I was speaking with a friend recently (on the phone, of course) talking a. little bit about all of this staying at home that is going on and how much of a pain it is. Well, it’s really not, at least for me, because I’m not a person that just gets out in the car and drives around town just for the heck of it. But I agree that having to plan my outings more carefully (grocery store, etc.) is something that just after a couple of weeks, I haven’t quite mastered – but I will. I hadn’t heard from this friend in a few weeks so it was nice to hear from him, if only for a 5 minute or so conversation. What was interesting to me was how the conversation began get to end, when he said, “Well, I guess we all just have to pray that God will deliver us from this pandemic.”. Huh? I actually didn’t know what to say for a few seconds and that was because I had never heard this guy talk prayer, or God, or anything religious before – and I’ve known him for 10 years.
Not that this person is an atheist, that I was ever aware of, just basically non-religious. It had me begin to think about how all of those people who’ve never been very religious, are reacting to the current situation. We often see the polls about the Rise of the Non-Religious, but as I’ve written here before on more than one occasion, that doesn’t, and shouldn’t, imply in any way a non-belief in any god. I wonder how many of the same are saying something similar right now? I really wonder how many are actually saying prayers of deliverance from the pandemic? It’s not that we’ve never witnessed a reaction like this before. I knew several people, after 9/11, that had a distinct turn towards religiousity. I don’t think it lasted very long with some of them, but just like any other disaster, natural or not, some people seem to want to tuen to the spiritual for answers – where there aren’t any. Sure it may make people feel better, but so does having a couple of beers. It doesn’t solve any problems, but for a while, you feel more at ease.
Of course, I didn’t directly respond to my friend on his statement about praying, all I said was that we’ll all get through this if, we stay strong and keep to the guidelines. i don’t think anyone can pray away a disaster: if that were true, then we wouldn’t have hrricanes hitting our shores, or tornadoes destroying towns. It’s amazing to me how many people believe that some god will intervene in human events. I don’t tend to denigrate others’ beliefs, but it does seem a bit silly to depend on an invisible being to suddenly take charge and cure all of our ills.
So pray if you desire. Talk all you want to whatever god(s) you believe in to save you from whatever cataclysm may be approaching, but don’t expect an answer anytime soon. If you do happen to hear the Voice of God, maybe it’s time to see a psychiatrist.