liked, but I'm hopefully back now.

I was talking to my daughter (9yrs) on the way to school this morning and she busts out with "Now, I know you think this is stupid, but I did what my mom said and prayed."
I said, "Honey, you don't have to justify anything to me. You can do whatever you want and make your own decisions. It's ok to pray or not to pray (notice I didn't split my infinitive?)".

Then I said... but just do me one favor while you pray. just keep tabs for yourself on how often it works. You don't ever have to tell me what you decide, but for yourself, just keep track of whether your prayers get answered.

She said she would.

And I said. OK, because here's the main problem I have with prayer... God always scoops in and takes the credit for normal events. OK, he's given the credit by xtians, but there's no reason he shouldn't take it. He does so little in the world that I'm sure he could use the P.R. Anyway... I told her my main problem with prayer is that God gets the credit for normal events. Then I gave what I believe to be one of the best examples EVER. Here it is...

I said, so you probably want your mother and me to stop fighting, right? She said yes. I said, ok, so do you think we'll probably fight all through your high school career because we both want you to live with us? She said yes. I said OK, so do you think that after you graduate we'll still fight? Because we won't have any cause to deal with each other anymore and you'll be an adult so there won't be any reason for us to fight will there. She agreed. So after you graduate we probably won't fight anymore if for no other reason, we won't be forced to deal with each other anymore, right? She said yes.

OK, so let's say you pray for us to stop fighting and God ignores your prayers for years for whatever lame reason those assholes always give like he's testing you, or he wants to see how much you really want it, or you're being punished for whatever... etc, etc, etc. But then, one day, you graduate and we stop fighting and God chooses right then to answer your prayer. Gee, that's pretty convenient timing don't you think? But that's how prayer ALWAYS goes. God completely ignores you until the situation naturally changes and then when the work is done, he gets the credit. That is unless it's all part of his plan to begin with. To allow you to get out of high school and pass all of your tests just so that he can answer your prayer in 10yrs instead of doing it while it could actually do you some good. Because when you're an adult it won't really matter anymore.

Anyway, I don't blame her. She's trying things out. She's being told that God is everything and that he answers prayer so she's giving it a try. We've all done it. That's how we all know it's bullshit. When I was a kid I prayed for things for years and they never even came close to true. Then years after I was an adult and denounced God, they finally happened. Maybe God cares for me even still. Or maybe, just maybe, he's just trying to take the credit for a natural event.

So after that uplifting talk with my daughter, I decided to call and start a fight with my mom. She's not equipped to discuss religion as she's never read anything other than the bible, and I'd be surprised if she's ever even read much of that. She's just listens to her preacher man and brings the potato salad.

So I devised another perfect situation that I'm rather proud of. After explaining the impossibility that prayer would help my daughter in the above situation, I gave her a scenario for her to think about on her own. But that's how you do it right? You lead them one step at a time until they're in a corner and they can't back out and start claiming God. Because I got her to agree that my daughter would graduate and that we probably wouldn't fight after that because there was no need to. She agrees that all of that is destined to happen. It's a logical progression that anyone can see. Then I said, ok, so if she prays all of these years for us to stop fighting, and it finally happens when she graduates, did God answer the prayer or was it a natural course of events? And of course her head spins and the fallicy of prayer smacks her in the face, but she can't admit it so she just says 'whatever'.

Anyway, that's not her situation, this is...

So my daughter, like many other divorced kids, wants me and her mother to get back together. And she probably prays for it too. So I asked my mother if God was going to answer that prayer. She said "NO". I said why not? She said, "Because you and your wife are perfect together. You're made for each other. And you hate your ex."

Ahhh... so there's the problem right? I asked her...How do you know God isn't just testing our love for each other and will eventually bring us back together?

She said, Because there's no love there. You have to have love there to begin with.

I said, but wouldn't God put love there if he wantes us to be together for our daughter's sake?

No, it wouldn't happen because you're perfect for your current wife. It couldn't happen.

I said, So you're telling me now that you know exactly what God's plan is and you know for a fact that he's not going to put us back together. (you have to understand how much my mom hates my ex)

She said, No, because God wouldn't split you up from your wife. You guys are perfect together and he wouldn't do that to those little boys.

I said, Oh, I see... so God will kill millions of his chosen people (through Hitler), but he refuses to break up a marriage and make a couple little sad for a few years? He'll let innocent children get hit by cars or molested and dismembered but he won't break up a marriage? What the fuck?

She said, but you guys are perfect for each other and God wouldn't do that. Those boys would be destroyed and he wouldn't hurt a child like that.

I said, But he did it to my daughter! He broke me and her mother up and she was innocent and she's still suffering. Why wouldn't he do it to my boys too?

Anyway, it just went on and on like that for a while and went nowhere further. It's pathetic the lack of reason xtians display when faced with real logic. And not really all that complicated logic either... And mind you, she's not really equipped to deal with such things, but no xtian is. She's in good company. Bad logic is always bad and no amount of spin doctoring can make it work. You may be able to confuse people for a while, but eventually things will come to light.
This is the same logic that allows judges to award a settlement to a burglar who hurts himself in your home while breaking in. There's no amount of logic that can allow that to be right, yet it happens. But any sane person reading the ruling would be enraged at his lack of logic.

And that's the problem with religion. They not only only take credit for natural events they fuck you up and convince you that they're really helping you. You can't punch someone in the stomach and call it a massage.

Anyway, that's all I've got today.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you thought that you could "corner" your mom into atheism. When cornered by reason, every religious loony contends that "god has his methods" and that "everything happens for a reason" and that "we cannot understand god's logic." Good luck, and let me know if you are ever successful!

Faithinate said...

Oh, SJ has no delusions that he could corner his mom into atheism. She's old, she's staunch. Whaddyagonna do? He just likes to mess with her, keep her mind agile and open to ideas as much as possible.