Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Some interesting tidbits from this poll about Americans and religion. This paragraph, caught my eye:

"I can't remember any prayer that I have prayed that has not been answered," said Helen Catchings, 62, of Vienna. God cured her of stuttering and gave her the resources for her home-care business, she said. And she said she has seen members of her church cured of cancer, brain tumors and other illnesses through prayer, baffling doctors. "I give Him all the credit," Catchings said.

Well, that's pretty nifty for Ms. Catchings and the people in her church. If you believe in this crap, that is.

I know several people who stutter and are religious - why didn't God help them? One non-medical person's statement about seeing others cured by prayer should be taken with several pounds of salt - especially in light of some studies that have shown zero or even a NEGATIVE correlation between praying for sick people and those sick people recovering.

As for the one-third of Americans who say God answers their prayers at least once a month - well that's very nifty. But I know people who pray for EVERYTHING. They pray that their car won't get smashed by some drunk cell-phone-talking moron in an SUV while driving to Wal-Mart. They pray that Junior passes his math test. They pray that the Cowboys beat the Chiefs. SURELY if you pray that often for so much trivial crap, God can pull through at least once a month? Or more accurately, at least APPEAR to pull through. The power is strong - the power of COINCIDENCE that is.

And finally, the idea that 20% of American Christians speak in tongues just creeps me out. What others do in the name of religion is weird, no two ways around it, whether Buddhist monks or American Indian shamans or Russian Orthodox priests. But talking in tongues goes even further into the realm of the irrational and primitive. And self-delusion.



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