Sister Denise: Prayer WORKS (And Other Unnecessarily Capitalized Words)

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One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing a public blog is hearing people’s reactions, especially the negative ones. Honestly, I look forward to opportunities to learn from people who disagree, but I also look forward to responding to the people whose arguments simply do not stand up. Most importantly, those who evangelize here (like Shelonda) help demonstrate the ineffectiveness of religious language. If they are willing to make their remarks public, I’m willing to respond to them.

I still feel that my post, “I Don’t Want You To Pray For Me,” is one of the most important posts I’ve written. I refer people back to it often and often reread it myself. Folks regularly criticize prayer’s ineffectiveness, but I take the argument a step further and call it selfish (i.e. its first priority is self-reinforcement of beliefs). This argument is compelling because it’s much harder to debate and is actually proven further true by any attempt to argue the effectiveness of prayer. In a comment left today, “Sister Denise” demonstrates this perfectly.

By the way, why don’t these evangelical commenters ever know how to use multiple paragraphs?

Wow…this is an OLD interesting talk, but I just wanted to say…PRAYER does work, but for only those that TRULY walk righteously. It is VERY FEW, but it is done. When you are in RIGHT standing, meaning, a sin free (unwicked) life you will have POWER to pray and see someone healed, lame walk and blind see. But the weakness and wickedness of human beings destroys their own ability to live as God intended. God the creater and Jesus is ONE, and Jesus say if you except Him and keep HIS doing/saying/commandment like He did God the Father/Creator…the SAME power and MORE you could have. Humans and their doubts and DISOBEDIENCE keep that POWER from working in them so the world don’t see nor comprehend the TRUE POWER OF GOD. My brother, whether you want me to or not….God COMMANDED me to pray for you as I pray for myself….I WILL OBEY, because I know the POWER.

In Love, Sister Denise

That’s a whole lot of caps lock. I wondered at first if it was a secret code.

What’s obviously most annoying about comments like these is that the comment does not actually address any of the arguments I make in my post. Denise’s goal was not a dialogue, but a soliloquy. This, alone, confirms my argument about selfishness, in that she is writing only to reinforce her own beliefs (and, I’m assuming, to perpetuate them).

Let’s see how it plays out.

PRAYER does work, but for only those that TRULY walk righteously. It is VERY FEW, but it is done. When you are in RIGHT standing, meaning, a sin free (unwicked) life you will have POWER to pray and see someone healed, lame walk and blind see. But the weakness and wickedness of human beings destroys their own ability to live as God intended.

This first chunk is committed to disparaging. She’s calling prayer-deniers naive. She’s calling the life I live wicked. And, like most evangelism, there’s some fear-mongering too.

Frankly, if God’s omnipotent, he should be able to make me live however he intends. And if I’m to be punished for exercising the free choice he gave me, then he’s selfish and cruel. Why would I want to ask him for anything? If what Sister Denise says here (“in love”) is true, then God’s an asshole.

God the creater and Jesus is ONE, and Jesus say if you except Him and keep HIS doing/saying/commandment like He did God the Father/Creator…the SAME power and MORE you could have. Humans and their doubts and DISOBEDIENCE keep that POWER from working in them so the world don’t see nor comprehend the TRUE POWER OF GOD.

Except him? No. I make no exceptions in my nonbelief.

Grammar and spelling errors aside, this still makes no sense. It sounds like she’s tempting me with power. That doesn’t sound very virtuous. It sounds like she wants the power too. Maybe she thinks she already has it? I would not sacrifice my basic language skills for this supposed power—I wonder if that’s the deal she made.

My brother, whether you want me to or not….God COMMANDED me to pray for you as I pray for myself….I WILL OBEY, because I know the POWER.

In Love, Sister Denise

So yeah, she cares more about her own belief in God than my personal wishes. She knows the POWER.

Great.

Now, there’s some woman out there who’s going to waste a couple minutes a day to use me as the target for reinforcing her own belief in the power of prayer.

I feel so affirmed.

Thanks for actually reading my post and thinking about what I had to say, Denise. I hope you’re pleased I returned the favor.

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There are 3 Comments to "Sister Denise: Prayer WORKS (And Other Unnecessarily Capitalized Words)"

  • Buffy says:

    Proper spelling and grammar apparently aren’t taught by Christianist home-schoolers. Extensive use of ALLCAPS, on the other hand, is.

    Yes, all of the I’ll Pray For you Godless Heathen nonsense is offensive. But I’ve thought about it and if I had my way all the Christianists would pray for me and others like me 24/7. For every minute they waste talking to their hands is a minute they can’t spend actively harming us.

    So I think from now on when some raving lunatic offers to pray for me I’ll thank them and tell them, “Please put in a few dozen extra prayers, for I’m a truly depraved sinner” I’ll even invite them to have their entire family, or even their church, pray over me. Since they’re not going to do anything actually beneficial no matter what, the more hours they waste on prayers the better, IMHO.

  • Sean Santos says:

    Well, OKCupid reports that, within their user base, spelling and grammar mistakes are much less bothersome to believers. And that Christians write at a lower grade level (which basically means, smaller words and sentences).

    I do have to say that, knowing at least one really brilliant dyslexic guy, misspelling with homophones is not always a sign of ignorance. But the CAPS used to EMPHASIZE ALL kinds of RANDOM WORDS is not a good SIGN.

  • llama says:

    In USA, coming out as atheist requires intellectual honesty and courage. Hence the better spelling and higher IQ.

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