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BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?

GUEST,Dan 04 May 02 - 07:10 PM
53 04 May 02 - 07:21 PM
catspaw49 04 May 02 - 07:50 PM
Celtic Soul 04 May 02 - 08:08 PM
mack/misophist 04 May 02 - 08:12 PM
Charcloth 04 May 02 - 09:12 PM
kendall 04 May 02 - 09:36 PM
Little Hawk 04 May 02 - 10:42 PM
hesperis 04 May 02 - 11:44 PM
CapriUni 04 May 02 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 04 May 02 - 11:59 PM
hesperis 05 May 02 - 12:35 AM
Amos 05 May 02 - 12:46 AM
Lyrical Lady 05 May 02 - 12:54 AM
Les B 05 May 02 - 01:40 AM
Terry K 05 May 02 - 03:19 AM
Lanfranc 05 May 02 - 04:19 AM
Hrothgar 05 May 02 - 05:53 AM
RichM 05 May 02 - 05:59 AM
Clinton Hammond 05 May 02 - 07:49 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 May 02 - 08:09 AM
kendall 05 May 02 - 08:10 AM
Mary in Kentucky 05 May 02 - 08:22 AM
Clinton Hammond 05 May 02 - 08:31 AM
wysiwyg 05 May 02 - 10:18 AM
Amos 05 May 02 - 10:27 AM
CapriUni 05 May 02 - 10:38 AM
Ebbie 05 May 02 - 10:46 AM
Jeri 05 May 02 - 11:03 AM
kendall 05 May 02 - 11:45 AM
sophocleese 05 May 02 - 12:53 PM
Little Hawk 05 May 02 - 01:38 PM
Amos 05 May 02 - 03:37 PM
irishajo 05 May 02 - 03:52 PM
Jeanie 05 May 02 - 04:19 PM
Terry K 05 May 02 - 04:21 PM
Bill D 05 May 02 - 04:31 PM
greg stephens 05 May 02 - 04:50 PM
Ebbie 05 May 02 - 04:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 May 02 - 05:02 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 May 02 - 05:04 PM
katlaughing 05 May 02 - 05:14 PM
pict 05 May 02 - 05:50 PM
Little Hawk 05 May 02 - 05:55 PM
Deda 05 May 02 - 06:18 PM
kendall 05 May 02 - 06:41 PM
Amos 05 May 02 - 07:02 PM
mack/misophist 05 May 02 - 07:02 PM
DougR 05 May 02 - 07:39 PM
kendall 05 May 02 - 08:13 PM

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Subject: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 04 May 02 - 07:10 PM

"I'll be thinking about you"

"I'll keep you in my thoughts"

The above and suchlike are Ok

As soon as you say "I'll pray for you" some people freak out!

Why?

Any Ideas?

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: 53
Date: 04 May 02 - 07:21 PM

Things happen when people pray, thats why people freak out cause they really don't want people to pray for them. I've had that happen to me several times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 May 02 - 07:50 PM

Well if you don't pray, you don't say that now do you?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 04 May 02 - 08:08 PM

Because many times, when people hear "I'll pray for you" they sometimes think that what the other person means is "I'll pray for your soul", and that they are trying to evangelize them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 04 May 02 - 08:12 PM

I grew up in the heart of the bible belt and I can tell you from both experience and observation that the people who seem most likely to volunteer such a message are often people you DON'T want to get involved with. Xtians are usually decent, well meaning people... but not all and some of the strange ones can be very strange indeed. When a relative stranger says something like that to me, I hide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Charcloth
Date: 04 May 02 - 09:12 PM

I always find it a great comfort to know someone cares enough about me to remember me in prayer. No matter what their belief. If I in need, it is good to know someone is beseaching on my behalf. If I am wrong about something I want to find out before I leave this world. I know that not everyone believes like I do. But then I didn't believe like I do yesterday & I am apt to change before I walk much further.
I figure If I can be considerate & tolerate of your beleifs (or lack thereof) you can be considerate of mine. I find it interesting & profitable to discuss your views so why shouldn't I be willing to share mine with you. Isn't that how we grow & how else can we appreciate our diverse natures if we stiffle one side?or the other?
If on the other hand I take a Haughty stand & only listen if I agree with you, don't we both become the poorer for it. If we lable a Christain (for example ) as intolerant & yet refuse him room to share don't we become what we accused him of?
Just a thought Charcloth


