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10.29.2014

You Can't Pray Angst Away

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I get increasingly annoyed when I see people using prayer as an excuse to do nothing.

Recently, a high school friend had a death in the family, reported on Facebook and asking for funeral fund donations.

Naturally, I responded with a donation and something along the lines of, "I am so sorry...please let me know if there is anything I can DO...in addition to donating money."

99% of the other responses were along the lines of, "You are in my thoughts and prayers." Translation: "I know it sucks, but don't expect me to do anything for you besides say I am going to think about it and pray...and chances are I won't even remember to pray. Now @#$& off."

I call bullshit on that. I know some people may say I am being too harsh. The thinking praying folks might very well be donating money or helping the family out.

But prayer and thought are useless, and saying you are going to do it means it is the primary way you are going to "help out." And if it is the only contribution you are going to make, you are useless to the grieving family. If you really care, ask what you can DO to help. Forget prayer. Prayer does not do shit and that's been proven by science.

10.27.2014

Sunday Assembly of Madison Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics

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Yesterday (Sunday October 26), my friend Sherry and I went to the Madison Sunday Assembly, a church like gathering of local atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and similarly minded folks. It was like church without God or religion.

They had music and presentations (about astronomy). They had greet thy neighbor and called for donations to help fund the next gathering. There were coffee and snacks afterwards.

It was at a Unitarian church, probably the only kind of church open minded enough to allow such a group to meet there. It was also at a very respectable 3 PM. Although this was probably by necessity so as not to compete with the morning assembly of the Unitarians, it was a good time of day for such a thing.

I spoke with a few people afterwards about contributing music or giving a short talk at a future event. Might be fun. My only issue is my availability. It meets the fourth Sunday of every month (also cool). I will be in Australia when the next one happens and the December one will be too close to Christmas for me to predict my whereabouts right now.

I am curious to know what holiday music they will do. I would guess it would be more secular selections like FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, RUDOLPH THE RNR, and JINGLE BELLS. But maybe someone will cleverly re-write the lyrics to a more religious tune to be more irreverent and fun.

Could that person be me?