Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
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14-12-2012, 01:01 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
I think any positive thoughts meant to offer care and well being, are usually given sincerely. I don't think I've ever suspected any sort of malice. I'm always glad someone is able to express love in whatever way they know how.

Maybe some feel inadequate and feel some kind of "divine intervention" would better spread the love. It's kind of impersonal but maybe because of how they were raised, it's all they know how to muster up.

When it comes to love, I feel it pretty unconditionally and that's how I want to give and receive it. Heart

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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14-12-2012, 01:07 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 12:29 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  So let me get this straight.....no one here actually feels good about another person praying for them? I don't think there's a god to hear those prayers, but knowing that someone I care about is doing something they genuinely believe will help me, does, in fact, help. It,s uplifting and gives me a positive feeling to know that a person I care about cares back.

I've been thinking about this a lot the last couple days. The prayer itself is just a manifestation of a theists genuine concern for my well being. That makes me feel awesome. I may not need prayer, but to know someone who does is praying for me, IMO, can be powerful.
Well you did bias the answers because the question in your original post was whether we feel insulted.

But, to answer your new question, I do appreciate their sentiment. In that sense I guess I feel good, but that feeling is minimized by the realization that their prayer is really an exercise in futility.

Silence is only golden when it's not synonymous with a failure to speak out against injustice.

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." --Gene Roddenberry
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14-12-2012, 01:12 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 12:29 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  So let me get this straight.....

So lemme give it to ya gay. Bend over, Rover, here's Johnny! Evil_monster

Nah, not like KC. There's a few like him, but I get an overwhelming percentage of condescending prudes.

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14-12-2012, 01:14 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 12:29 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  So let me get this straight.....no one here actually feels good about another person praying for them? I don't think there's a god to hear those prayers, but knowing that someone I care about is doing something they genuinely believe will help me, does, in fact, help. It,s uplifting and gives me a positive feeling to know that a person I care about cares back.

I've been thinking about this a lot the last couple days. The prayer itself is just a manifestation of a theists genuine concern for my well being. That makes me feel awesome. I may not need prayer, but to know someone who does is praying for me, IMO, can be powerful.

Sorry, I'm more logical/practical than sentimental. If someone offers their assistance, I prefer it to be tangible. I appreciate the well-wishing, but I don't do the whole *Smiles contently and nods his head in approval as beautiful music plays* thing. I tend to be kind of unfeeling about it. Like I said, I appreciate it, but the most they're gonna get is a pat on the shoulder before I go to find an actual solution to my problem. I'm not really a "fueled for the day by Bob's encouraging comment" kind of guy.

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14-12-2012, 01:19 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
It's only insulting if they mean it in the, "I'll pray that god magically changes your mind for you" way, in which case they can go suck a donkey flavored dildo. If it's meant sincerely as well-wishing to help me through rough times then I don't mind at all.

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14-12-2012, 01:51 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 12:13 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(14-12-2012 12:10 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  If someone is going to pray to fix my atheism, I'll gladly give them an ear full of why I don't care about whether they talk to themselves about me or not. The rest of the time, when they're just trying to cheer me up or "fix" something bad in my life, I usually just ignore it. Most people from whom I hear this don't even know I'm an atheist; I don't hide it, but I don't broadcast it either. So they just don't know that I don't care about their prayer. But my close friends or family, they know I'm an atheist, and if they tell me they're going to pray for something about me, I usually tell them not to bother, go spend their time on something that actually might make a difference to someone. I'll be more polite than that, but they know I'm an atheist, so they know better than to say that kind of thing to me, which means they deserve a little push back when they do.
So, if someone says, "Sorry dude, you're in my thoughts," do you say, "Don't worry about it. Go do something productive"?

If not, how is this any different?

