Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
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14-12-2012, 02:15 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
As with most people, it comes down to context. I try to focus on the intent and feelings behind the prayer. If they want me to feel/do/be better, that's fine. Positive, even. Sure, I can complain that it's not much in the way of actual support, but most people who'd offer that would be happy to help in some small way if I ask (say, by making a grocery run for soup and tissues if I'm to weak to leave the apartment), and their lack of that help is usually because I don't ask, not because they're the praying sort. Insofar as I perceive their intent and feelings to be positive, I am grateful of the indication, though not so much the prayer itself. But also I'd rather they express it in a different way -- one that doesn't highlight a gulf between us.

And conversely, if the intent and feelings behind the prayer are "You're a horrible wicked person so I'll pray for you", that'll piss me off. (Sometimes. Most of the times I shrug it off, because this doesn't come from people whose opinions matter to me.) And then there's the mind-control thing of "God, please force Reltzik to do this or that even if he doesn't want to." Which is irritating, a bit, but also shrug-off-able.

And then there's the gray area in between.
(14-12-2012 12:16 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I see this in my son: If he gets hurt, he wants us to kiss his bo-bo. My wife and I know this does 0% to help the pain, but he thinks it does. Are we to stop kissing his bo-bos simply because the ineffectiveness of it?
SHUT YOUR MOUTH! GO AWAY!

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14-12-2012, 02:17 PM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2012 02:26 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
Nah. If I don't find "Dude! You got a tiny dick!" insulting when I shower at the gym, "Yeah, meh, whatever. You got 4 kids?", why would I find "I'll pray for you." insulting? But next time that dude teases me for my tiny dick I am gonna ask him to pray for it. Big Grin

I'm not even sure I'm capable of being insulted anymore. I don't even give a shit about my own opinions, why would I give a fuck about yours?

I am us and we is me. ... bitches.
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14-12-2012, 02:19 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 02:03 PM)morondog Wrote:  As long as you get your ... prepositions ? ... right and don't come *on* him I think it won't be too awkard Tongue
I think the word is "propositions". Big Grin

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14-12-2012, 03:24 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 01:59 PM)Cardinal Smurf Wrote:  
(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.
That brings up another aspect to this discussion. I'm ok with anyone praying for me as long as it doesn't impose on me in some way. I don't want to be present when they are praying and, if they insist, then it is no longer just an act of honest concern, but then an issue of insensitivity to my feelings in the matter.

Related to that, I have a relative who sends me mass cards periodically and these are usually what I get instead of a birthday or holiday card from that relative. Even that is a slight imposition to me because I miss out on the normal cards and instead have to open these and roll my eyes and consciously remind myself that this relative loves me and has good intentions before I can dismiss the initial disappointment and feel better about it. I'd rather they buy the card if they must so the prayers are said and they are happy, but keep the cards and send me normal ones or even none at all.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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14-12-2012, 03:28 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 02:17 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I'm not even sure I'm capable of being insulted anymore. I don't even give a shit about my own opinions, why would I give a fuck about yours?
Because my opinions are truer and better than yours. And because mine is bigge... oh wait. Never mind.

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14-12-2012, 03:44 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 09:22 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I've noticed this before, but never thought to bring it up. Do you, as atheists, find it insulting when a theists tells you that they will pray for you?


Now of course, there is context to consider. Obviously, when someone says they'll pray for you because you're an atheist it can feel pretty ignorant and condescending. But what about when you have a friend who is just concerned about you? Say you have an illness, and that friend really genuinely says a prayer because they want you to be better? Knowing that friend believes, and that they really believe they're prayers are meaningful, shouldn't we feel complimented? The prayer may be meaningless to us (in the context that we know it won't help), but there's meaning in that the person praying is doing something they think will help.



I dunno. Just seeing a lot of nastiness towards theists these days. There probably isn't any more than before, but I'm definitely noticing it more.
Theists, atheists, they can all insult me as much as they like.
I've learned to grow a thick skin............ Big Grin

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but names will never hurt me~~~~~
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14-12-2012, 06:54 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 09:22 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I've noticed this before, but never thought to bring it up. Do you, as atheists, find it insulting when a theists tells you that they will pray for you?


Now of course, there is context to consider. Obviously, when someone says they'll pray for you because you're an atheist it can feel pretty ignorant and condescending. But what about when you have a friend who is just concerned about you? Say you have an illness, and that friend really genuinely says a prayer because they want you to be better? Knowing that friend believes, and that they really believe they're prayers are meaningful, shouldn't we feel complimented? The prayer may be meaningless to us (in the context that we know it won't help), but there's meaning in that the person praying is doing something they think will help.



I dunno. Just seeing a lot of nastiness towards theists these days. There probably isn't any more than before, but I'm definitely noticing it more.


Regardless of context I don't find it insulting.

I find it saddening. They think their prayers do something, anything, and that saddens me. And that they're are wasting their time talking to themselves about me, thinking it will do something, is equally saddening.

It's just another reason to pity them in a way, though I must admit their comfortable delusion does seem mighty welcoming to me currently..

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14-12-2012, 07:29 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
I'm in the "context" crowd. If it is a reflexive uuterance (like "God bless you" after a sneeze) or meant as sympathy it doesn't really bother me. If it's meant as "I'm so much better because I have a personal relationship with Jesus" etc. then I consider it an open invitation to take issue with it, verbally and with great enthusiasm. Honestly though, it's rare that I ever hear it as a jab.
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14-12-2012, 10:01 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
Well, since I'm the other piece of this puzzle and the source for the topic of this thread, I suppose I'll chime in. In secret code and metaphors of course, due to the nature of said puzzle. The context in this case was this:

Atheist 1 spends his day deeply involved with mocking the belief in a god.
In fact, Atheist 1 is surrounded by other atheist friends, who also spend their time disproving and mocking aforementioned belief in god.
So it is well known that Atheist 1 does not believe in a god and finds those who do irrational creatures.
Atheist 1 has a certain event occur that is a substantial speed bump in the road of life and confides his troubles with the group of atheist bastards.
Theist 1 is the first person to respond and immediately promises to pray for Atheist 1.
Atheist 2 comes along (let's call him Muddy Christ) and sees the prayer statement.
Muddy notes the irony of immediately promising to pray for someone who proudly boasts their non-belief daily.
Muddy sees this as a sort of insult and mockery towards Atheist 1, akin to a Poseidon believer smugly promising to pray for a sailor who has become lost at sea.
This was certainly not Theist 1's intention, but Muddy has noticed that this slap in the atheist's face commonly goes unnoticed by all theists. Offering to pray for an atheist in a time of trouble is like offering to eat a bunch of food in honor of all the starving children in Africa. You eating food does not benefit the children and is rather insulting.

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14-12-2012, 10:59 PM
RE: Is, "I'll pray for you" insulting?
(14-12-2012 10:01 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  Theist 1 is the first person to respond and immediately promises to pray for Atheist 1.
Atheist 2 comes along (let's call him Muddy Christ) and sees the prayer statement.
Muddy notes the irony of immediately promising to pray for someone who proudly boasts their non-belief daily.
Muddy sees this as a sort of insult and mockery towards Atheist 1, akin to a Poseidon believer smugly promising to pray for a sailor who has become lost at sea.

Funny that, considering what day it is... let's to the wayback machine, when this rant was spawned from similar indiscretion... http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com/2011/1...tches.html

Spent the night celebrating an immortal, when Muddy would rather pontificate upon the distasteful funerary practices of the Christians...

Yeah, we're all perfect around here, but I wouldn't shed a tear, to burn a witch or two...

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