Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Imprecatory Prayers

Lately, all over the decent and humane sphere of the intertubes, people have been declaring their horror at the actions of one group of Christian women claiming to be praying for the female staff of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to be stricken with breast cancer.  Here’s the link to the MRFF press release.  Now at this time, the only evidence we have that these people are Christians is that they have phoned the MRFF and claimed to be and now there is an email where they claimed to be.  It coudl indeed be a poe, someone pretending to be Christian.  But I don’t think this is the case, and here’s why.

Now, in that I love and deeply respect Mikey, the staff at the MRFF and all that they do, I formally demand to be prayed for too.  But why stop at breast cancer, my Christian friends?  The only reason I can think of, and I got this idea from another person, is that you want to skirt your god’s laws agaisnt killing people, but you do want to try to frighten them back into your god’s clutches.  I do have to demand to ge the same treatment.  Pray for me. Pray for me HARD! 

I’ve seen a lot of Christians express their horror too.  I’m really glad they are and that they aren’t the same as these people who have tried imprecatory prayer.   The problem with this is that all they have to seperate themselves from these rather nasty women is a form of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.  They must claim that no “true” Christian would ever do this; however, there is no way to determine what a true  Christian is.  The term Christian covers many many things, from Baptist, to Mormon, to Roman Catholic, to Jehovah’s Witness, to Unitarian Universalist Christians, non-demonimational groups, the Westboro Baptist Church, evangelicals, etc.  And of course, most of these are completely *sure* that the others are wrong and going to hell.  In the Christian bible, we have one possiblity on how to tell, that any follower of Jesus Christ will be able to do the same miracles and even better ones than described.   There is no evidence from any of these sects of Christianity, so that seems to indicate this isn’t a good way or that *none* of these are true Christians. 

Just looking at how these women have spoken doesn’t help either.  We have had the same types of prayers for harm come from some of the biggest Christian leaders, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.  I recall seeing Chrisians hoping that homosexuals get AIDS as a vengeance from their god.  We see Christians like the Westboro Church hope for disaster for the US and its people since a lot of us have no problem with who loves who.  And even in the Christian bible, we have many instances where this god does respond to prayers to harm people aka curses (Elisha and the bears is one famous instance) or simply choses to commit genocide itself.   From all of this, there is no reason to think that these women are an aberration.

As it stands, it seems that by this example, religion isn’t from some outer source that has some “TRUTH”, it is a man-made thing that people shape to their own desires and hatreds.  And rather than going through acrobatic apologetics to create a god that is acceptable to a modern person, it’s a lot easier to just chuck the primitive nonsense altogether. 

credits: Microsoft Word clip art

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