On easter sunday just passed I was at home watching TV.

A programme came on quite late entitled 'Are Christians being persecuted??'.

This show raised two cases that I want to share with you. (if you want to watch the show yourself go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rx7tj/Are_Christians_Being_... )

The first case was of a primary school teacher, who, offered to pray for one of her young students that was ill.

On hearing of this, the child's parents complained to the school and the teacher was subsequently suspended.

The second is a very similar story. This time it was a nurse who, yes you guessed it, offered to say a prayer for one of her patients. The patient also complained and the nurse was also suspended.

This being the UK, it wasnt very long before the tabloid press got thier grubby little hands on these stories, and began one of thier many 'campaigns'. They attempted to rally the nation behind these poor public servants. Saying that what kind of Britain are we living in when two good and kind people cant even offer a prayer to help the sick?

Naturally, petitions were signed, letters were written, protests held and sure enough both teacher and nurse were offered full re-instatement very quickly.

Now let me make it clear, I honestly dont believe that either the nurse or the teacher had anything but the best intentions when they offered to pray for those people. I really think that they believed they were doing a kindness for two sick people.

However, the point I would like to make is this. The country jumped and shouted in support for these people, they backed them 100%.

What do you think would have happened if the teacher or the nurse had been muslim?

Ah, you see, not the same story now. Now your talking about some foreigner trying to poison good christian Brits with thier corrupt values etc etc etc.

What if the sick child, or patient had been a pagan? Unlikely I know but the point is still valid. An offer to 'pray' for them, altho motivated by an urge to do good, would be extremely insulting.

My mother has been in and out of hospital since I was very young. She's 53 and has very agressive multiple sclerosis. She is confined to a wheelchair and has recently become so bad she has had to move to a permentant medical facility.

My brother who is 32, was in a very serious car accident when he was 16. He spent 6 months in a coma and when he finally awoke he was brain damaged and left wheelchair-bound.

As you can imagine I have had ALOT of people offer to pray for me, my brother, my mum and my family as a whole. At first I didnt mind so much, but I've endured over 16 years of 'prayer' and peoples good intentions.

I couldnt begin to imagine how many thousands of prayers have been said on my family's behalf and it just makes me think.

If all that time was spent by all those people, working for a cure for MS, or brain disfunction or any number of other ailments and diseases, what kind of world would we be living in today???

Food for thought

Views: 22

Comment by Dave G on April 6, 2010 at 12:53pm
We had a longish conversation on the case of the teacher who lost her job.

And yes, one of the tragedies of religion is all of the effort that has been wasted on non-existent, non-constructive things that could have been put to better use.
Comment by Doug Reardon on April 6, 2010 at 2:15pm
Of course, there's the other side; that their praying kept them from using the time to do depraved, vile, nasty, inhumane things.
Comment by Alex Dorsey on April 6, 2010 at 4:46pm
I think that saying you will pray for someone is just a nice gesture. Of course I don't pray, and I don't believe that praying will get anyone anywhere, disregarding comfort (you can't deny the ignorant get comfort if they feel like they are helping in some special way. even though they often believe that God has a plan, and they pray like God won't just do what God had planned all along anyway). I wouldn't complain about praying. I feel like that whole issue was probably just blown out of proportion, on both sides.
Comment by John57 on April 6, 2010 at 5:10pm
Well, you put it in kind of a mean way. I mean, if you're going to spend all that time praying, okay, then you have a point. You could at least help and do something, instead of wasting time on your knees.
But if they just do the "Oh, we'll pray for you" thing, and help you, I guess there really isn't too much harm done.
Comment by Jake W. Andrews on April 6, 2010 at 11:39pm
I can see how "I will pray for you" is harmless, but it is just a false facade masking the condescension with compassion. "Go away I do not want to hear this anymore", so then they mention I will prey for you. I wish more people would rather say, "Oh, I will donate $50 to the _________research foundation to find a cure/treatment that is rational" although that may not sound comforting, it does more than prayer.
Comment by Shine on April 7, 2010 at 9:48am
Obviously priests need to pray more, not prey more.

Lol! Perfect.
Comment by Michael R on April 7, 2010 at 1:11pm
Peter, I too have MS and recently went on disability. My brother, who is a devout Christian, always offers to pray for me because of this...going on 16 years (like that means something to me). I always respond with "knock yourself out". I know that this makes him feel better but otherwise will have no impact to me. Jake is correct in that it masks condescension. I know that his prayer includes the hope that I finally see the light and am saved. Maybe then my MS will go away...since it obviously is caused by my sinful ways. HA!

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