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: kendall
Date: 04 May 02 - 09:36 PM

I see prayer as little more than positive energy concentrated. Just as negative energy can make you ill, positive energy can make you well. Here again religeous fanatics have to drag in all kinds of irrelevent "stuff" to explain the unexplained.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 May 02 - 10:42 PM

There could be a lot of reasons why people freak out if you say "I'll pray for you".

It would mostly depend on their background, I figure, and where they think you're coming from when you say it...which could have to do with how you say it...or again, could just have to do with their background, period.

Some people are hostile to all religious statements...probably because they had religion shoved down their throat by someone when they were young. Sons of fire and brimstone preachers are particularly notable for this, I find. They often make it their life's work to undo what their dad tried to do to them by becoming born-again atheists. Some even go around trying to convert anyone else who will listen to their brand of militant atheism...in this case they have imitated the modus operandi of their religious Dad to a "T", only they do it in exact reverse, so to speak...if you point this out to them they DON'T like it!

This is only one example...

Other people feel you're being invasive, preferring to do their own spiritual housekeeping under their own jurisdiction rather than under yours.

Others might feel you were being condescending...

Others might be afraid it would actually take effect!

Some might consider it a form of black magic, from their point of view.

And so on.

Gotta be 1,000 possible reasons.

Why not just pray for them silently, not bother telling them about it, and append to your prayer (whatever it may be) this condition..."only if it is in accordance with your will, O God"...(or some such wording as suits you). This is to cover you in case what you are praying for might not be a good idea, for reasons you may not be aware of.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: hesperis
Date: 04 May 02 - 11:44 PM

A lot of people, including people who pray, don't really know what prayer is. So of course it scares some people.

Better to say "I'll be thinking of you" or "I wish you well" or "HUG!"... those are less likely to bump up against misunderstanding.

There are some people who I would be really happy to have pray for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: CapriUni
Date: 04 May 02 - 11:45 PM

Prayer, as such, doesn't scare me, in fact, I'll even ask for it, on occasion...

But

I consider my faith to be an ongoing, loving, and personal conversation between myself and the Divine.

It has been my experience over the years that when a stranger overs to pray for me without my asking, it's often because that person believes my own faith system is faulty or wrong, or that my life is on a wrong path (as someone who cannot walk on her own, a lot of strangers assume I am unhappy and want to walk -- I don't). And it's that judgement factor that really ticks me off.

It's like trying to have a private conversation with a loved one, and a stranger comes between us and says: "No, no. What she really meant to say is..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 04 May 02 - 11:59 PM

I have been praying

...............................for the past four years I have been praying.........

For a revival within the MUDCAT

AND YOU KNOW WHAT???You Know What ???YOU KNOW WHAT ???YOU KNOW WHAT???

The PAGENS have left

but the "infested varment critters have remained!!!

So...you know what? You Know What? ,,,You KNOW WHAT???????

I continue to pray for the continued purging of the MudCat and its return to its former glory.....

And You Know What?????? With enough prayer and contributions to DICK GREENHOUSE IT WILL BE DONE!!!

Sincerely
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: hesperis
Date: 05 May 02 - 12:35 AM

Who are the "PAGENS"? *Puzzled look*


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Amos
Date: 05 May 02 - 12:46 AM

Some people flinch at the notion of non-local reach, which is inherent in any cosmology which admits prayer no matter what icons it uses.

Prayer is demonstrably effective (Dossey, "Healing Words", 1995) and is demonstrably non-local (Ibid; cf Pribam) , but to confront that requires that one consider the strange notion there is a scope to every inddividual which extends far, far beyond the safe, comfortable retreat of the body's edges and the brain's warm electronics.

