Another National Day of Superstition and Shame

Today is another National Day of Prayer, a day when all Americans are supposed to talk to their imaginary friend (who never answers).  The President, like his predecessors, shamelessly merges church and state and reaffirms, for the world to see, that we are still a nation awash in religiosity, still clinging to the notion that our imaginary friend hears it all, will somehow will be affected by the prayers, and change his immutable plan to grant every one of the zillion wishes that come his way.

Particularly odious to me are the prayers that god bestow certain qualities on the individual or group: "Give me/us the strength/understand/courage, etc."  What, he wasn't going to do it in the first place?  And why can't we do all that ourselves?

True to his ignorance, Trump recently proclaimed that "in god we trust" is our national motto.  I'm sure a lot of American believe that it is.

There is only one thing worse than immersing oneself sincerely in all this psychotic make-believe...and that is to do it insincerely, like Trump himself and the three-day-a-year Jews who go through the motions because they're afraid to appear unreligious.  I have less respect for these hypocrites than for the Orthodox, who are at least sincere about their fantasies.

In honor of National Superstition Day, I offer George Carlin's masterful deconstruction of the ten commandments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE8ooMBIyC8

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Comment by Alan Perlman on July 27, 2019 at 5:11pm

Andrea,

Thanks for the comment and visual.  I love to see atheists confront the believers, at least to let them know we're here.  Still, no atheist will be elected President in my lifetime.  70% of people still believe in angels.  

Best,

Alan

Comment by Andrea Quinn on July 27, 2019 at 2:49pm

You are not alone in finding this particular day to be irritating.

The (only) good think about it: That's where the National Day of Reason came from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Day_of_Reason

Comment by Alan Perlman on May 12, 2019 at 4:46pm

Michel,

You raise complex psychological answers to which I have no answer.  My observations are based on the behaviors of those who associate with some religion or other.  I know Judaism best, and among the Orthodox and Conservative (main difference being dress and assimilation; they're both hard-core practitioners), I think there are some who really do believe the Bible babble. But how do they reconcile it with the indisputable findings of science and the impossibility of verifying it archaeologically?   No evidence of 400,000 Jews trekking across the desert?  

It's impossible to know what's in another person's mind.  Some, like my father-in-law, are highly educated (former partner at financial firm) -- and they say all the prayers and do all the stuff.  Why?  Social pressure?  Hope of an afterlife?  Feeling of rightness and piety?

It's when we get to Reform Judaism that spin, agnosticism, and reality set it.  These folks are very light on God, recite Bible tales as stories, may still read the Torah, primitive as it is.  This can become Judaism Ultra-Lite, like my brother, who puts in three days a year.  Special arrangement with God?  Or the appearance of Jewishness for his colleagues, who pretend to be Christian?  

So we have the psychotics who really believe it and the pretenders, including many Orthodox. Who knows what they all really believe?..

Comment by Michael Penn on May 11, 2019 at 8:15pm

This is for Joan. Some people might think that I do satire. The seriousness of this whole thing is that nobody prays. They all say they do and cops have the "in god we trust" on the back of cars but it's a lark. Nobody prays possibly because deep down they know the invisible man is just not there. I pass my county courthouse almost daily on my job and a sign outside says "in god we trust." I'm still trying to find out what those words have to do with law. It's ridiculous! We did not get our morality or our laws from gods. 

Comment by Alan Perlman on May 11, 2019 at 8:09pm

Thanks to commentators. Loren, I'll bet most Congresscritters at heart are atheists, agnostics, or hypocrites, but above all afraid to appear unreligious.

As far as "in God we trust" (the motto of my alma mater, I'm ashamed to admit)...if the Founders had really trusted in God, they's have done nothing and let God defeat the British.  And that's my reply to anyone who utters this inanity: just be passive, let God take care of everything, and see how that works out.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 11, 2019 at 2:53pm

Michael, are you serious? Do police pray as they show up on calls? I have never heard of such a thing. I wonder if the police who shoot first and then sort out the chaos pray before they put their hands on their guns 

Comment by Michael Penn on May 11, 2019 at 12:07pm

Some people think "in god we trust" is our national motto. Maybe our national bird is a turkey? I hate seeing "in god we trust' on the back of police cars. Everyone knows that when they show up the first thing they do is start praying. In Trumpworld if you see them coming maybe you should start praying. I don't trust anyone who claims they are praying for me.

Comment by Loren Miller on May 2, 2019 at 4:55pm

The hell of it is, our own government violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment all the time, but even they should be embarrassed about something this egregious.

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