The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 26, 2016: God Doesn’t Want To See You Pray In Public

No matter what the Evangelicals tell you, God does not want you to pray in public. God doesn’t need to hear them out loud, because God knows what you do in secret. God knows when you secretly give to the poor with your right hand without letting your left hand know what’s happening. And God doesn’t want you to gather out in the streets and in the public square and pray to him so everyone can hear you. Instead, God wants you to go into a private place in your own home, a closet even, and pray silently to God. Bryan J. Fischer told me that the admonition against praying in public was about the reason for doing it, to be seen doing it. [I’ll update it if he answers me. I’m surprised he did at all, considering how rude I’ve been to him before. And it wasn’t just because I’m from New York, he had it coming.]

Conservative Christians are so afraid of (among many, many other things) religious persecution against them, as opposed to from them, which they have no problem doing. This is despite the fact that we’ve had 43 different men occupy the highest political office in the country, and every single one of them practiced some version of Christianity. How it could be considered the “one true religion,” as all deity-based religions do, baffles me. It would seem unnecessary to have more than one. If there’s only one God, then why are there different ways to do what He wants? FTR, I believe there is no such things as gods at all, at least not in the sense that most humans think of them. I suppose it’s possible there are more highly-evolved creatures than us capable of doing things we’d think only a god could do, but then you’re straying so far from the image of God as portrayed in the monotheistic religions that it becomes clear we’re taking about two different things. OTOH, even the religions that do believe in gods claim there is more than one. If you’re Judeo-Christian, the First Commandment says not to put any of those other gods (you know, the ones that created all the people God didn’t, such as Cain and Abel’s wives) ahead of Jehovah because he is a jealous god. I can say his name, you can’t, because I don’t have anything to fear from him. Which brings up something else. For those who believe in God being perfect and humans being sinners, if envy is a sin, why is a “perfect being” like God allowed to have it? If God is perfect, and if he’s capable of being envious, then why should being envious be a mortal sin? What’s wrong with envy if it’s a trait of the most perfect being in the universe?

Still ducking the question:

The reason Religion is so rife with con men is because it’s easy to go around telling everyone, “Listen to me, Folks. I just had a chat with God and he has some things he wants me to say,” and have people believe you. Why? Because the truth is there’s a lot of stupid people out there who either don’t like to think, on account of it hurts too much, or they can’t, on account of they’re stupid. They don’t ask for proof that the person talking really did talk to God, they actually think it’s neat and wish it was they to whom God spoke. And they believe every thing this con man says, even when it makes no sense at all to those who are capable of critical thought. At some point you have to acknowledge that the instructions we’re being given by these men, who supposedly know what God wants us to do, are self-contradictory. Why do we persist in believing them when what they say can’t possibly be the truth? And why do we believe what they’re saying to be the Word of God, who is supposed to be perfect, when what they’re saying is so clearly and obviously imperfect? Faith alone isn’t going to change the fact that sometimes the Bible says one thing and sometimes it says something in complete contradiction to it. In Logic, which I know you’re not supposed to use where the Bible is concerned, if you start with a premise and show that the premise leads to a contradiction, then you’ve proven the premise false, and any argument derived from it must find another premise. If your premise is that the Bible (the word means a collection if little books, which were assembled, translated, and chosen for inclusion by flawed human men working for King James) is the inerrant Word of God (even if you believe Him to be the only God, which contradicts his First Commandment), and you find it contains a contradiction, then it cannot be “inerrant,” since a contradiction is an error. It is not a test of one’s faith, it’s a mistake. Which means the premise that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God must be False. That’s how Logic works.

I tried a different tack with Fischer, since he doesn’t want to answer the question I’m asking him. Fischer thinks we should vote for Ted Cruz. But Teddy Panderbear likes to make a big show of praying in public. We’ve all seen the pictures.

BTW, notice how he tries to paint a Nazi-esque picture of Liberals with the “Uberleftwing”? Of course, if one thinks about it for a moment, why wouldn’t Right Wing Watch be as far left as possible when the entire reason they exist is right at the top of their webpage: “A project of People For the American Way dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement”? If they aren’t very far left, then they’re too far right to be counted on to do what they tell us they do. But conservatives don’t really like to think about things for a moment. And why would they feel they need to? Conservatives often do not see hypocrisy as negating their argument. They’ve also been known to project a lot, and Fischer probably thinks that since he would use such a website to advance his own secret agenda, Norman Lear must be doing that, too. Frog-Human Hybrid The Least Reverend Jimmy Faye Bakker must think like that, too. He thinks that American Christians are being persecuted in America (as opposed to the real phenomenon of American Christians being captured and killed by murderous scumbag assholes who wrongly use religion as a cover for their evil elsewhere in the world), and that if we continue down whatever path it is he imagines we’re traveling, in the end people who pray in public will be gunned down by machine guns. If you watch the following clip carefully, you can see Bakker catch and eat a fly with his 24″-long tongue.