If so, how do you justify throwing malice in the face of someone only offering their sympathies?
It's not malice. As I said, if they know I'm an atheist, then they're dragging their god into my life. I push back. I even said I'm usually more polite about it. If they know I'm an atheist, they have no business throwing their god at me. Or more accurately, they should have no expectations that I care whether or not they throw their god at me, so they should know that their platitude is meaningless to me. On the other hand, telling me that I'm in their thoughts is a way of expressing legitimate concern that doesn't require either of us to accede to nonsensical mythology.

On a related note, when people who know I'm an atheist say "Bless you" after I sneeze, I usually tell them "No thanks, I don't know for sure which god might answer that blessing and in any case I don't need any gods meddling in my life".

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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14-12-2012, 01:54 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
Don't bother me. 'Less I'm bein' condescended at. Then I get bleak. But I actually miss being able to say that with a straight face. 'Cos now I need a polite way of saying "Well that sucks for you, but there's sweet f-all I can do about it so Imma sit over here and sympathize an' shit, and maybe you'll feel better"... I *wish* praying for people worked. I need a way of doing nice shit for people I like that works over long distances and doesn't cost lots of money... and is anonymous...
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14-12-2012, 01:59 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 12:29 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  So let me get this straight.....no one here actually feels good about another person praying for them? I don't think there's a god to hear those prayers, but knowing that someone I care about is doing something they genuinely believe will help me, does, in fact, help. It,s uplifting and gives me a positive feeling to know that a person I care about cares back.

I've been thinking about this a lot the last couple days. The prayer itself is just a manifestation of a theists genuine concern for my well being. That makes me feel awesome. I may not need prayer, but to know someone who does is praying for me, IMO, can be powerful.


I think for me it depends on how I feel about the person offering prayer. If (most of) my family member were to offer me their prayers that's a positive between us. I think it's also the only way they know how to share feelings like that with me without delving into a Jesus discussion with me.

As for strangers, not really sure. Would depend on context.

All this being said, when my half-brother "laid hands" on me and started speaking in tongues over me....for over an HOUR (!!)...needless to say it felt pretty awkward. No, it felt downright creepy at some moments. I gotta be honest, I hope he never does it to me again. But, despite how I feel about this gesture, I know he did it from love....I think. I hope!!! Well, regardless, I know he loves me and I love him. But I will be trying to avoid any further awkwardness. If he tries it again I may come out to him.....wait....that didn't sound right at all.

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! -Brian's mum
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14-12-2012, 02:03 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
As long as you get your ... prepositions ? ... right and don't come *on* him I think it won't be too awkard Tongue
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14-12-2012, 02:09 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 01:51 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(14-12-2012 12:13 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  So, if someone says, "Sorry dude, you're in my thoughts," do you say, "Don't worry about it. Go do something productive"?

If not, how is this any different?

If so, how do you justify throwing malice in the face of someone only offering their sympathies?
It's not malice. As I said, if they know I'm an atheist, then they're dragging their god into my life. I push back. I even said I'm usually more polite about it. If they know I'm an atheist, they have no business throwing their god at me. Or more accurately, they should have no expectations that I care whether or not they throw their god at me, so they should know that their platitude is meaningless to me. On the other hand, telling me that I'm in their thoughts is a way of expressing legitimate concern that doesn't require either of us to accede to nonsensical mythology.

On a related note, when people who know I'm an atheist say "Bless you" after I sneeze, I usually tell them "No thanks, I don't know for sure which god might answer that blessing and in any case I don't need any gods meddling in my life".
They're not throwing their God at you.

They are simply expressing their concern and sympathies toward your situation as well as offering something from them that they feel is beneficial. How could you really be insulted by that? Heck, if a Muslim prayed to Allah about me, I would feel honored because I know I matter to that person.

It has nothing to do with throwing religion at you. It's a person being a human being to another human being in their own way.

You don't have to believe it or accept it, but to feel anything but gratitude towards that person for their actions should cause you to reevaluate your perception of yourself and maybe realize it's being a bit arrogant.

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