Pharyngula

Praise the water!

It’s strange how the people who most advocate sympathy and rapprochement with religion are blind to what religious people really think. Here’s another case where Josh Rosenau complains that I misunderstand what the faithful were trying to do with their prayers for the Gulf…and then goes on to do exactly as I said the apologists should stop doing. He ignores the religious part of these prayer events. He says, as if it is refuting anything I say, that prayer reduces stress, has positive physiological effects, brings communities together, etc., etc., etc. It’s utterly clueless, and in a bizarre, twisted way, thoroughly disrespectful of religious thought, which I kind of admire, but doesn’t fit well with his message.

You know why people go off in groups and pray to God to stop the oil spill? Because they really hope that God will miraculously stop the oil spill.

Is that so hard to understand?

Josh babbles on about how people go to church for the daycare or the socializing or the activities, and that their “gatherings are about how the community will survive the crisis they’re facing more than they’re about prayer”. Condescending much, Josh? Do you ever talk to religious people? Because no, many of them are quite sincere in their faith and actually do believe their God does something. If I walked down to the local fundie church and suggested to members of the congregation that they were really there just for the coffee and cake, they’d give me that pitying look and tell me I really don’t understand church.

And do you imagine that atheists don’t believe that community is important? We know it is. We’d like to build communities that don’t rely on superstition and lies to function, though. We’re also honest enough to state that we think believers are wrong without trying to pretend that they don’t really believe.

My detestation of that patronizing attitude was prompted by a link I was sent to another appeal for prayer to help the Gulf. This one is more Newagey than Christian, but it’s the same sentiment: Magic incantations to a supernatural entity will fix everything.

A way for us to help heal the Gulf
Yesterday we received a letter from Dr. Masaru Emoto, who many of you will recognize as the scientist from Japan who has done research and publications about the characteristics of water. Among other things, his research reveals that water physically responds to emotions.

Right now, most of us have the predominantly angry emotion when we consider what is happening in the Gulf. And while certainly we are justified in that emotion, we may be of greater assistance to our planet and its life forms, if we sincerely, powerfully and humbly pray the prayer that Dr. Emoto himself has proposed.

“I send the energy of love and gratitude to the water and all the living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings. To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, plankton, coral, algae, and all living creatures . . . I am sorry. Please forgive us. Thank you. I love you. “

We are passing this request to people who we believe might be willing to participate in this prayer, to set an intention of love and healing that is so large, so overwhelming that we can perform a miracle in the Gulf of Mexico.

We are not powerless. We are powerful. Our united energy, speaking this prayer daily … multiple times daily … can literally shift the balance of destruction that is happening. We don’t have to know how, we just have to recognize that the power of love is greater than any power active in the Universe today.

Please join us in often repeating this healing prayer of Dr. Emoto’s. And feel free to copy and send it around the planet. Let’s take charge, and do our own clean up!

David Anselmo

Glenwood Springs

Love is greater than any other power? I don’t think love is even stronger than gravity, which is the weakest of the four fundamental forces. If Mr Anselmo trips, all his love won’t keep him from falling flat on his face.

But, you know, I’m still pretty sure that he earnestly believes the fol-de-rol he’s written down, and that he’s not just scribbling up such absurdities because it helps with his blood pressure. I’ll grant him that much.

Just in case, next time I flush, I’ll have a little chat with the toilet bowl and let the water know I’m rooting for it, before I flush and send it off to the Mississippi and down to the Gulf. It’ll ease my stress even if the waste water is otherwise inattentive. That should make Josh happy.