Saturday, May 06, 2006

National Prayer Day

National Prayer Day has become an important occasion for humans of all “faiths.” President Bush has, as expected, given his blessing to the event as well. Most of the participants are protestants, but other churches are represented, including catholics, muslims, jews, buddhists and various pagan groups. Unfortunately, these faithful humans overlook the fact that there are no rational justifications for belief in the power of prayer (and the history of the 20th century itself would seem to imply that if “God” exists He apparently doesn’t care too much about what occurs in his earthly abode, or, rather He has an appetite for warfare on a grand scale). Faith is not a method of proof. And no miracles have ever been confirmed (notwithstanding regular reports of, say, the Virgin of Guadalupe), nor are there any grounds for believing in occult or mystical phenomena—and praying is a type of mysticism.

The things “asked for” in prayers are often solutions to social and/or economic problems which could perhaps be remedied, but either current conditions prevent that, or there are other obstacles. Prayers and invocations, whether that of bonehead Baptists or touchy-feely pagans, are thus a cop-out to some extent: instead of say working towards lessening the great disparity between middle class and the very wealthy, humans sort of “wish for the best”, or say “God’ll sort it out.” Prayer then, for many, becomes an excuse not to do anything tangible or productive in regards to social, economic and/or psychological problems. Of course, spiritual bureaucrats (ie. Priests, pastors, Imams, rabbis, etc.) regularly assure people in their congregations that prayer does work, that there exists some ghostly power which can intervene (with the proper amount of supplication, of course) and thus alter the laws of physics or biology: that’s part of their job description.

“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

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