Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prayer has never fixed anything

I know people in Oklahoma who are near the disaster area, and they have family IN the disaster area.  A friend on Skype showed me his friend's business, destroyed.  He showed me his family's area, where whole neighborhoods were devastated.

The people affected by the disaster have my sympathy--and some of my money now.  When a disaster strikes, I like to find out what I can do that will actually help people.  Give blood when appropriate, money when appropriate, volunteer time when possible.  I applaud people who have helped out in disasters, tirelessly and selflessly, and I encourage people to help in Oklahoma.

But please, if you feel the need to pray, keep it to yourself.

Here's the thing: every time a disaster happens, the media, politicians, and everyone who happens to be religious seems to want to encourage everyone to pray, or feels the need to say "Our prayers are with the victims."  What is the point?  Prayer certainly didn't stop the disaster from happening.  It's not going to fix a home or restore a business.  It's not going to heal the injured.  It's not going to bring back the children who drowned in a school in the disaster area.

Prayer doesn't fix a thing.  It never has.

Human labor, human kindness, human ingenuity, and human generosity have always been instrumental in restoring areas hit by disasters.  No miracles are taking place; human beings are coming together to make things better again.

If you want to pray, pray.  If it makes you feel better, by all means, go ahead...but do something to help, too.    Don't bother encouraging others to pray as if it's an important part of the disaster relief.  It's not.