Does God deserve the credit he gets?

June 6, 2007 at 10:57 pm 17 comments

In response to Simen’s post “What’s the Point with Prayer?” crager, from the blog “A Varitable Plethora,” said:

cragarAs I often do, I went with my wife to a barbeque after her Sunday meeting with a number of JW guests. As always, someone does a prayer before we eat thanking Jehovah (God) for our food and for the companionship. I bow my head when this is going on and usually wonder, why aren’t we thanking the farmers that raised the chickens and plowed the fields for the vegetables we are about to eat? Or the truck drivers that got the food from the farm to our grocer? Or the grocer for putting chicken on sale this week?

Karen, hopefully one day of this blog :) , added:

This really is a pet peeve of mine. Particularly when someone recovers from an illness or injury and people thank god! for a miracle without acknowledging that it took medical personnel and modern facilities and public investment in the scientific method to “create” that miracle. I hate it when credit is not given where it’s really due, because then we lose out on the greater good of establishing support for funding of research, etc.

I do agree with crager and Karen. It’s amazing how many people ignore those who are actually performing the tasks and thank an invisible entity who probably doesn’t even exist.

FootballI remember when the Rams won the Super Bowl a few years ago, Kurt Warner, thanked God for the victory. I remember thinking “What the hell did God have to do with the Rams winning? What about The Titans? Did God want them to lose?”

Let’s start a campaign to really give the credit where it should be given. Next time you have the opportunity to pray over a meal, thank those who deserve to be thanked. In fact, next time you have an opportunity, volunteer to pray.

- The de-Convert

Entry filed under: The de-Convert. Tags: , , , , , , , .

My Miraculous Hangup Bible Literalism ala The West Wing

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. HeIsSailing  |  June 6, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    “Next time you have the opportunity to pray over a meal, thank those who deserve to be thanked. In fact, next time you have an opportunity, volunteer to pray.”

    Funny, I did this very thing before eating supper earlier this evening. I sometimes get a little overwhelmed with gratitude when I consider my marraige. My wife has been a marvel of patience and understanding to me, especially during this sometimes very stressful time of leaving my Christian faith. She really is the best.

    I sometimes get the overwhelming urge to show gratitude, to thank someone or something for my good blessings! As a Christian, I always thanked God for those many blessings, because i really have been most fortunate. This evening, I felt this vestigial urge, even as a non-Christian, to say a prayer of gratitude.

    Instead of thanking God for the food, I turned to my wife and thanked her. I feel just as blessed as ever.

  • 2. uPgRaD3 Z3R0 0n3 A  |  June 7, 2007 at 12:28 am

    Wonderful idea to thank those who actually did the work!

    I agree with your point in the Wager in the panel as well:

    “live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place.”

    “Be good for goodness sake”

  • 3. notabarbie  |  June 7, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Being a fairly recent deconvert, I have found myself frustrated when I am really thankful for something, because in the past I would have always prayed to God and thanked him. Now, that just feels silly. It kind of shows how turned around you get as a Christian not to consider thanking the people who caused the thankfulness. What a great reminder! Tonight I’m offering to pray!

  • 4. stellar1  |  June 7, 2007 at 11:31 am

    aA,
    Next time I get a new diamond, I will be sure to thank Mother Earth (and the person who gave it to me – unless I buy it for myself ) :)
    Stellar1

  • 5. Heather  |  June 7, 2007 at 11:46 am

    This isn’t really a comment in regards to the post, because we should be thankful to those that made the food possible.

    But in general, when something good happens, why to we have to be thankful to anything/anyone? Why can’t we simply be grateful, period?

    Then again, I approach the praising God aspect in that the best way to praise God/the Divine is through loving others and treating one’s surroundings with respect.

  • 6. Karen  |  June 7, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Karen, hopefully one day of the aA blog :) , added:

    Yes, I know I promised to contribute some thoughts here on a more formal basis! I am getting ready to take on a major new project in my work, and as such I’m wrapping up some old projects, so I’ve been very distracted.

    Something on the miracles thread sparked some thoughts – I’ll try to make them coherent and send them over to you soon. :-)

  • 7. frAise1  |  June 7, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    You people must have really been hurt by your religion to harbor so much animosity towards the Christian faith. I hope that you do understand that your experiences with religion and your reactions towards Christianity are founded upon your own limited experiences. Your beliefs regarding faith can not be extended to the millions of others who have been encouraged, edified and renewed by their faith in Christ.

    In regards to prayer, many believers who pray to God concerning a health issue pray for the ailing person, the doctors who are treating that person and many other factors that are in play. Prayer is a time of encouragement where believers come together to support one another in the name of God. Regarding sports teams thanking God, most players who confess a faith in Christ meet on the field after the game to pray regardless if they won or loss. They are giving God thanks in all things.

    I pray that those of you who visit this site find a way to heal from the hurt caused to you by adherents of religion. I pray that you don’t wallow in the bitterness of your suffering, which seems to be happening on this site. I pray that God makes you whole so that you are not living a fractured life concerned with agnosticism and atheism, but that you come to a full knowledge of the Living God. I pray that you turn back to God and that you meet beleivers who will walk beside you and support you. Bless you all in Jesus’ holy name.

  • 8. agnosticatheist  |  June 7, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    frAise1,

    Your comments made me smile as they are so typical to what I received early in my journey out of Christianity. However, it’s been a while since I heard this perspective.

    Why is it so hard for a Christian to envision that we simply do not believe in God anymore for a variety of reasons and it’s not about being “hurt by religion?”

    For me it was more the unraveling of the Bible and the realization that the Bible did not accurately even describe the “God” I believed in. The God of the Bible was not the compassionate, caring, father in heaven as I believed. Once my eyes opened to this, I then began to see all the glaring contradictions, the atrocities, the whackiness, and the list is too long to even begin.

    Of course, I do still respect the Bible as the Holy Scriptures of Christians and probably read it more than most Christians do.

    In other words, I used the brain that “God” supposedly gave me. Where is the “hurt” there?

    I know that ANGER is a step on our journey out of Christianity. We become angry for the allowing ourselves to believe such crap and for the hurt religion inflicts on so many. However, many times that’s shortlived and we also acknowledge that there are people who need that crutch to make it. That’s issue is one that’s very hard to reconcile for most ex-Chrisitans.

    My point is that the “hurt” and anger normally comes on the journey out and in many cases is NOT the catalyst for the journey out.

    One day you may be on that journey. Come back and visit this blog then. You’ll find these discussions enlightening.

    aA

  • 9. cragar  |  June 7, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    You people must have really been hurt by your religion to harbor so much animosity towards the Christian faith.

    I for one have never been angry or even hurt by religion. I find it fascinating that so many people believe without any evidence, and really the evidence points in the opposite direction of Christianity and the Bible.

    Regarding sports teams thanking God, most players who confess a faith in Christ meet on the field after the game to pray regardless if they won or loss. They are giving God thanks in all things.

    Yet I find it amusing that the majority of these athletes are probably the most hypocritical of them all as most of them are not living a Christian lifestyle at all. Evander Holyfield always made a point to thank God and he has how many children out of wedlock?

  • 10. Heather  |  June 7, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    I think the phrase ‘bitterness’ often gets confused with exasperation. In the short time I’ve been blogging, it has been absolutely amazing how often people don’t listen or even try to relate to the other person. This is a generalization, I freely admit, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a conservative Christian who has said, “I see where you’re coming from” when I point out a problem I have with the Bible or with elements of Christianity. If I point out the atrocities ordered by God or in God’s name, it gets ‘justified’ by God is perfect and his ways are perfect, or I’m stuck in sin/pride. If I point out that a certain verse in the Bible makes no sense in current times, I’m told that I’m not reading it right. Any problem I have is ‘my fault.’ And if they can’t see where I’m coming from, how can we relate or even have a discussion?

    Whereas liberal Christians, agnostics, atheists, liberal religions/spiritual people in general do say, “I see where you’re coming from” or “I understand why you’d feel that way.”

    So it’s not bitterness. It’s exasperation, because we’re being told how we feel by someone who doesn’t seem to understand us at all. And Christianity will be the most commented upon right now because of how much it dominates the US — look at politics or science or reproductive rights.

  • 11. cragar  |  June 7, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    This is a generalization, I freely admit, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a conservative Christian who has said, “I see where you’re coming from” when I point out a problem I have with the Bible or with elements of Christianity. If I point out the atrocities ordered by God or in God’s name, it gets ‘justified’ by God is perfect and his ways are perfect, or I’m stuck in sin/pride. If I point out that a certain verse in the Bible makes no sense in current times, I’m told that I’m not reading it right. Any problem I have is ‘my fault.’ And if they can’t see where I’m coming from, how can we relate or even have a discussion?

    Very well said

  • 12. honjii  |  June 8, 2007 at 12:10 am

    I work hard for my money. I have to fight the traffic to go to the grocery store, deal with inconsiderate idots who can’t drive a shopping cart to save their lives. I have to load the groceries into my car, take them home, put them away, and prepare my meals and I’ll be damned if anyone but me will receive thanks.

    Though to be honest, anyone eating my cooking would do well to offer their prayers to anyone who might listen.

  • 13. woodpigeon  |  June 8, 2007 at 9:28 am

    It’s quite a misconception to think that those people who have lost their religion have been harmed by it. I was brought up in a post Vatican II Catholic environment, and by and large my experiences with the church were quite positive. I don’t think it did me a bit of harm, and I will tolerate religion being taught to my kids so long as they are given a chance to question what they are told.

    Where religion breaks down for many is where it stops making sense any more – often where experiences in early adulthood do not accord with traditional biblical views, or when a greater understanding of science and sceptical inquiry leads to a questioning of basic tenets of the bible. Once the scepticism takes hold, the whole edifice of religious belief tends to break down. Looking at the whole issue from a remove of some years, I now see how tenuous the foundations of religion really are.

    Agnosticism and atheism is not just a limited experience thing. It has a very strong intellectual and philosophical history, and has been underpinned by some serious intellectual heavyweights. It’s just that until quite recently, the strength of numbers remained with the religious. Unfortunately, just because many people believe something, doesn’t make it true. Everyone thought the universe revolved around the Earth, once.

  • 14. societyvs  |  June 8, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    “Let’s start a campaign to really give the credit where it should be given. Next time you have the opportunity to pray over a meal, thank those who deserve to be thanked. (Agnoctis Atheist)”

    I rather like the idea – giving thanks and credit to those around us that make this ‘meal’ possible. I say thank you to my wife for almost every meal I have since she likes to cook them – and I am very grateful (I am one of those Christians that does not pray over meals). I think the idea is awesome and can only help to bring more peace to our lives and communities.

    But maybe some people are thankfful for the place they are in life – due to the teachings they recieved about the Christ – just a thought (as a big over-view picture).

  • 15. justanechochamber  |  June 10, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    I saw this video a few days ago about a family who’s baby son was in a horrible condition, and after the surgeons operated for over 15 hours, they finally got him stable enough to rest. Afterwards, when one of the surgeons came out and told them they finally succeeded, the mother and father didn’t give the woman a second glance. They start thanking their god for it. Their god has nothing to do with it (likely doesn’t exist either), it was this surgeon and the people who helped her save the child’s life that deserved thanks.

    I just can’t believe some people. When I was younger (before I officially considered myself an atheist), my parents would have us pray to god for our food. I’d sit there and think, “He didn’t cook the food, dad did. And the farmers grew it. Why are we thanking him?”

  • [...] From De-Conversion:“Next time you have the opportunity to pray over a meal, thank those who deserve to be thanked. In fact, next time you have an opportunity, volunteer to pray.” [...]

  • 17. Justin  |  December 13, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    “Thank you god for genocide, disease, corruption, starvation, global warming and war.”

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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