November 15, 2008

“I’m Praying For You”

Posted in culture, religion at 10:13 am by Jerry

“I’m praying for you” can be a nice sentiment. When I’m troubled by something and someone says they’re praying for me, I consider it to be synonymous with “Gesundheit” – which means wishing you good health. And even if I’m not troubled by a sneeze or worse and someone says they’re praying for God to “bless” me, I still think it can be considered a nice sentiment like “I hope the best for you in your future” (or ‘Live Long and Prosper’ for you Trekkies out there).

But when someone says “I’m praying for you” not because it’s clear that I’m troubled by something, and not because they just wish more good things for me, but because they are telling me that I need saving from my “lost” self, this… this offends me. If these same believers of the supernatural tell me that they are justifiably offended when someone calls them “deluded” for believing what they believe, then I think they need to reconsider their own judgments before making any demands.

There are others who choose not to proclaim these prayers in public by just keeping those judgments between themselves and God, which is kinda like judging-in-the-closet. And that’s fine. I think we’re all guilty for that (although, I doubt anyone needs to feel guilty if they’re proven right). But for those who think it justifiable that they publicly proclaim their patronizing prayers to me, then according to their standard, I would be just as justified to bring out my own judgment of them from my closet, and equally reply to the words “I’m Praying For You” with…

“..and I’m being patient with you, too.”

It’s so tempting to give this reply, but I don’t know if it’s in me to say something like that. I don’t want to hurt others’ feelings just because they carelessly hurt mine.

So, in the meantime, whenever I’m told through this pedantic euphemism that I purposely chose an afterlife destined for Hell OR, in the all too common gnostic fashion, that I’m unaware of the supernatural consequences of my actions, I guess I’ll stay in my judging closet and perceive this use of “I’m Praying For You” as nothing more than the equally fictional “May the Force Be With You”


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