Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer

Huh. Pharyngula informs me that today is the National Day of Prayer. Who knew? Who cares?

It should be called the National Day of Ineffectiveness.

In my two tours in Iraq, the only Marine in my Company to be killed was an evangelical Christian, and his death was completely random and meaningless (a vehicle crash—he went to Iraq to die in an accident). By contrast, I was never hurt once, despite stepping away from the group before our convoys, while the chaplain led everyone else in praising their Lord and expressing confidence in the efficacy of His miraculous IED-proof (but apparently not crash-proof) holy shield of divine protection. To cap it off, in the aftermath of my colleague's sensless death, someone circulated a poem by a family member which explained that it was all part of God's plan, and presumably wonderful, because Jesus was calling him home. So, pray that others will live, and then rejoice when the worst happens to them? Why even bother?

Just as I will not insult my colleague's memory by trying to pretend there was anything good about his death, I will not insult the memories of the thousands who die painful and meaningless deaths every hour, by pretending to kneel before some imaginary power which I fancy to be good, despite its failure to do anything. Consider that my contribution to the National Day of Prayer.

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