Tuesday, February 22, 2011

God lets down Christians.... again

God hates evangelists

The Adams' website chronicles their worldwide voyage, which included trips to New Zealand, China, Cambodia and Panama.

One aspect of their travels, according to the site, "is friendship evangelism -- that is, finding homes for thousands of Bibles, which have been donated through grants and gifts, as we travel from place to place." They also say their mission is to "allow the power of the Word to transform lives."

Despite their own prayers and the prayers of people that God really listens to (i.e. pastors, as in the video linked on the news page), these people were killed by the Somali pirates who overtook their boat. 

I don't experience any schadenfreude from this, but it does make me wonder what the people who went public with their prayers are going to say now.   If you were to make a statistical study of people in danger who were prayed for by others, compared to people in danger who were not prayed for (or maybe those prayed for by the wrong religionists!)... you would probably find that the outcome was no different.

You can't make a study of people who prayed for themselves because you would get the worst kind of confirmation bias: only people who survived a life-threatening event would answer your survey.

Do Christians ever think about why they only hear about people who prayed and were delivered from a life-threatening event or disease?  Don't they realize that the people who prayed and died anyway aren't talking to them?

If they do acknowledge that their prayers weren't answered (as opposed to conveniently forgetting that they prayed), they have a real problem on their hands, as their imaginary Sky Daddy was supposed to make everything all right.  Here are some website explanations for why prayer doesn't work:

You're not a good enough person.

Your prayers aren't good enough

You don't want the right things

You didn't tell God how great he is first

God did answer the prayer by doing what's best for you, not what you want

This last one is the default for a lot of the Christians I've met.  God knows what's best.  His ways are mysterious.  One door closes, another door opens...   blah blah blah 

All these excuses have one thing in common:  blaming the person doing the praying.  God is all-powerful but apparently you have the power to change his mind if you do everything just so.  If God doesn't answer a prayer it's because there's something wrong with you, not with the Somali pirates.

Someone at work the other day said she met the leader of a local atheist group and "she was one of the happiest people I've ever met."  I tried to explain how liberating atheism is, but I don't think her brain got past "you too?"

Liberating, yes.  Sure, being powerless in distressing or dangerous situations is frustrating, uncomfortable, and scary.  But we don't carry any shame for the situation or the outcome.  We don't allow ourselves to be belittled by fairy tale Sky Daddies and their spokespeople who will do everything to put the blame on the believer.  Those of us who were brought up to believe this nonsense are free to put the blame where it belongs: on the person committing the evil act, the cancer ravaging a body, or plate tectonics causing an earthquake.

It doesn't say anything about you that the pirates killed their captives, or that people died in the New Zealand earthquake, or that a four year old dies from cancer.  In the long run, we atheists are in a much better position to recover from horrible events than Christians because we don't hold false hopes of a fairy tale ending or blame ourselves when things don't come out the way we think they should.

We also don't have to spill a lot of ink wondering why things came out the way they did.

Here's a tip, Christians:  if it has taken theologians thousands of years to come up with an explanation, that's a sure sign that the underlying concept is bogus.  The answer to the question of why prayers aren't answered is that prayer is a mindgame and has no influence on the outcome of events.  If it makes you feel good, that's about all you're going to get from it.


krissthesexyatheist said...

Oh nozzzzz, the 'answers' that don't explain anything and at best explain away what has happened. Prayer doesn't work like that, we cannot understand the mind of god=BS. "L.A." great post, again. Awesomeness.


B.R. said...

Funny how, to date, God has consistently failed when up against;

Iron chariots.

Gladiators armed with swords and spears.

Lions, tigers, and other wild animals.






Angry Native Americans.

Angry native mobs of all countries and time-periods.


Samurai(16th Century).

Muslim terrorist groups(modern day).

And now, Somali pirates.

Who will God fail to protect His "chosen ones" against next time? Angry midgets? Mutant transsexuals?

Never Was An Arrow II said...

"1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them,

2 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them?

3 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.

4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, killing them all? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem?

5 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.'" (Luke 13)

It's always been a temptation to equate disaster with depravity.

Equally disturbing are some who "take" God as aspirin. You know, say two prayers, and all well be well tomorrow.