This contemplation can be extremely unsettling to those who have retreated within those boundaries for the sake of predictable, safe and reliable concealment. For one thing it means returning to face the considerable forces and confusions which led to retreat in the first place; for another it means "showing" oneself in non-physical ways of being, which is intolerable to those habituated to solid forms of existence for their credibility.

Regards,

A.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 05 May 02 - 12:54 AM

Prayer does not scare me ... in fact... Rangeroger prays for me and you know what!!!?...it works and it makes me feel good that there is someone out there who believes in a greater power and also believes in me!

Thanks rr!

LL


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Les B
Date: 05 May 02 - 01:40 AM

To me it is mildly offensive because it implies there's something wrong with me. (Depending on who says it, of course)

It would be like hearing "I'll get you legal help," or "I can get you finanicial aid," or "I'll get you psychiatric counseling".


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Terry K
Date: 05 May 02 - 03:19 AM

I just find it pathetic that otherwise intelligent people can believe that their particular brand of mumbo jumbo can have any effect on another person. On oneself, yes - the power of positive thought etc etc. And yes, I know, many people will have examples that prove conclusively that prayer works blah blah blah. But if any medicine man, witch doctor, priest, "good Christian" wanted to practise their mumbo jumbo on my behalf, I'd probably be mildly amused even, if I did find it somewhat intrusive.

And Little Hawk, please first try to distinguish between atheism and anti-theism if you want to make any sense at all.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 05 May 02 - 04:19 AM

Poor old Gargoyle, you can do almost anything with HTML, but a spellcheck is beyond you!

Isle prey four ewe

Alan


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:53 AM

Let's pray for a spellchecker.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: RichM
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:59 AM

Some illustrative examples here of why prayer "scares" people.

Relax.
It won't hurt you. Translate that as "it's irrelevant", if you prefer.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 May 02 - 07:49 AM

Ya... I kinda see prayer as a waste of time and energy, so RichM is right... "it's irrelevant"... Kinda like this 'positive energy' clap-trap... it's all just wishing... and as my grandfather used to say, "You can wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which one piles up first."

If I ask for help and you wanna do something to help me, then DO something to help me...

Was it George Carlin who said in one of his more recent shows, that he no longer worships 'God'... he worships the sun... but he prays to Joe Pesci...

And his prayers are being favourably answered in about the same ratio as when he prayed to 'God'...

And it's easy to believe in the existance of Joe Pesci...


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 May 02 - 08:09 AM

I've sometimes had the reverse situation... people who say they are Atheists who have asked me to pray for them. Prayer takes every form from the childish, "Dear Lord, please give me a bicycle for Christmas," to mature petitioning out of love or honest concern. There are people I pray for who I never tell because I think they would be uncomfortable about it. There are people who I know are Atheists or Agnostics who I know well enough to sense that they will appreciate that I am praying for them, not because they necessarily have some small uncertainty in their minds about whether or not God exists but because they know that I care about them and am concerned for them. I think the worst thing is when someone who you know by their actions is not a loving, thoughtful, giving person says that they're going to pray for you. Then it's just words, and you find their insincerity offensive. And want to get away from them before they draw you further into conversation. Not everyone who offers to lift up prayers has an honest spiritual life. As in everything else, you have to weigh people's words by the way they live their life. Hypocrisy isn't limited to Christians. People who say, "I'll be thinking about you," or "I really wish you well," may be no more sincere than some people who say they will pray for you who don't have a close personal relationship with God.

I guess part of what all of this boils down to is, if I don't find the fact that some of my closest friends are Atheists, why should people be bothered if I'm a Christian? I'm not trying to impose my beliefs on others. Atheism is a belief system, too. The closest friend I've had in my life is an Atheist, and we've both been very open about our beliefs. If something as important as faith is off-limits in a friendship, it can't be worth all that much.

I don't see Mudcat becoming a Christian community. I don't desire it to become a Christian community. I think that "pagens" should be welcome here, too. And respected as long as they aren't attacking others. Judge people by how they live.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: kendall
Date: 05 May 02 - 08:10 AM

CH, you are a piece of work! you probably don't believe in Yin and Yang either? When someone calls my belief system "clap trap" I either smile or get irritated, depending on whether or not I respect their opinion. *BG*


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 05 May 02 - 08:22 AM

I'm reminded of the phrase "You just don't get it!"

