Okay, I’m writing a bit more today than I usually do, but I just saw a twwet from my friend Courtney (@godless_mom) that made me stop for a moment. As an atheist, I’ve had people that know I am a non-believer tell me that they would “pray for me”. But do they really? Some may. I have a friend, someone I’ve known for over 50 (yes 50!) years who is a pastor that has told me that I I do believe when he says that, that he actually does. Some Christians are actually Christian.
But in me response to Courtney’s tweet, I said that this is a rote response to an unbeliever, something the average Christian is taught to say in one way or another. Although it may make them feel better that they said it, it’s unlikely that they will ever actually pray for that unbeliever. Okay, maybe they will say a silent prayer as they part from that other person, but that’s the extent of it. And that’s just maybe. Why do I say that? It’s easy to be a Christian. Just say that you believe, go to church every once in a while, maybe donate a little money (not the 10% of your GROSS income as dictated in the Old Testament, but some) and be mostly cheerful around your fellow brethren (at services). That’s it.
Other than a few dollars every Sunday, it costs you nothing and based on where you live, may give you status in your community. That’s what’s worth more than anything. You have a business, selling cars, hardware, whatever. You’re a good Christian. Maybe you even promote your business as a “Christian owned” business. Of course there will be those, believers or not, that do business with you because, of course, No Christian is going to rip me off.
And that’s the greatest con in history: That believers actually give a damn about you (especially non-believers). They’re no different than anyone else. They want your money first. Your “soul”? Got money? Yes. Poor, indigent? Less so. It’s not what they can provide for you but what you may give them. A prayer for my “soul”? How about, especially in these times, a tenner for something to eat. Seriously. Of course they may point you to a soup kitchen, (if they’re aware of one), but other than that? The prayer is probably sufficient for most. It makes them feel good and that they have, in someway, served their god. Now there may be some that will do more, but if your experience around Christians is anything like mine, those are actually a minority.
Pray for me? Keep it.