When they say "I'll pray for you".
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
20-04-2012, 09:24 AM
When they say "I'll pray for you".
Question for the community.

Something is pissing me off and it may take a short story to explain my frustration. So please bare with me while I delve into a topic close to home for me.

There is a family in Oklahoma who has some influence in one of the denominations on a state wide level who's son has stage 4 cancer. For over a year now they have had a website documenting this four year old's struggle with being diagnosed and the subsequent treatments. This week the family was given the worst news, there is simply nothing more the doctors can do for him. News of this kind is devastating, I know first hand what a death sentence is like for a family member, having lost my father to cancer a few years ago. I know this family from my past and though I don't agree with their religious views, I still feel for the devastating news this situation brings. My outrage is not from cancer ravaging the boy, it's not from the fact they are Christians and are hoping for a miracle; who wouldn't in their situation? My rage is from the lack of real action of those who post on Facebook every ten minutes saying they will pray for the family, yet offer no other form of support. I understand the meaning behind what some of them are saying. Yet, a part of me knows first hand there is so much that can be done. Simple words of kindness, a passage from a novel that inspired hope while you were going through a hard time. Offering monetary assistance with the upcoming funeral that must be handled. There are a litany of things that this family could use assistance in, and the simple cop-out of "I'm praying for you" seems insulting to me. Am I alone in my rage at the lip service so many people offer in times of trouble like this? Am I wrong in my frustration at the lack of real action from the religious right? I know this isn't something new, but I would like the communities opinion on this.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like AdamGarton's post
20-04-2012, 09:35 AM
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
I'm with you, I feel the same way.

When I was dealing with cancer a meal would have been nice, someone offering to wash my hair after surgery helpful, someone offering to pick up a few groceries (that I'd have gladly paid for). An offer to drive me to a doctor's appointment or the pharmacy.

An old friend and neighbor spent a good bit of time gathering DVDs for me to watch during my recovery, and my oldest friend sent me a homemade quilt...that was the most anyone did outside of some phone calls.

I got lots of 'praying for you'. I also get where they are coming from, but it's not real help.

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Anjele's post
20-04-2012, 09:53 AM
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
The only thing I would say is that this kind of inactivity/lip service isn't limited to theistic stuff like "I'll pray for you." Society in general has issues with apathy, and they are quite evident on social networks as you've mentioned. For example, you'll see posts about some devastating tragedy or criminal act (Treyvon Martin's murder comes to mind) and you'll see posts that say something to the effect of "Like this post if you support justice for Treyvon", etc. and so forth).

In fact, one might argue that even within the atheist/skeptic community, there's a whole lot of liking posts, voting up YouTube videos, and arguing via discussion forums and blog comments. But when it comes to taking to the streets and volunteering time to help spread the message or even just help people with no particular agenda in mind (e.g. community service) there's not nearly as much activity. And the same thing goes for monetary support.

So yes, I share your frustration, but not just at folks that posit the old "I'll pray for you" platitude. Almost all of us are guilty of apathy and could therefore benefit from an injection of real-life activism.

Join the Logic Speaks Community

I am the unconverted
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like lightninlives's post
20-04-2012, 10:09 AM
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
(20-04-2012 09:24 AM)AdamGarton Wrote:  Question for the community.

Something is pissing me off and it may take a short story to explain my frustration. So please bare with me while I delve into a topic close to home for me.

There is a family in Oklahoma who has some influence in one of the denominations on a state wide level who's son has stage 4 cancer. For over a year now they have had a website documenting this four year old's struggle with being diagnosed and the subsequent treatments. This week the family was given the worst news, there is simply nothing more the doctors can do for him. News of this kind is devastating, I know first hand what a death sentence is like for a family member, having lost my father to cancer a few years ago. I know this family from my past and though I don't agree with their religious views, I still feel for the devastating news this situation brings. My outrage is not from cancer ravaging the boy, it's not from the fact they are Christians and are hoping for a miracle; who wouldn't in their situation? My rage is from the lack of real action of those who post on Facebook every ten minutes saying they will pray for the family, yet offer no other form of support. I understand the meaning behind what some of them are saying. Yet, a part of me knows first hand there is so much that can be done. Simple words of kindness, a passage from a novel that inspired hope while you were going through a hard time. Offering monetary assistance with the upcoming funeral that must be handled. There are a litany of things that this family could use assistance in, and the simple cop-out of "I'm praying for you" seems insulting to me. Am I alone in my rage at the lip service so many people offer in times of trouble like this? Am I wrong in my frustration at the lack of real action from the religious right? I know this isn't something new, but I would like the communities opinion on this.
i hope that kid dies soon. i hate these religious nuts in the midwest. they will get what they deserve. lets see if their fairytale comes through for them. SUCKAaaaS!!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-04-2012, 10:46 AM
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
(20-04-2012 09:24 AM)AdamGarton Wrote:  Simple words of kindness, a passage from a novel that inspired hope while you were going through a hard time.

Exactly how is this any different than "I'll pray for you"? Words are relative. They are relative to the meanings that they hold to the recipient. Since the recipient is a Christian, the words hold power in comfort that others are remembering them in prayer to their God - whom they believe in omnipotent.

You present comfort to others in a form that they will get the most from it. While a kind word or a inspired passage may be helpful to you, it might not have the same effect on others.

Quote:Offering monetary assistance with the upcoming funeral that must be handled. There are a litany of things that this family could use assistance in, and the simple cop-out of "I'm praying for you" seems insulting to me.

Not everyone can or wants to give monetary assistance, which is why people use words for comfort. If you are going to get mad at "I'm praying for you", then you need to get equally mad at everyone offering words of support such as your aforementioned words of kindness or an inspired passage.

