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Monday, September 21, 2015

Questioning the Blessings



As I was watching an Oprah rerun this weekend I realized how many people believe in or want to believe in angels and God.

The featured woman told a story of how she was walking home alone one night and heard a terrifying noise. She prayed for help and was physically lifted by an angel and carried to the safety of a bridge many feet away. She was spared because she asked God to help her, and he responded by sending one of his angels.

I turned off the television because this got me thinking.

Not because I did not believe her, not because her story was long winded, but because of the idea there is an omnipotent being somewhere choosing who to listen to--and more importantly--who to ignore.

I realized it bothers me when people say they are blessed, and until now I never could not figure out why. I WANT to be blessed, and I want you to be blessed too--but then that leaves the people who are in dire straights, hurting for money, sick, injured, lonely, sad, or worse. Are they the UNblessed? The forgotten? They may believe more than you or I, but all the praying in the world does nothing. It almost felt to me that the "blessed" were bragging and leaving the others that were not lucky enough to be smiled upon by the benign and loving father above out in the cold. Why were they the chosen ones?

So what does that mean?  And what about praying?

There have been some studies concerning prayer and the results are inconclusive. http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20050714/does-prayer-help-others-heal  The patients in the study listed here had less stress before a heart procedure if they were part of the imagery/music group. The group that was prayed over fared about the same as the group that was not. In a similar study the prayed for group had a slightly higher rate of complications after a medical procedure (52%) compared to the group that was not prayed for (51%). http://www.examiner.com/article/prayer-undergoes-a-real-test-with-interesting-results

Even the previous Pope had his moments of doubt: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/27/17113318-pope-benedict-tells-cheering-crowd-i-am-not-abandoning-the-church?lite

He said: "Sometimes it feels like God has been sleeping." Interesting.

Prayer seems to be an unnecessary process if we are to believe in the entity we are praying to. We are taught that God is all-knowing and loving and that prayer will help when you are hurting. But the caveat--it will only work if it is God's will anyway.

I am confused.

Admittedly I am more of an atheist than believer, but this does not mean I cannot be swayed. The gorgeous world around me, the stunning sunsets and beautiful babies born everyday do not mean to me that there is a God--and yet I cannot say 100% there is not.

Many of my prayers and prayers of others I know have been ignored or disregarded, so I eventually stopped praying. I am not wicked and I try and do my best to help others and be a good person--nothing has changed since I have ceased praying other than I feel like less of a hypocrite.

I have many things to be thankful for including an inquisitive mind that can't process a subject simply by faith.

I would love your opinion on the subject--agree or disagree.

I would also love for you to change my mind.

2 comments:

  1. For me the way evangelists and the religious right behaved turned me away from organized religion. I just saw so much hypocrisy it disgusted me, and I still see that. There's an expression I like- I don't mind God, it's His (or Her, if one really wants to irritate the sanctimoniuous) fan club I can't stand.

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    1. I hate to say it but in many instances I feel the same way. I wish that there was something to sway me in the other direction, but every time I give it a shot I keep making left turns. :)

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