Here is an example that was very personal to me..
My grandmother was very ill due to a bad blood transfusion after giving birth to my uncle around 40 years ago.. Being in the bible belt the most common response to this was prayer.. Not everybody knows this but liver transplants are based upon size and my grandmother is a very short and small woman.. On christmas eve we received a call informing us that my grandmother had made it to the top of the transplant list.. The day before new years eve we received a phone call saying that her new liver was being flown into Louisville and would arrive in a few hours.. My grandmother got her transplant and after 2 months of recovery is around 400% better than she was a few days before getting her transplant though still exhausted from the healing process taking every bit of her energy
My grandmother has been a devout Christian and part of a church for as long as I can remember.. She is a wonderful stubborn woman who loves me unconditionally even though I am an open atheist.. The problem that I have is that her entire church prayed for her when the only thing that could have saved my grandmother was a liver transplant. I can't get over the fact that these people and my family even were praying indirectly for the death of another person.. Is it illogical to think this way? Is it illogical to think that this is as bad as throwing a metal rod into the wheel of someones motorcycle?
What I know is that a woman around the age of 40 died.. They chose to donate their organs for the sake being a good person and making their death not pointless whenever it were to happen.. And I thank them for their decision in life and their selflessness in death, Not some petty deity who places value on the lives of humans and is believed to end life at the whim of others prayers..
Does anybody else have some sort of example of this? other than sports teams praying before a game to win... I'm sure we have all heard that one.. Lol
Why try to attribute reason to religious behaviours? It's a lost battle to begin with. The notion that death "not be pointless" is ridiculous to me... we come into this world, we leave, no mumbo jumbo about value and function. I don't see any point in twisting yourself into a huge knot over it, just a teensy one.
For me, religious sheople are at their most annoying during disasters, when they thank their lord for sparing their lives, what does that say about the lives that weren't spared, they were less worthy??? Religious people who survive catastrophes turn into the most self righteous pricks, assuming they were more deserving of life, grrrr.
I recent heard some bigoted catholic priest suggest on national radio (in Ireland) that if “that atheist Christopher Hitchens” had had his throat blessed on Saint Blaises day that he would not have gotten throat cancer.
He continued to say that “we should still pray for him because even Atheists need our prayers” (gives a knowing Chuckle). Just shows how screwed up their religion makes them. Guess the words that enter my mind when I think of this fine Christian.
I was in a restaurant in central California last year. Sitting behind me was a minister and his friends. During the meal a local farmer walked by and asked the minister to pray for rain for his potato crop. The minister agreed and he gave a very impassioned plea for rain. A little while later another local farmer came by and asked the minister to pray for it not to rain. Again, the minister agreed and prayed for it not to rain.
Neither he nor any of his friends at the table saw any problem with that.
I can understand why some people pray in times of illness, especially when there's not much they can do--it brings people comfort, and all that, or something. Of course, it's still obnoxious as all get-out when people praise God instead of doctors, selfless people, and so forth... meh.
Surprisingly, even after years in the Southern Baptist church, I can't think of anything really like that. My church group was pretty practical, trying actually to help people as well as pray for them.