Quote:Am I alone in my rage at the lip service so many people offer in times of trouble like this? Am I wrong in my frustration at the lack of real action from the religious right? I know this isn't something new, but I would like the communities opinion on this.

I would say this is a pretty arrogant position to hold. Getting mad at someone's gift of sympathy because it's not up to your own personal standard of what sympathy should be seems pretty selfish and ungrateful.

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kingschosen's post
20-04-2012, 10:50 AM
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
They mean well, however they aren't doing anything to really help someone.

I tell people, "Don't pray for me, please. If you care about me, physically help me."

Bury me with my guns on, so when I reach the other side - I can show him what it feels like to die.
Bury me with my guns on, so when I'm cast out of the sky, I can shoot the devil right between the eyes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Question's post
20-04-2012, 10:53 AM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2012 11:02 AM by kineo.)
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
(20-04-2012 10:09 AM)satan69 Wrote:  i hope that kid dies soon. i hate these religious nuts in the midwest. they will get what they deserve. lets see if their fairytale comes through for them. SUCKAaaaS!!

You wish that this kid dies because his parents are religious? By your logic, many of us should die soon because we have religious parents. Do you have religious parents? It's not like they're withholding medical assistance because of faith.
(20-04-2012 09:53 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  The only thing I would say is that this kind of inactivity/lip service isn't limited to theistic stuff like "I'll pray for you." Society in general has issues with apathy, and they are quite evident on social networks as you've mentioned. For example, you'll see posts about some devastating tragedy or criminal act (Treyvon Martin's murder comes to mind) and you'll see posts that say something to the effect of "Like this post if you support justice for Treyvon", etc. and so forth).

In fact, one might argue that even within the atheist/skeptic community, there's a whole lot of liking posts, voting up YouTube videos, and arguing via discussion forums and blog comments. But when it comes to taking to the streets and volunteering time to help spread the message or even just help people with no particular agenda in mind (e.g. community service) there's not nearly as much activity. And the same thing goes for monetary support.

So yes, I share your frustration, but not just at folks that posit the old "I'll pray for you" platitude. Almost all of us are guilty of apathy and could therefore benefit from an injection of real-life activism.

Well-said, good post.

I think that many of us hate the response of "I'll pray for you" because it lacks real physical action. And there is sufficient reason to get annoyed by this apathetic response to tragedy. But the same is true for the non-religion-based platitudes.

So OP, no you're not alone. But what lightninlives said is right- the religious aren't the only ones guilty of this.

On top of that, it's impossible to know which of the people saying this have actually contributed in some other more meaningful way.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kineo's post
20-04-2012, 11:06 AM
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
(20-04-2012 10:46 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(20-04-2012 09:24 AM)AdamGarton Wrote:  Simple words of kindness, a passage from a novel that inspired hope while you were going through a hard time.

Exactly how is this any different than "I'll pray for you"? Words are relative. They are relative to the meanings that they hold to the recipient. Since the recipient is a Christian, the words hold power in comfort that others are remembering them in prayer to their God - whom they believe in omnipotent.

You present comfort to others in a form that they will get the most from it. While a kind word or a inspired passage may be helpful to you, it might not have the same effect on others.

Quote:Offering monetary assistance with the upcoming funeral that must be handled. There are a litany of things that this family could use assistance in, and the simple cop-out of "I'm praying for you" seems insulting to me.

Not everyone can or wants to give monetary assistance, which is why people use words for comfort. If you are going to get mad at "I'm praying for you", then you need to get equally mad at everyone offering words of support such as your aforementioned words of kindness or an inspired passage.

Quote:Am I alone in my rage at the lip service so many people offer in times of trouble like this? Am I wrong in my frustration at the lack of real action from the religious right? I know this isn't something new, but I would like the communities opinion on this.

I would say this is a pretty arrogant position to hold. Getting mad at someone's gift of sympathy because it's not up to your own personal standard of what sympathy should be seems pretty selfish and ungrateful.
Totally agree (and can you please share a link to that video you have in your profile of the dude swatting people with his jacket. That is hilarious!)

Join the Logic Speaks Community

I am the unconverted
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-04-2012, 11:08 AM
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
http://whatgifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2...preach.gif

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kingschosen's post
20-04-2012, 11:11 AM
RE: When they say "I'll pray for you".
(20-04-2012 11:06 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  
(20-04-2012 10:46 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Exactly how is this any different than "I'll pray for you"? Words are relative. They are relative to the meanings that they hold to the recipient. Since the recipient is a Christian, the words hold power in comfort that others are remembering them in prayer to their God - whom they believe in omnipotent.

You present comfort to others in a form that they will get the most from it. While a kind word or a inspired passage may be helpful to you, it might not have the same effect on others.


Not everyone can or wants to give monetary assistance, which is why people use words for comfort. If you are going to get mad at "I'm praying for you", then you need to get equally mad at everyone offering words of support such as your aforementioned words of kindness or an inspired passage.


I would say this is a pretty arrogant position to hold. Getting mad at someone's gift of sympathy because it's not up to your own personal standard of what sympathy should be seems pretty selfish and ungrateful.
Totally agree (and can you please share a link to that video you have in your profile of the dude swatting people with his jacket. That is hilarious!)

The guy doing the swatting is Benny Hinn, a televangelist. I'm not sure what video it's taken from, but there's a portion of the clip in the video that FSM_Scot linked in this thread, which you'll find worth the watch. Big Grin

The gif itself was found on reddit so I'm not sure of the original source.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kineo's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: