Why d-C? – Where are you Jesus?
As an atheist, it always surprises me that people seriously believe that god really will answer their prayers. Perhaps it’s something you have to be religious in order to comprehend. But some people pray, and pray, and pray, until as one individual put it:
The following examples are from the 8.51% of the de-conversion stories, amongst the sample I read, in which people tried to speak to god, and they now credit god’s lack of an answer for their de-conversion.
“Being very eager to please, I would often beg Jesus to save me. Expecting trumpets and angels, or at the very least a pat on the head, and getting nothing, I think I just eventually realised god wasn’t going to answer.”
For some the experience of god failing to answer their prayers as promised was a highly distressing experience:
In high school, I gradually started to question more, but did not get satisfactory answers. My prayers for clarity and a stronger faith went unanswered. Why would God let my faith slip? That was the question that haunted me for years.
Others simply felt ridiculous:
I got older, I realized that I was supposed to be getting more out of it. Or some people, apparently, were. So, I tried praying on my own. At no point did I ever feel anything other than stupid for doing that — the way a person might feel if they attempted to hold a conversation with a doorknob!
Or perhaps disappointed:
I remember when I was very young and I heard for the first time that “whatsoever ye ask for, ye shall receive” line. I prayed really long and hard one night for a pony. I awoke and looked out my bedroom window, fully expecting to see a pony waiting for me in the yard. That was my first “clue.”
Religionists will make all form of excuses for the failure of prayer, but the fact is that a religion that centres around talking to god makes the implicit promise that god is listening. Prayer is important to many Christians, and undermining it might seem tempting to many activist atheists. However, once again it seems that people who came to these sorts of realisations did so on their own accord.
- Originally published by Kieran Bennett, reprinted with permission.