Monday, August 17, 2009

Twitter bomb - the power of prayer?

For some reason I suddenly kept getting friended on Twitter by all these religious organizations, like wrightreverend1 and I didn't choose to follow them back, and promptly noticed that they were all freshly started accounts with barely ten tweets to each of them if even that much. That's odd. So I posted:
  • Welcome, Christian groups who suddenly started following me. I hope not to disappoint you. Off to sacrifice a goat to Satan. BRB
This is when I started getting private messages (rather than @stumblingblock messages that you could see) that started just amusing me. Nothing big, just like this example: "i pray 4u 2 find hope". I pray you find sense of humor. Strangely enough the only thing I responded to was... well... you'll see:
  • RT @ChristianPeeps "Investigate the Power of Prayer!!!" They did. And discovered no power, except in one study already revealed as a snope.
  • One recent study:
  • Another: "prayer had no significant effect"
  • Another: "prayer offers no additional benefits"
  • And another: "'No health benefit' from prayer"
  • Byrd Study is the only one cited with results, but there were huge problems:
  • And that page shows many other studies with nothing more than claims that couldn't be replicated and held no evidence whatsoever.
  • So, now that I've investigated the power of prayer and found evidence of none, what shall I investigate next?
Was told I needed to do more praying and less questioning: "yu only find what u want 2 find". Then there was some post from Think Progress about actual mandatory bible classes in Texas? And then from Media Matters about keeping government out of healthcare...
  • mmfa Conservatives repeat Reagan's attacks on "socialized medicine," ignore that he was criticizing Medicare:
And I'm just thinking, I'm over this with these people:
  • I guess we're supposed to pray for our health rather than actually receive healthcare, now that Obama's plan is defeated. Right?
  • Like that pilot was supposed to pray rather than save his passengers. Or Atlanta was to pray for rain rather than reduce their water use.
I don't deny that prayer has power. I just think the only power it has is one that I don't like. The best way to demonstrate that is from an old song by the very early 90s group, Arrested Development, called Fishin' 4 Religion:

Sitting in church hearing legitimate woes
Pastor tells the lady it'll be alright, just pray so you can see the pearly gates so white
The lady prays and prays and prays and prays and prays and prays and prays and's everlasting
"There's nothing wrong with praying ?" It's what she's asking
She's asking the Lord to let her cope so one day she can see the golden ropes
What you pray for God will give to be able to cope in this world we live
The word "cope" and the word "change" is directly opposite, not the same
She should have been praying to change her woes but pastor said "Pray to cope with those"
The government is happy with most baptist churches coz they don't do a damn thing to try to nurture
brothers and sisters on a revolution Baptist teaches dying is the only solution
Passiveness causes others to pass us by
I throw my line till I've made my decision until then, I'm still fishin' 4 religion

I never really liked Arrested Development, but I did like the point that Speech (the lead singer, or rapper, or whatever) was making in this song. Here's the problem. He was a Grammy winner world famous for having slammed religion like this. So when my pastor from the notorious Christian cult, the International Churches of Christ, met up with him, Speech doubled over quick and was actually baptized into our ridiculous congregation. I was there when it happened, and eventually started to teach his young son in Sunday school. I watched this guy go from a brilliant questioner to a sedated cult member who didn't give a damn about those who were poor and hurting in our congregation, just like the leadership didn't, because all the wealthy members and leaders cared only about those who could contribute massive amounts of money.

That is the power of prayer. It's in the song above. It turns you into a passive person who sits by and allows the pains of the world. It turns you into a person who sits and hopes, rather than one who gets up and revolts. I've already been fished in once. Now my religion is freedom. And my family is mankind.

Thankfully all they're doing is praying for me to "see the light" rather than doing something about it, like the pod people in the movie would've done.