A few people were offended recently when I shared this image on Facebook… (with that comment on the status)
I’d marry her
A friend of a friend said that she’d pray for me… Oh wait… I screenshotted it before the comments went crazy…
The irony here is that the moron didn’t realize that, “Thanks pal” is exactly what I was saying. By all means, mumble to yourself all you want. It’s not going to do anything. But when you tell an atheist that you will pray for them, you cross a line. Telling someone who doesn’t believe in your god that you will pray for them, is offensive. You acknowledge, whether you realize it or not, that praying doesn’t do anything. If it worked, you could just pray and not tell anybody. Think about it… Why would you tell somebody that you will pray for them? The moment you announce it, announce that you will pray for someone, you make it about you, about a public display of what you do. It’s not about the person; it’s not about god, it’s not even about your faith or declaring that you are a Christian. It’s about telling the person that you will pray for them, which allows you to feel superior (Condescension is a virtue?) while at the same time betraying that on some level, you might know that praying isn’t going to do anything unless you tell them you’ll be doing so.
Of course it didn’t end there. One person announced, in a new thread where she tagged my name, that I am a toxic person. That was reason enough to block her, of course.
Then the following morning, the person who originally took offense wrote this on Facebook:
In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.
My original share was not offensive. I shouldn’t have to explain it, but it is a message about believing in yourself and taking responsibility for your own life rather than sitting back and relying on the supernatural.
Also, way to conflate the subject of your belief with yourself… The image on that shirt may be insulting to god, the subject of your belief, but it is not insulting to any person. “Fuck god” is shorthand for dismissal of magical fixes for your problems, and is obviously not intended as an insult. If god existed and was offended, he could come down here and say so himself. How come he needs people to speak for him? Worst of all, the person who called me toxic is so reliant on her higher power, she is institutionalized and still living in the rehab where I met her, seven years later. (She also believes that she benefits from eating sand, for some reason. Back when I was there at the start of 2010, they even had a patch set aside for her in the garden. I can’t help feeling that encouraging someone in such a belief, and also not emphasizing enough that they need to fix their own life rather than praying to a deity to take care of them, is not the way to help somebody who so obviously is mentally deficient.) If anyone could benefit from taking personal responsibility for her life, she could.
These were all people in recovery from addiction. I’m sorry, but if you can’t see who’s attitude is toxic here, you probably never will. To disparage yourself is toxic. To rely for your sobriety and place your life in the hands of an imaginary friend, is harmful. Since the placebo effect is real, your belief might bring you real comfort, but that doesn’t give you the right to accuse other people, who publish a message that would benefit you, were you not so fucking brainwashed, of being toxic.