Finger Of God

TornadoI have noticed an influx of prayer postings on Facebook since the tornado disaster in Oklahoma City yesterday. The deadly tornado swept through miles of populated land and destroyed every building in its path including several schools where many young children and adults lost their lives and countless others were seriously injured. Concerned people from all over the country are sending thoughts and prayers (via Facebook) to the victims in hope God will help them, even though that same God did nothing to protect the victims during the actual tornado.

Perhaps my cynicism is not politically correct this soon after a natural disaster, but my frustration towards the ineffective act of prayer increases quickly when my Facebook news feed is interrupted by a barrage of religious scripture aimed at those who just lost everything they owned. A photograph of the Oklahoma state flag with the words “Pray for the victims” written decoratively across the middle does absolutely nothing to help the victims.

If God listened to prayer, this entire disaster would not have happened in the first place, especially a disaster resulting in the death of innocent children. If God listened to prayer, no child in the world would EVER go hungry or be abused or be neglected. If God listened to prayer, the world would be a peaceful place where everyone lived in a chocolate castle and traveled on a flying unicorn.

Mostly, I just wish people would be realistic in their belief and recognize that “God” is a metaphor for the universe and not a real being. The universe is a powerful and dangerous place and we are sometimes caught in the deadly cross-fire of nature’s fury, nothing more, nothing less. If religious people understood this reality, perhaps more physical help (money, clothes, shelter, etc.) would arrive on the front-line instead of invisible “thoughts and prayers” arriving with the wind.

However, my friend Jacqueline logically explained a reason for prayer when she said, It is a way of coping when things go wrong, a hope to hope upon, when you want some comfort other than what the physical world you live in can offer.” 


Comments

Finger Of God — 12 Comments

  1. I have been saying the same things for years Steven. Religion is for the weak minded afraid of the real world. And it is used as a shield and battle ax for these same weak minded shit heads. When they choose to beat and hack at those that are different than them.

    • Religion is a scary part of mankind’s history. It tends to breed a certain negativity that prevents peace from spreading throughout the world.

  2. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m licking my lips over the “chocolate castle.” Anyway, I agree with you. The victims need financial aid and supplies not prayer. During an emergency, cash is comfort. If God’s gonna get me for that statement, bring it on!

    • Well, the “gay” in me finds the flying Unicorn most appealing, however, I don’t want it to be purple and pink as I am a much earthier kind of guy.

      • Having met you in person, I agree. I don’t know, though, if an earth tone unicorn would work. It might be a tad dull.

  3. HI Steven, It was a terrible thing to happen in Oklahoma, and all the other disasters that happen around the world, it is such a fragile world, we have to take care of it. Hugs to you!

    • Thank you Jackie for sharing that awesome quote on my Facebook post the other day. As you know, I am not big on religion, but your explanation of prayer makes a lot of sense to me as it can be applied without believing in a specific God.

  4. I’m so glad more people are finding the courage to speak out. The idea of an invisible friend who can help you through tough times but still sends you cancer just creeps me out. How would this magical being choose one person to get diabetes at birth yet choose another to be healthy? It’s just insane yet pervasive. Thanks Steven.

    • I suppose prayer is not a bad thing if it helps people cope with a bad situation. I don’t understand, however, why a God that answers prayers would NOT save innocent children from the horrors of a world that he supposedly created? You’re right Liz, it is insane.

  5. Keep in mind when I saw what I’m about to say being a preacher’s wife for 12 years and understanding that “religion” is a dogma and mind trip that I never want to go back to.

    Difference between Religion and spirituality, good thoughts, good energy is the intention of the person in my opinion. The results are incredibly different. Prayer takes many forms for each person and in my opinion one would have to know the person’s intentions to see whether it was religious innate motion in my opinion. Prayer has many forms depending on the person.

    However, I do respect your view point and honor it. I guess I am just not bull right now in this moment seeing the red cape on this one. It might bug me tomorrow. LOL

    If folks want to live in denial, I guess that is their right as long as they don’t sling it on me. I guess I figure if people are praying in whatever form for those people, it’s better than thinking of themselves. If they are doing it for show, well then karma baby, i hope their life rots till they figure it out! hehehe I’m bad!

    You make some great points Steven… I believe in God, though I’m not sure it is in the form most people see it. I think all the elements of this earth including people, nature, weather, etc are part of it all. So I don’t believe there isn’t just no God because that happened, but part of the existence of it… a balance of purging what is needed for balance and giving life to what is also needed. I’m whacked and different in my views i know, but I believe it should have happened as it did, part of what we get out of all of that type of thing like that disaster is what we learn from it, like with this, how to accept, how to use it as a strength, etc.

    Thank you for writing this up Steven, it prompted a lot of thought on my part and to make sure that my intention of meditations, good thoughts, and good energy sent is with the right intention.

    Love ya sweetie!

    FYI the comment about people living in denial isn’t about folks that don’t believe in god … I meant it for those that believe in a God of religion that is a controller bending our minds like brain washed robots.

    • I don’t mean to minimize the good intentions of people when they pray. I understand their hearts are trying to reach something larger than life to help make sense of a senseless situation. (such as the tornado) Perhaps part of my frustration stems from people using prayer as a substitute for actually doing something to make a tangible difference. It’s much easier to “send” a prayer than a check.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and personal experience, Ish. Love you too.

      • Oh I didn’t think you were minimizing people’s intentions at all. I got where you were coming from for sure… it just prompted more thought on my part. I SOOOO agree with you on using it as a substitute!! RIGHT ON! That was perfectly said I think. Love you !

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