Prayer doesn’t change things: Prayer changes YOU.
I mean, knock yourself out praying if that’s what spins your bow tie. But, don’t imagine for a moment that it’s going to change a damn thing about what is going on around you, be it machine-gun massacres, apocalyptic hurricanes, devastating earthquakes or even whether your transmission will make it another week until payday.
Thoughts and Prayers are just two of the ways people internalize the every-day stimulus called Life. There are as many ways people internalize Life as there are people: You can Self-Medicate, Fight, Hide, Isolate, Meditate, Cut, Resist, Despair, on and on into an infinite number of combinations of the way we process and deal with the world around us.
The point is we ALL internalize Life, and for anyone to offer up proudly that they’ve given a thought – they’re THINKING – about something the rest of us can’t get out of our heads, is *stunningly* self-absorbed.
Thoughts and Prayers is shorthand for, “I am powerless to stop this from happening and I will wish REALLY hard that the Omnipotent Being of my choice will deign to show mercy on this untenable situation.”
Thoughts and Prayers have the same efficacy as Wishes and Magic Spells.
Thoughts and Prayers and Wishes and Magic Spells are what you offer up when there is nothing else you can do.
You earnestly have Thoughts and Prayers and Good Wishes for a friend with an illness because that’s all you can do: It’s out of your hands.
But THIS situation isn’t out of the hands of Congress. They CAN change the law, they simply refuse to because there’s too much money gushing in from the NRA.
So, when ANY Politician offers the mealy-mouthed phrase “Thoughts and Prayers” about Las Vegas or The Edge Nightclub or Sandy Hook or the inevitable NEXT GODDAM SCHOOL SHOOTING what they’re really saying is, “It’s out of my hands, there’s nothing I can do.”
They are offering wishes and magic spells instead of protecting us from madmen who mow down human beings like you take an edger to errant weeds.
“It’s out of my hands, there’s nothing I can do to protect you. But – I’m thinking about you.”
Perhaps if the folks who survived Las Vegas are REALLY lucky they’ll get a golf trophy dedicated to them.
Thoughts and Prayers were not what we offered al-Qaeda after the September 11th attacks on the Twin Towers, The Pentagon and Flight 93; and Thoughts and Prayers are NOT what we should be offering Domestic Terrorists.
Thoughts and Prayers are political speak for: “It’s out of my hands because I’m going to keep taking NRA money soaked in the life-blood of kindergartners and concert goers – but I will ask God to keep you in His thoughts.”
How DARE they pretend God has ANYTHING to do with blood money from the NRA and gun manufacturers who saw their stock go up 3.5% in the hours after Stephen Paddock forever changed group dynamics and the way we will attend concerts, sporting events, and large outdoor venues?
Thoughts and Prayers indeed.
Politicians Thinking and Praying to end murder-by-guns in this country is an infuriating waste of time, and allows them to pretend THEY don’t control the legislation that would prevent another Las Vegas massacre.
Statesmen might as well swing cats over barrels of rainwater and cast spells under a full moon as offer Thoughts and Prayers – they have the same efficacy.
Praying is a highly personal thing between you and your God and is not a replacement for doing your job – whoever you are – and hiding behind ‘God’ when you refuse to do your job is an affront to truly spiritual people who do not use their religion as a prop.
Beyond that? I have yet to see any evidence that Thoughts OR Prayer actually works any better than the aforementioned Wishes and Magic Spells.
God sat out the Holocaust and Manifest Destiny. Babies die of brain cancer and inexplicable tragedy befalls the purest souls, while people like Pharma-Douche, Martin Shkreli, are richly rewarded for bankrupting people just before killing them by making life-saving medication unaffordable.
I have heard all my life that the worst, most inhumane things in the world are all ‘God’s Plan’. Well, then, if God already has a plan what good is there in praying for things to change?
Remember – Prayer doesn’t change things: Prayer changes YOU
Oh – and while we’re at it? God doesn’t have a $20 riding on game, so don’t thank him for the touchdown. God didn’t send a boat to rescue you because he hates the person who drowned. If God exists, trust me on this, neither She/He/It or Jesus gives a tinker’s damn if you won a fucking music award. Stop abusing your deity with self-serving trivialization revolving around your oversized ego.
Here’s the thing: Many of my dear friends and a goodly number of kind strangers believe their prayers will change the course of my illness. I so, SO appreciate that another person on this cold planet cares enough about me to appeal to their God, and plead my case for lenience and a bit longer stay here. I love that I am so loved, and cannot imagine a greater treasure from my friends and well-wishers.
Were it possible that God(s) might listen, I respectfully and humbly ask people to direct those supernatural powers to something bigger than me. I mean, if the power of Thoughts and Prayers can actually change things, how much of a GIANT asshole would I have to be to ask any God to put me before the truly suffering in the world?
I mean – I appreciate the Thoughts and Prayers… But, I am going to die whether or not I’m cured. I would rather my life be shorter if suffering in the world would be lesser.
Don’t pray for me – ask your God to make Congress enact legislation to end our home-grown Gun Fetish that leads to the massacre of innocents and a staggering suicide rate.
Imagine a jumbo jet being blown up by terrorists every week, until the end of time – that’s our Murder rate. Now – imagine a stadium full of people the same size as the Las Vegas concert – 22,000 – and once a year all those people put a gun to their head and pulled the trigger. Wouldn’t you do ANYTHING to stop that concert? Wouldn’t we be working around the clock to crush the terrorists behind the plane attacks? What is the difference between it happening in a steady trickle or an angry gush? The people are STILL dead.
The God’s Honest truth here is that it’s not Thoughts and Prayers that will end this crisis, it will be us demanding action and forcing change. We’re not willing to put in the work to rid our society of this sickness, and we have some nerve demanding God do what we are perfectly capable of doing ourselves.
Pray all you want – but never confuse praying with actually doing something.
Oh – and Second Amendment Fetishists? I have two words for you Sons of Bitches:
I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God – it changes me. C.S. Lewis