When I say that to my husband, it's an expression of my frustration...what I'm feeling.

What he hears is, "You're stupid!"

Too often people interpret another's words as an assault on them; they are being defensive, when actually it's just a way of expressing feelings from a different perspective.

I don't say, "You just don't get it," anymore...but I feel that communication is lost.

When I read words on Mudcat, or even have them directed to me here, I consider the source. I've learned a lot about people and appreciate the free and honest exchange of ideas. At this point I could insert certain "troll" words...but won't. They will probably appear anyway. We all communicate with songs better than words...may there is one here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 May 02 - 08:31 AM

Kendal...

I never met Yin, but I dated Yang's sister for a while... He and the members of his Triad threatened to give me holes I didn't need, so I let it slide...

Don't be offended... Especially when it comes to something as ephemeral as spirituality, I call ALL beliefs 'clap-trap'...

But if it gets ya through the day eh...

It's all a matter of what clap trap ya wanna buy into...


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 May 02 - 10:18 AM

Some people are scared of prayer because there is a lot of fear in their spirituality. They are fearful about lots of stuff.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Amos
Date: 05 May 02 - 10:27 AM

I don't think Christianity has anything to do with it.

Exerting intention across distance, as a sorta spirychiooal power, is an observable phenomena, despite the large amoutn of variation. Why drag icons into it?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: CapriUni
Date: 05 May 02 - 10:38 AM

After reading through this thread again, I want to ammend my comments above.

It's not prayer that scares me, but sometimes, it's the person offering the prayer that worries me.

When some people say "I'll pray for you" it really means "I'll pray against you" (Or "I'll pray that you become just like me.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 May 02 - 10:46 AM

hesperis, what Gargoyle meant to say is that 'pagens' are those beepers that some people carry. He can't stand them. *G*

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Jeri
Date: 05 May 02 - 11:03 AM

I think Jerry nailed it. If the statement "I'll pray for you" is interpreted as coming from a friend and is meant as "I love you/I care about you," it's good. Others can say the same thing, and it can mean something quite diffeerent. It CAN - I think perhaps there are a lot of motives attributed to people based on not knowing them - prejudice. I haven't met that many people who have that "holier than thou" agenda, but I have met some. (Although it's possible a statement of "I'll be thinking of you" is insincere, it's quite difficult to interpret it as "holier than thou.") Sometimes, all it takes is one bad experience to sensitize a person to the statement, without regard to what the person saying it means.

"Fear" isn't what it is; prayer doesn't "scare" people. If people interpret the stated intention to pray as an opportunity to say "I'm better than you," I think what it causes is irritation or anger. The degree depends on how sensitized the person doing the reacting is - how much of a hair trigger they have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: kendall
Date: 05 May 02 - 11:45 AM

No sweat CH.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: sophocleese
Date: 05 May 02 - 12:53 PM

I am not scared of people saying they will pray for me. If its a friend who is religious I know its meant in friendship to help and show support. If its a complete stranger I am amused, wondering what there is in my behaviour or clothing that makes them think I need praying for. As a teenager I was barred from the house of one friend because his mother thought that as I was wearing a broad brimmed hat and a green cape I was a witch. It wasn't a house where most of us wanted to gather anyway so it was no loss and when I did show up next summer in a bathing suit she didn't recognize me. On those occasions when I do get offended its because the underlying message isn't helpful its either evangelical or patronizing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 May 02 - 01:38 PM

Well, of course she thought that, Soph! Everyone knows witches all wear broad brimmed hats and green capes...it's a dead giveaway! :-)

Terry K - "Anti-theism" is an expression you use, Terry, not me, so you define it. I would also be fascinated to hear your definition of atheism, so please...enlighten us.

