Sunday, October 12, 2014

Prayer can be entertaining

Kevin Drum's review of a recent Life Way survey was pretty amusing. I agree that the survey result for which his piece is named, "5 Percent of Religious Americans Routinely Try to Fool God", is both interesting and revealing. I would, however, go further than Drum and point out that praying for "Success in something you knew wouldn't please God" can be interpreting in a number of different ways. None of them are flattering to the individual theists or to religion as a whole. It does imply that some theists may not believe as deeply as they themselves think they do. It also seems to imply that God is a rather demanding grumpy asshole. It is possible that they intuitively realized just how unlikely it is for the average person to live up to many of the ludicrous and dehumanizing constrictions religion often places on its adherents. There are a number of other survey results that can be interpreted in different ways, Similarly none of those interpretations bode any better for the faithful. I also really liked what I would deem the "lazy bastard approach." 20% of the respondents prayed for "Success in something you put almost no effort in." Yup, religion does a great job shoring up peoples ethics.

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