I feel a rant coming on. In fact, it’s been brewing up inside since this morning when an old high school friend I connected with on Facebook asked everyone to pray for his sick dog. Really.
I have news for people like this. Your dog is going to die. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not from this bout of sickness, it might be down the road, but your pet WILL die.* So will your parents. So will your friends. So will you. No amount of praying will change that. But let’s suppose that it did… do you really believe that God would prolong the life of your pet if you pray, but would not do so if you neglected to pray? Doesn’t that make God a big jerk? If you believe that God would prolong the life of your pet as an answer to your prayers (and those of all the friends you petitioned to pray on your dog’s behalf), but would not prolong the life or ease the suffering of children like the one depicted above, despite the prayers of millions of believers around the world who’ve been pleading for his intervention for years upon years, what does that say about your ego? What does that say about your god? How could a just, loving and “pro-life” god allow such atrocities to continue to children, then turn around and take a direct and empathetic interest in the welfare of an animal you were charged with caring for? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.
To quote Epicurus, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
You can exchange the word “evil” with any malady. The point being, what kind of god could prevent children from dying of starvation but won’t?
I think it’s telling of Christian-American society that it’s become more acceptable to believe (and to assume that all your friends also believe) that there’s a guy in the sky granting your selfish wishes – causing your sports team to win or lose, influencing the economy, and actively participating in the lives of your house-pets – than it is to get off your ass and be proactive about solving your own problems. I’m not certain, but I’m pretty sure that taking your dog to the fraking veterinarian would probably do more good than soliciting your Internet friends to participate in pagan rituals on it’s behalf.
And they say I’m the crazy one.
Answered prayer is only an illusion. No matter what you ask for, no matter which deity you ask, the answers will always be the same: yes, no, and wait. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you pray to end starvation or if you pray for your dog to live a longer life; prayer is a waste of time.
You know what isn’t?
*I love animals and wish all dogs and kitties could live forever and never die.