Okay, that must have been a different clip. But he’s totally wrong, of course. Not only about the eventual outcome being people like him who pray in public will be machine gunned down, but about whether or not people should be praying in public in the first place. Jesus thought that people who made a show of praying in public so that others would see them, including inside houses of worship, were hypocrites, and that if all they wanted was for others to see them praying, they got their reward. He said that God would prefer that you not pray where everybody can see you but in the privacy of your own own. Specifically, your closet, where I’m sure many, many Conservative Christians can be found. He said praying in public was unnecessary because God knows what you’re going to ask him before you ask it (which makes me wonder why praying is necessary at all), and so you should do it where no other people can see you doing it. God hears your secret prayers which, again, makes me wonder why it’s necessary to vocalize them at all. In fact, if He can hear you when you’re “praying” quietly to yourself, there shouldn’t be any formal procedure necessary. You should just be able to keep walking along and say to yourself, in your own mind, “God, could you please make that asshole Wayne burst into flames and be gone for good?” and it will happen. But since it didn’t happen, and because I know at least a few of you asked for it to happen, we must logically conclude that prayer doesn’t work. Which makes the premise of God answering prayers a false one. Yeah, sometimes the answer is, “No.” I know. But that would mean He can’t really be an all-loving God, since that would take away from the premise of him being a perfect being. Why would a perfect being hate anyone? Why would he make someone he would hate? Why would He make me, and let me sit here denouncing his very existence after so many of you asked Him a few moments ago to make me burst into flames? I know, I was there. I heard you. And yet I’m still here. Which makes the premise of him being some kind of “perfect being” a false one. Which I’ve been trying to tell you for years.

Open thread. Go for it.

42 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 26, 2016: God Doesn’t Want To See You Pray In Public

  1. I always ask one simple question when assaulted by a godman or godmen. ‘Show me one single shred of legitimate, definable, and verifiable evidence that any god exists or ever has existed and we can talk.’

    Nothing so far, beyond, of course, the typical crapola they like to spew. I have to say that I’m surprised how an apparently “intelligent” species, one that’s able to think, to calculate, to explore concepts, etc., can still believe in a variety of gods, not a one of whom has ever shown itself, not a one of whom has ever accomplished anything worth noting (including the “creation” of “man” — nothing that evolution can’t manage on its own). I also wonder how it is that a truly intelligent creature — Shadow, my cat — is clearly not a believer, not one who prays whether in a closet or in public, but still one whose obvious intelligence shames dudes like Jimmy Bakker and Brian Fischer (to name but two noisy residents of the Great Empty).

  2. From a song I wrote called “Moldy Book”. This is the bit from a fundy’s point of view.

    Truth is wicked, Knowledge sin
    And no mere torture can begin
    To punish those who dare to doubt
    What the word of God is all about

    Freely slay the wretched fools
    Who fail to follow holy rules
    They won’t convert, they won’t submit
    So kill ’em all and steal their shit

    • Over a year ago, I posted here a conversation I’d had on C&L concerning the god v. no god argument. It’s interesting how, most often, when a ‘true believer’ is asked to address that simple premise and provide even a single shred of evidence that a god exists, the discussion almost immediately sinks into the muck and mire at the bottom of the pond. Not sure an intelligent conversation with a genuine god-person is ever possible.

      God vs. Science — A Dialog

  3. Alaska 100% reporting – Sanders 80.7% Clinton 19.3%
    Washington 82% reporting – Sanders 72.1% Clinton 27.7%
    Hawaii no results expected until after midnight EDT (per The Guardian)

    • Alaska 100% reporting – Sanders 81.6% Clinton 18.4%
      Washington 100% reporting – Sanders 72.7% Clinton 27.1%
      Hawaii 88% reporting – Sanders 70.6% Clinton 29.2%

    • That is a crime and needs to be prosecuted with much media attention.
      Hurray for the young man with the balls to pursue the thief.
      Greg Palast should be informed about this too.

