Living a fulfilled life without God
Prayer works? If one were trying to convince others that this was true, I would think showing a picture such as this would be the last thing that you would use to prove your point. A picture of medical professionals holding hands in a hospital isn’t what I would call convincing evidence. As a professional who has worked in the medical field for over fifteen years, this photo is beyond annoying. If those same people would take a stroll down to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, they may see a family distraught over losing a child despite their prayers. They could meander down to the ER and watch an ER physician have to engage a social worker to help explain to children that they have been in an accident and that their parents didn’t make it. They could stop by to overhear a physician explain to a patient that they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The heart-breaking stories that you hear in hospitals have no end. Hospitals wouldn’t exist if prayer “worked” in this way.
To the adherents of a religion and to those who pray, say what you want to say about prayer. Call it a meditative practice. Tell others, if you want, that it brings you peace and a stillness in times of despair. Tell others that it’s more about changing you than changing God’s will. You can say a number of things about how prayer feels to you personally, but a thinking person can’t say that prayer “works” in the way that is suggested in this photo. I’m sorry, but it is simply not true. Praying people lose children. Praying people get terminal illnesses. Praying people die. Tragedy strikes the devout just like the rest of us. No one likes any of these horrible things, but prayer doesn’t make you exempt from them.
While this is merely “beyond annoying” to me as an atheist and a healthcare professional, it’s a horrendous thing to say to someone who has suffered tragedy despite their prayers. What message does this send to the devout religious individual who has lost a loved one to tragedy? Did they not pray hard enough? Was God not as pleased with their prayer as he is with yours? Are they short of an ounce or two of faith? Or was he just too busy that day trying to make sure that a Ten Commandments monument was going to be allowed on a courthouse lawn?
I beg everyone… stop sharing these ridiculous photos. It’s not good for anyone, religious or not.