It's the reverse of Genesis: tiny, shallow, man(kind) recreates God in his own image, based on his wants, or even real needs. Those pagans keep on being frustrated 'cause God just won't jump through those hoops like they want!

Evangelism IS serious business, it's not a casual yachting vacation, as those simpletons discovered. Handing out donated Bibles, being friends, travelling from pace to place as the wind blows…more romantic, than real…but they know that now…

The US Navy was right there…with all their superior firepower which was Obaminated. Rendered useless. Will there ever be a more useless US president than that guy?! He makes Carter look real good.

Recap. The United States Navy's hands were tied to do nothing–unless, "in the event of an imminent threat to the Americans' safety".

Obviously, THAT can't be accurately determined when you aren't actually on board, like you would have been if you'd stormed the damn yacht in the first place.

TOO BAD Obama isn't actually American—an American response with a helicopter gunship in close proximity to the yacht would have yielded the proper result.

Hopefully, this will provide yet another opportunity for Obama to bow low to another bird nation, Somalia this time, and another chance for him to apologize on the behalf of America—most especially for those awful homegrown Biblehander-outers that wreck so much havoc…on the high seas.

LadyAtheist said...

I was going to delete Arrow's comment for being nonresponsive (what the fuck do Galileans and Obama have to do with Christian excuse-making?)

...but it made me snicker so I'm leaving it up.

L.Long said...

NWAAII is entertaining.

1-You're not a good enough person.
The silly buyBull say nothing about being good for prayers to work.
Jepus said if you have FAITH you can move mountains
And ask in my name it will be granted.

2-Your prayers aren't good enough
Nonprovable excuse. If it looks like it worked then good enough
but if it dont work then not good enough as well as 1-3-4-5.

3-You don't want the right things
And you should know this because you are not hearing voices.

4-You didn't tell God how great he is first
Based on what I've read in the buyBull this one is valid.
S/He/IT is an egomaniac at the least.

5-God did answer the prayer by doing what's best for you, not what you want
See 3 above.

It is amazing how they twist the buyBull to explain how things dont get done.

B.R. said...

@Never Was An Arrow II;

I love being a Mandalorian. It's so much fun having significant training in various martial arts, flame-throwers and poison dart gauntlets, not to mention my awesome jetpack and the scalps I hang on my belt from past encounters.

Was that random? Because it has just as much to do with this thread as your comment.

Never Was An Arrow II said...

I thought the post was about wrong conclusions.

The quote from Jesus is HIS attempt to confront superstitious thinking, thinkers…which is right up there with unrealistic voodoo-style praying.

I reviewed my post. It's fine. I'm ok with it.

I went off on a wee' bit of a rant, near the end, but otherwise it's fine. I can't help it all of the linear thinkers showed up together.

BR, I know you keep fading in and out with that fantasy stuff…but try to stay with us, buddy. Martial arts? That stuff, what a joke. Freestyle wrestling is for men. All the rest…kids playing in the park. Martial arts is right up there with air guitar.

B.R. said...

I was being sarcastic, Einstein; I have a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do, the rest is only understandable to Star Wars fans. And freestyle wresting is stupid. A black belt in Jujitsu, Judo, or a modern-day expert in Pankration(the Spartan style that wrestling ripped off) could cream those guys with little difficulty.

"All the rest...kids playing in the park. Martial arts is right up there with air guitar."

My, my; such brainless ignorance. For your sake, I hope you never piss off a real martial artist; some of us like to break bones.

LadyAtheist said...

And those of us who study krav maga kick all those arses then point and laugh. *grin*

B.R. said...

Lol. I recently learned the turn heel kick(officially; I had it figured out before I got my current belt). By Cthulhu, it's fun! And I've finally gotten my slide spin kick figured out. How long have you been doing Krav Maga?

LadyAtheist said...

From 2005 to 2008. I went through the level two curriculum a few times but never tested so I'm just a yellow belt. The closest school of krav here is an hour away :-(

B.R. said...

That sucks. I've been wanting to do Kenjustsu(the Samurai sword art) for a while, but there are no dojos within a couple hundred miles. Oh well. :p