Archive for prayer

"I'm praying that my negative prayers thwart religious right's quest to browbeat nonbelievers"


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I'm an atheist, so I don't really do prayers. I hope a lot, I take action to create change, I vote, and I use what modest powers of persuasion I can muster up to convince others that there is more than one way to approach any given situation or policy. But prayers? Not so much.

I can't accept that the Invisible Man in the Sky (who apparently has a blonde, blue-eyed Middle Eastern son who came into this world via a virgin) exists. I can't fathom how anyone feels that their particular prayers take priority over someone else's rights, positions, or beliefs, someone who is supposed to be a fellow "child of god."

When an athlete offers thanks to his or her god for a victory, does that mean that their god deemed their opponents unworthy? Less special? Aren't we all supposed to be equally loved by their benevolent god? If the almighty one's got so much power, then why doesn't he/she... [fill in the blank]?

And why does the Christian majority feel compelled to convince the rest of us that their religion is The Best One of All? Because there are more of them than there are of us? So what? Why, as they try to get us to have faith in their faith (key word: faith), do they continue to exclude so many of us as they simultaneously try to entice us to "believe" their beliefs (key word: beliefs) ?

Why discriminate against those who are different than you? Or shame? Or aggressively proselytize? What happened to "live and let live" and "do unto others"?

I could go on forever. I say none of this to offend, and I hope my words are not taken that way. I understand why people embrace religion. I just can't relate to or make sense of believing in a magical being. And it stops being okay when others insist I do what's right for them, but not for me.

Which brings me to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Negative prayer may be just the remedy for those of us who blanch at religious zealots' pious public displays of prayer to their chosen deities. It's worth a try: I'll beseech my deity to use her divine powers to hinder those who feel their notion of "god" is superior to all other deities that humans have ever worshiped. ("They're praying for the worst. Is that wrong?," Op-Ed, June 24)

If my incantation prevails, government-sanctioned prayers at public meetings will cease. That way I no longer will have to betray my religious proclivities by leaving when prayers start, per the disingenuous suggestion floated by the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority in the recent decision involving the town of Greece, N.Y.

Verily, I'm praying that my negative prayers thwart the religious right's quest to browbeat nonbelievers.

Dennis Alston, Atwater, Calif.


Christian Minister Incites Christians To 'Spiritual Violence'



The service is no longer available so we have removed that code from The Political Carnival.

Here is the original post on Crooks and Liars


Afternoon-Evening Links



Image: Wikipedia

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Video- SNL: Senate Chaplain Barry Black: ‘Bless These Braying Jackasses’



Photo of the Day- Neil DeGrasse Tyson Votive Candle



For those who worship science I guess. Is it just me, or does the one behind him kinda look like it could be Princess Leia? Via.


Exorcise Those Yard Sale Clothing Demons! Says Pat Robertson



(A cross-post from our friend Anomaly100 at FreakOutNation.) Thanks, Anomaly!

Pat Robertson warns that our clothes could have demons attached to them, better to pray over them.

On the 700 Club, televangelist Pat Robertson cautioned his audience, saying that demons can attach themselves to material goods and therefore it’s not a bad idea to rebuke them before bringing them into your home. Yes, don’t we all have a picture of ourselves wearing ‘that’ sweater.


A viewer asked Robertson whether she should follow her mother’s recommendation to pray away demonic spirits over her secondhand sweaters.

Right Wing Watch reports, “Robertson recounted a story about “a witch who had prayed over a particular ring and asked for a spirit to come into it, and this Philippine girl was so attached to this ring, she had to buy it and all hell broke loose because she finally recognized what it was. Can demonic spirits attach themselves to inanimate objects, the answer is yes,” Robertson said.

Robertson added that people don’t have to concern themselves over whether every item they purchase is possessed by demons, but he added: “Hey, it ain’t going to hurt anything to rebuke any spirits that happened to have attached themselves to those clothes.”

H/T @ComgenKDT (who I know has demons attached to his sweater)


Quickie- Anti Gay Rev Giglio Removed From Inauguration Program



Looks like someone at the inauguration committee smartened up and googled the man. Should have done it in the first place.

Louis Giglio, the anti-LGBT pastor who had been announced to perform the benediction at President Obama’s second inauguration, has been removed from the program, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl reported Thursday.

The move came after ThinkProgress reported Wednesday that in the 1990s, Giglio had given a lengthy sermon in which he advocated for dangerous “ex-gay” therapy for gay and lesbian people, referenced a biblical passage often interpreted to require gay people be executed, and impelled Christians to “firmly respond to the aggressive agenda” and prevent the “homosexual lifestyle” from becoming accepted in society.

ADDED- ABC News now reporting Rev Giglio pulled himself from the ceremony because he saw it was becoming a "distraction".