Friday, 28 May 2021

Take no action, Pray!

I remember as a child having those extremely silly arguments about which character in a movie or TV show was 'better' than another.  Children seem to go through an intensely annoying (from an adults point of view) phase where 'better' is important but the subjects of discussion are largely irrelevant in a real-world context.  Such playground debates are often subject to much hyperbole and exaggeration and can lead to raised voices, hurtful comments and even physical violence.

Ultimately the 'debate' (if it can even be called that) is futile even in the context of the abstract world that is being discussed because the attributes and pros/cons of a given character can be changed at the whim of the movie or TV producers to suit their real-world concerns, e.g. actors leave, TV channels want more advertising, etc.

I would suggest that the real world conflicts of religion and faiths bear many similarities to these playground arguments.  By this I am not actually casting aspersions on the existence of a god or gods or even on the validity of a faith but on the way it's proponents can get worked up into ridiculous debates over who/what is 'better'.  It's the same behaviour; extremes of exaggeration, argument, and in this case, bloody violence and murder can result.  My view is right, you are wrong.  My interpretation is right, you are wrong.

However, in the context of these discussions each side is talking about a god/gods that they supposedly believe, with all of their hearts and minds, exists in reality and is omnipresent, all powerful, created the entire universe and is the ultimate judge over everyone.

Just stop and think about that for a moment.

An entity so powerful it can command the forces in the universe, rip black holes apart, create and destroy matter with a word.

To quote the genie from Aladdin: "phenomenal cosmic power!"

If such an entity wanted the world to be a certain way they are more than capable of making it so without any help or hindrance from any creature on this planet.

Which leads to the title of this post, something I hope every believer in the world will do when faced with a problem that usually results in argument, debate, anger, violence or worse.

Take no action, pray.

Your god needs no help from you.  If you believe that the world is not how it should be then surely simply professing your heart-felt belief in prayer and asking for help in resolving the situation should be enough.

To take some recent examples: you don't believe in gay marriage; don't lobby, don't vote against this, simply pray that god will prevent it from happening.  Baking a cake for a gay wedding: just do the best you can throw yourself into baking the best cake ever and then pray that god can resolve this matter.

Not got that caliphate you wanted: again pray that god simply creates it.  Throw down your guns and bombs and wait for god to grant what you believe he has predestined your people to have.  You have all these Palestinians in your 'promised land', don't bother with the walls, guns and intimidation, just pray for them to be removed.

Gay son, you want him to be "normal"?  Don't bother with gay 'cure' therapy, just tell your son you love him no matter what and then pray for him to be straight.  The same obviously applies for a gay daughter.  Even a child who identifies as trans, see what the medical establishment can do for them and then pray.

Take no action, pray.

I know this sounds like a glib idea and I am being facetious.  Yes it is, and I am.  However, really think about this: if you put your faith in a god that can create the universe (which is pretty big and complicated) then your assistance and help isn't required.  A god that really cares and really wants to change matters can make his/her feelings and wishes known without your interpretation of these nor your efforts.

If you don't agree with the above consider this: how do we tell the difference between a god that isn't directly acting to change things and the non-existence of same?  If it's humans actually trying to change things and putting in all the effort, how can you discern whether they are doing this because it's simply their belief rather than what they say their god wants.

I'd suggest that, without the direct, obvious, and completely clear involvement of a god/gods it is most likely that what people carry out in his/her/it's name is simply what they themselves believe.

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