Faith-Based

As I’ve pointed out in the past, few things annoy me more than the “people” who, when people respond with “thoughts and prayers” after some sort of tragedy or another, bellow “F**K YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS – WE’VE GOT TO DOOOOO SOMETHING!”, where “SOMETHING” invariably means “some emotion-driven knee-jerk response that will do nothing to deal with the problem, but will serve Big Let’s agenda nicely”.

So it’s interesting to note that we, in fact, are right:

Prayer might make people feel better, but, as some critics have argued, does it direct their attention away from problems that need to be addressed? In other words, is prayer a distraction? Recent behavioral science experiments suggest that it isn’t, that prayer helps people focus their attention. In one study, research participants with varying levels of religiosity completed cognitive tasks that assess attention. After finishing these tasks, they were instructed to bring to mind one concern in their lives. One group of participants was then asked to spend ten minutes praying about that concern. Another group was asked to spend ten minutes thinking about that concern. A final group spent that time working on a puzzle. Then they repeated the attention tasks. Researchers looked for changes in their performance and found that among highly religious individuals, praying about a life concern, compared with thinking about it or being distracted with a puzzle, improved cognitive performance. No differences were observed among the less religious. These findings are consistent with the researchers’ proposal that prayer frees up cognitive resources needed to focus on mental tasks by reducing the extent to which people are distracted by negative emotions.

I’ve found that metaphysics and theology aside, it helps put emotional turbulence in context and free up mental resources for the rational thought actually needed after a crisis.

Which is another weapon Big Left thinks only the government really needs…

 

An App I’m Working On

11 thoughts on “Faith-Based

  1. I find it funny when righties start spouting off about faith. And Mitch, considering you just insulted everyone on the left by claiming they feel government is supposed to fulfill a role which you otherwise ascribe to either prayer or faith, my comment is, live by the sword…

    Luke 19:8

    But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

    The point is this, the point you purposefully miss, prayer is fine but not when it is used as an excuse or in place of action . In Matthew 19, Christ did not tell the man, “Pray half your time away”, he said ACT. Too often we mollify our consciences by sending our “thoughts and prayers”, when that is NOT what Christ calls us to do. And that substitute, the substitute of sentiment, is all too often what the Big Right (of which you are a card-carrying member) does, and only does, because acting, expending time and resources, is just too inconvenient.

  2. Liberals believe government is God, so their equivalent of “thoughts and prayers” is “submit new laws and hope government actually follows them.”

    Of course, their “God” is about as likely to grant their “prayers” as is the conventional God: they’ll listen to the prayers (petitions) but grant them only if it serves His (government’s) own purpose.

  3. The “thoughts & prayers” statement may be less than sincere, but it is intended to express sympathy with the victims, living & dead. They aren’t intended to change the law or prevent future massacres. So they really aren’t interchangeable.
    Imagine if someone said “our thoughts & prayers are with the victims” and the response was “screw your thoughts and prayers — why the Hell did the police and school officals allow Cruz to buy a weapon? Why didn’t school officals help him with his mental health issues?”

  4. Nerdbert – Of course, their “God” is about as likely to grant their “prayers” as is the conventional God: they’ll listen to the prayers (petitions) but grant them only if it serves His (government’s) own purpose.

    Unless you’re a super-delegate or PAC.

  5. Penigma/von Hindenburg, it’s worth noting that while action that might be useful is commendable, like that of the repentant tax collector, action that would cause more problems is damnable.

    In the Parkland case, maybe look at why no less than four government agencies failed to do their d**mned job? Maybe fix that first before infringing on the rights of the people? Or is it too much to ask that government workers do the job they’re paid to do? Now of course it is too much to ask the FBI and DOJ to prosecute open and shut cases like Hilliary’s server, or even to collect evidence for such cases, but I’d hope that guys that have to look at their neighbors in the eye at the local supermarket might find some time to plausibly do their jobs.

  6. Glad to see Penigma is fully on board with my earlier suggestion. We won’t just offer prayers. We will arm ourselves and police our own neighborhoods, dispensing immediate justice as needed. After a brief period of intense “education” followed by a series of paupers’ funerals, I expect crime rates to drop to near zero.

    Although I must say, I’m surprised to hear him supporting vigilantes over union employees. Checking out my window for flying pigs.

  7. The Pendude blathers:

    In Matthew 19, Christ did not tell the man, “Pray half your time away”, he said ACT. Too often we mollify our consciences by sending our “thoughts and prayers”, when that is NOT what Christ calls us to do.

    I gather, Pen, that you view sending your neighbor’s tax dollars as acting? Under your perverted worldview, the idea of forcing someone else to pay for your desires counts as an act of faith, and one that fits in with your view of what it means to be Christian?

    Remind me, weren’t the Pharisees the ones who believed that theirs was the political faction who believed they had access to God’s works and mercy, and that any access to righteous behavior came through them and their proscribed channels? And how, exactly, did Jesus view them and their approach of a mandated intermediated relationship to God work out? And now you propose the same approach to godliness by using government to do good works and forcing others to support what you view as good? That certainly was never a view taken by any of the Apostles or the early church itself, and certainly not by Jesus.

    You can make arguments that government can assist the people in good works (although the effectiveness of many of those “good works” can be seriously debated), but attempting to use Christianity to argue the morality of forcing others to do good works in order to redeem themselves fails miserably.

  8. prayer is fine but not when it is used as an excuse or in place of action

    In other words: Don’t waste time mourning the dead and injured and keeping their souls in your prayers, exploit the emotionally-charged moment, when facts are still coming in, to set public policy that punishes the innocent and more than likely does nothing to address the root cause. Yeah, good plan.

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