Keep in mind that a given word means only what you think it means...to you...and probably means something a bit different to someone else. Thus the word "God" may mean a mythical concept to one person, an omnipotent wrathful heavenly deity with a long white beard to another, and an impersonal force of nature to a third...etc...unto an infinite number of possible interpretations.

As for: "I just find it pathetic that otherwise intelligent people can believe that their particular brand of mumbo jumbo can have any effect on another person. Yeah, that's what I think too, when I hear priests, politicians, scientists who are enamoured of some arcane pet theory of their own (like Desmond Morris, fore example), life insurance salesmen, and psychiatrists spouting their favourite jargon...it's certainly pathetic all right! They DO manage to affect some people though...but they don't affect clever and highly intelligent people like you and me, now...do they? (*sarcasm)

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Amos
Date: 05 May 02 - 03:37 PM

It ain't the mumbo jumbo that does it -- it's the jimbo-jambo. Anyone knows that!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: irishajo
Date: 05 May 02 - 03:52 PM

I think many atheists/agnostics would say that prayer offends them as opposed to scares them. Not the act of prayer in and of itself, but rather assuming that the atheist in question would want to be prayed for and would appreciate the gesture.

Personally, it depends on who's doing the praying and why. I think prayer is more about unloading your inner angst onto god/the divine/the universe rather than trying to change circumstances. If someone 'feels my pain' and wants to communicate that to what they consider the divine, then I am more likely to be grateful than offended. If however they are praying for me to see the light and accept the omniscience of a particular god, of course that's not going to go over well.

I looked at the blurb on amazon about the book Amos mentioned - it brings up the point that if prayer really does provide beneficial effects, can we ethically pray for someone without their consent? (We can't treat someone for a disease without their consent.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Jeanie
Date: 05 May 02 - 04:19 PM

Jesus gives this advice about prayer:

"When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you." (Matthew 6:6)


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Terry K
Date: 05 May 02 - 04:21 PM

LH, talk to Jerry Rasmussen, he'll agree with you, as in "...atheism is a belief system too..." - er, hello, is anyone home?

The word "a" (it's Latin) added to the word "theism" gets us the complete absence of theism, therefore the complete absence of a belief in a deity system, therefore just about 180 degrees from where Jerry thinks he is.

People can be atheist because they are entirely ignorant of the existence of theism, as in new born babies before being got at by the brainwashing of the theists. People can be atheists by thinking beyond the theist brainwashing and letting the matter rest right there.

Those atheists who become anti-theist are those who oppose the theist movement and perhaps blame religious differences for most of the world's ills. Get it?

As for the attempt to belittle my point about the external effect of prayer by comparing it with inter-personal influence exerted by, inter alia, life assurance salesmen - er, do you really understand what is meant by prayer - do you really think it's comparable to smooth talking?

TK


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 May 02 - 04:31 PM

I assume that I sometimes get mentioned in 'prayers' by others, but telling me that it is happening, if you KNOW I am not of that persuasion is pretty presumptuous....and if you don't know me, you should ask what I DO think of it all.

On the other had, knowing that someone really cares feels good! We can trade good wishes and supportive thoughts without dueling belief systems..


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 May 02 - 04:50 PM

Some of you Mudcatters have disagreed with me in the past, particularly on topics like the "meaning of folk". I want you all to know that I pray for you to become enlightened, and for the scales to fall from your eyes that ye may see the light. I hope you dont find this patronising in any way, it's for your own good. And I forgive you all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 May 02 - 04:55 PM

Whatta ya mean-"you forgive me?" I didn't ask for your forgiveness! Grrrrrrr

:)

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:02 PM

Believing that there is no God is still a belief. Just like I don't believe there are aliens scoping out earth. What's all the confusion about what an Atheist is? By definition it means someone who does not believe in the existence of God. As Terry K states. And yes, that is 180 degrees from where I am. I think we're getting caught up in an excercise wheel, here. I can respect anyone's belief that there is no God. And respect them to.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:04 PM

Ooops!... I meant, "and respect them too." My spell checker thought it was right... :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:14 PM

As others have said, it is not a fear thing. I do not want people who do not know me to pray for me, unless I have requested it. I do not pray, but I do "gratitudes" always visualising and giving thanks "for this or something better for the highest good of all concerned" and only when it is requested. I consider that the highest form of respect for all spiritual beliefs.