  4. No one can be trusted to pray publicly who does not also pray privately.

    I think he got that one backwards. It should be ‘No one can be trusted to pray privately who does not also pray publicly.’ Fischer doesn’t trust people to pray privately unless he has personally seen them pray in public. IOW, he’s a hypocrite.

  5. And remember, when any of the folks wish you a ‘Happy Easter’, respond with a warm, ‘Happy Holidays’. 👿

  6. http://www.theonion.com/article/nate-silver-defends-torture-methods-used-make-elec-52597

    NEW YORK—Responding to critics who contend that safer and more humane techniques exist to ascertain voters’ political positions, statistician Nate Silver appeared on several cable news programs Monday to defend the controversial torture methods he uses to project election results. “It’s not easy to accurately forecast how a given state or demographic will vote, and sometimes there is simply no other option than enclosing blindfolded voters in a confinement box and blaring loud, continuous music at them to keep them awake for 100 hours or more,” said Silver, stressing that he had extracted many crucial responses that helped him correctly predict all 50 states’ results during the 2012 general election by shackling registered voters from the ceiling in stress positions until they finally divulged the issues that mattered to them most. “What you have to understand is that we’re working on a highly time-sensitive schedule and need to get these projections right. So, yes, if stripping a second-generation Latino millennial voter naked, forcing him to stand in his own excrement, and then holding back a snarling German shepherd inches from his throat gives us a clearer understanding of where the nation stands on immigration reform, then that’s a choice I would gladly make every time.” Silver added that, with the exception of occasionally using pliers to tear out the fingernails of those he suspected of lying to him about their preferred candidate, none of his methods have ever been proven to cause permanent damage.

  7. Sorry, all y’all, no Roast today. 😦

    I had 100% more space invaders this weekend, in the form of an unexpected visit from Son #2 and his monkeyfuck insane cat. What a friggin’ whirlwind!

    Just got him on the road back to his father’s private insane asylum. Lucky kid. :/

    Happy Chocolate Bunny Day!!

  8. The Case for Vice President Al Franken

    This is not a joke. Senator Al Franken should be the Democratic Party’s choice for Vice-President.

    If I had said that 10 years ago, or even six months ago, the notion would have been preposterous: a former Saturday Night Live writer, perhaps best known as the mock self help guru Stuart Smalley, Franken became synonymous with left-wing bombast thanks to his best-selling book “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.” He took the presidency itself as a joke, writing a satirical campaign memoir, “Why Not Me,” in which Franken wins the White House on a platform of eliminating ATM fees, only to be quickly chased out by the “Joint Congressional Committee on the President’s Mood Swings.”

    But for a 2016 presidential race that’s already stranger than fiction, his party truly needs someone like Franken if it’s going to win the presidency.

    Before Donald Trump, Franken wouldn’t possibly have merited serious consideration. Even though his seven-year record as a senator from Minnesota suggests he’s a genuinely committed legislator, the first rule of V.P. picks is “do no harm” — and pre-Trump, the trove of politically incorrect barbs from Franken’s past would have been far too much baggage for a presidential nominee to want to carry. The spotlight would have been on him instead of Clinton.

    I’d like to see the Democratic Party pick someone for VP who would want to run for president on their own after they serve. I don’t think Franken would want it.

  9. My latest nominally unpolitical musings: http://garyherstein.com/2016/03/27/un-cut/

    I say nominal because, as I was typing, it occurred to me that there might (must) be issues that get treated as though they were separable, but in fact comprise a unity that can only be analyzed into “parts” in the abstract (racism and economic disadvantage, for example.)

    Anyway … LOGIC!

    • Can we just accept the fact that Jesus pissed off the bankers so much they had him snuffed out?

  10. “Donald Trump may be a rat but I have no desire to copulate him”
    I can’t unhear that.
    Lipless Ted Cruz has lowered the bar to a point even Trump won’t descend to.

    • Funny he would say that, since ratfucking is a universal Republican tactic.

    • It was an incredibly ignorant and stupid comment. Cruz had no idea what the term “ratfucking” meant or referred to, other than that it was connected to dirty political tricks. He’d have been better off saying “Rat copulation is for losers,” smiling that world famous creepy smile of his, and walking away without another word on the topic. Instead, he contorted the expression into an unworkable joke that did him more harm than good.

      And he’s still a Dominionist who selfishly wants to bring about the end of the world so he can be with Jesus.

      • Does everyone have to die for Ted to be with Jesus? I would think if only he died, that would be sufficient to get him there. AFAIC, if he gets there I don’t want to go. I’d prefer heaven, not the hell of spending eternity with that douche.

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