The Power Of Prayer: Nada, Squat, Zilch, Zip

pastor-terry-jonesI’d always suspected the truth of the matter, but now it’s official. God is a capricious, contrary, sonofabitch. One minute he wants the Koran burned, the next, he thinks it’s not such a great idea after all. At least according to Floridian Pastor Terry Jones, who apparently has a hotline to the architect of the universe.

Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida has been telling the media that after intense global pressure to cancel the book burning, he received a confirmation from the Almighty that he should not proceed with his burning of the Devil’s text – although why God didn’t foresee his own change of heart (having apparently suggested it in the first place), is anyone’s guess.

The whole awkward episode, like religion itself, smacks of some medieval history lesson in which the religious zealots first churn themselves into some evangelical frenzy - before heading out for a good old-fashioned witch burning.

godbunnyThe problem is, it’s 2010. Although clearly not for everyone. Because our religious friends are still living with ridiculous belief systems generated by our primitive ancestors thousands years ago, when still we believed in “miracles”, or that god actually gave toss whether or not pigs were on the menu. (As far as I can tell, the Jewish community still hasn’t received that memo.)

The problem with a notion like “answered prayer” is that it’s so obviously bogus that you’d have to be, well, religious to believe it. Because outside of a religious context, the whole idea of having a meaningful conversation with an invisible sky daddy is strictly for the insane.

So perhaps the whole Koran burning debacle will have at least one silver lining. Because it has actually put into sharp focus the utter futility of prayer. In fact, it’s never been clearer that the whole concept of religion in a post-medieval world will do nothing for the human race –  but ensure its eventual destruction. So is Islam really worse than Christianity? Not once you realize that all the world’s religions are simply competing for attention on the stage of the absurd.

The German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche famously said “God is dead.” Nietzche was wrong. God isn’t dead. He was just never alive to begin with – except in our own intellectually vulnerable (and very afraid) human minds.

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