Some First Nations' beliefs are of "thanks giving" rather than pleading. This has come to be the best way for me to communicate in a meaningful way in matters of a spiritual nature. Too often prayer to me represents a helpless, victimhood state with which I do not wish to be associated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: pict
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:50 PM

Personally speaking I just wish that religious people would keep their religion to themselves.I try not to inflict my beliefs on other people the same can not generally be said of religion followers and the statement"I'll pray for you" in my experience is a toe in the water to test for how receptive a person is to accepting a load of religious dogma,so I like to nip it firmly in the bud by declaring my complete and utter lack of interest in following any religious doctrine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:55 PM

Terry K - No, I think insincere prayer...or the prayers of bigoted religious fanatics are comparable to "smooth talking". I can see that we actually have a fair bit to discuss...possibly...but I'm pressed for time now. I'll be back in a while.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Deda
Date: 05 May 02 - 06:18 PM

First, the prefix a-, as in atheist or amoral, is called "privative a" and it's Greek in origin, not Latin, as far as I know.

Second, I always welcome anyone else's prayers for me. Even if it's someone whose beliefs are unlike mine, I think the basic action of someone praying for me can only be good--although Larry Dossey, whom Amos cited, does discuss the practice of "black prayer", praying for vengeance or praying for harm.

Amos suggests, I think, that the effectiveness of prayer is just the power of one's own spiritual/psychic energy working over long distances, like secret muscles that we never suspected we had, and that we barely have any clue how to use. I think that prayer is a petition (or a "thank you", or praise) to a higher power, who has a separate will from mine, and whom people have termed God and have (rather irrationally) assigned a masculine gender. I think I'm very strongly connected to this power, but I am not it (except in the best part of me, and then only as a reflection through a prism "is" the sun) and it is not me. It is capable of saying No to my most urgent pleas. It is capable of surprising me with un-asked for and unexpected gifts. It is beyond language, so any terms that we try to use about it are subject to terrible misinterpretation, even to the point of violent, self-righteous aggression--which is about as far removed from what this power is about as one can get, imho. When someone says "I'll pray for you", whether that someone is an orthodox Jew or a Bhuddist (yes, I know, unlikely) or a Jehovah's witness or a Holy Roller or a Presbyterian or a Muslim, I accept that gratefully, because I take that to mean, "I'll try to draw the Higher Power's attention to you more closely". Thanks, yes, please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: kendall
Date: 05 May 02 - 06:41 PM

Instead of getting your quills up, ask yourself, "What harm can it do"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: Amos
Date: 05 May 02 - 07:02 PM

I don't think exerting the power of prayer is a muscular exertion of the "individual" spirit. When you're in them waters, there is no way to tell where your piece of water ends and the rest of the lake begins; and if the whole is not in harmony with the urgent pleadings of the self, then it may be time for the self to take down its divisions, like an ice cube that melts in clear sunlit lake water. 'Course, this can upset some ice cubes more than others:>).

Well, that's just "my" opinion, o' course. I'll jest pray for you who don't see it "my" way!! LOL! The idea of identities arguing about the Infinite cracks me up, to tell you the truth!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 05 May 02 - 07:02 PM

There are two different sides here that aren't listening to each other. One side is saying "I offer my prayers because I'm a good person and I'm hurt that you take offense at it." The other side, of which I am a member, is saying "People who have approached me in the past with comments like that have run the gamut from insulting to threatening and I don't like it". I have been there. I have experienced 'offers for prayer' that were just short of threats against my life. There may be others like me here. While I grant that you are probably all fine people, please try not to push any of my buttons as I try not to push yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: DougR
Date: 05 May 02 - 07:39 PM

I'm going to side with kendall on this one. I need all the help I can get.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Why does 'prayer' scare people?
From: kendall
Date: 05 May 02 - 08:13 PM

Thanks Doug; I'm sure that with my prayers you will see the light and become a democrat! LOL


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