Gad. Watching the news last night, and they do a story on a “special” prayer service. It was held at one of the local mega-churches - you know those churches that cover a city block and you have to use a bus to get from one side of the sanctuary to the other? So they hold a prayer service, and the news covers it. Okay, I get that.
And I get why some people would turn to their religion now. They need comforting and religion provides that. And to be fair, the news covered it as “this is what some people are doing to deal with the tragedy”.
But what ticks me off is the statements made by the people interviewed. “We all need to come together as Americans and pray to God.” :rolleyes: “We all need to turn to God.” I swear the 5 or so people they interviewed all said similar things.
CAN YOU NOT CONSIDER THAT SOME OF US DON’T BELIEVE IN YOUR GOD?!?!?! It is insulting to me that they are telling me I should join their religion over this.
I agree man, the local news shouldn’t cover shit we don’t care about or relate to. Our local news stations carry news about baseball and basketball constantly during their seasons. It doesn’t occur to them that I don’t give a rat’s ass about either. Fuckers.
On the other hand, I heard on CNN Tuesday night that (and I paraphrase) “Even if you don’t believe in God, you do believe in some kind of higher power, so you should pray to that.” Uh, no. Thanks, though.
Necros–yes, I heard that too, from Judy Woodruff on CNN. She also said something to the effect of “even if you didn’t believe in God before, you do now.” (Not a direct quote)
Frankly, that was the only part of this whole coverage that got my dander up. I have no problem with prayer vigils at the Capitol. I have no problem with Bush quoting a bit of the bible in his public address. I have no problem with any public requests for prayer. If these things give a bit of comfort to the majority of the American public, then that is all good with me.
But I resent a journalist telling me that I’ve found God as a result of this. Thanks for letting me know what I believe in.
My own non-Judeo-Christian religious beliefs have been a great comfort to me at this time. Sorry, Judy, but “praying to God” is not what I do.
I am thankful for all of the prayers of those that do pray, though. There has been a tremendous outpouring of love, good wishes, and sympathy in the aftermath of tragedy. Whether the person puts their good wishes in the form of a prayer, or a lit candle, or a pint of blood, or a flown flag, or just keeps the thoughts in their head, it all adds up to a massive amount of positive energy that is going in the right direction. And somehow or another, that will definitely help.
lovelee, I got the distinct impression they meant “All Americans” not “those of us in this church building”. We need to, not we are. Thus my ire.
Simetra, I said this was a rant, not a debate. If you have a complaint, go start your own thread. This one is mine for my complaint.
Slacker, shut the fuck up. This isn’t about them covering things I don’t care about. This is about the people telling me I should turn to god. Did I complain about the news reporters? NO. I complained about what the interviewees said. Keep your strawman to yourself.
Necros, yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.
Green Bean, same thing. Though personally I’m a little more miffed at the continual religious references. Like I’m driving home yesterday listening to the radio, and some DJ is going off on his patriotic diatribe about how we all need to stand together etc, and he ends with “we need to show them we’re one nation under God.” Now I know that is technically a part of the Pledge of Allegiance (don’t get me started on that), but it’s just irritating to me as an atheist to have someone telling me I’m not a real American. Which, incidentally, is exactly what George Bush the first said, and Dubya is more fundamentalist than he ever was.
Irishman, typically a Christian (and I presume you didn’t refer to a Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist megachurch in your area) will have two views that work together to produce this result:
[li]“Since I know that God exists, loves me, and saved me from Hell, I need to foster that knowledge in every other person I possibly can – particularly since He commanded me to do so.”[/li]
[li]“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)[/li]
So his or her natural response in time of crisis is to turn to God in prayer and to expect as many others as he possibly can get to join him.
And, uh, one of the things that makes America great is this little item called the Bill of Rights – which both keeps gung-ho religionists from forcing you into some sort of adherence to their religion, but permits those who do believe to do so openly and freely. A few of us think that both halves of that are a good idea.
Irishman, I share your views to a certain extent and voiced them earlier this week.
I would only like to remind you that due to the circumstances we should grant everyone a large amount of latitude to deal with this situation in their own way. I don’t think now is the time to discuss these matters.
Polycarp, as always, you have something sane and reasonable to say, and express it with style(not to mention good grammar and spelling!) It’s waht I wanted to say, but wouldn’t have done as well as you did.
The thing about the constant coverage of ‘prayer vigils’ and services which has deeply bothered me is the fact that not once, but several times now, coverage of factual press conferences has been interrupted to show these various services. (In all fairness, I do not know to what degree this was done at the behest of our local stations and how much was due to programming decisions at the various networks.)
The most glaring example of this was a press conference at which the director of the international airport in our area was announcing what changes were going to be made security measures and specific things that local travelers should be prepared to do to cooperate. Not three minutes into the live conference, the station cut away to a prayer vigil, showed the whole fifteen minute service, and did a vox pop with several attendees. We have a major defense contractor in our area, and two very large cities. The chiefs of police from those cities and the areas around the defense contractor held a press conference to discuss security concerns, announce what buildings would be closed and what security measures would be taken. The station cut out in mid-conference to go to another church service and vox pop. The fact that a mosque and a school got shot at and vandalized in our area was given only a brief squib of a report. Maybe such things were better covered in other areas, but they certainly weren’t in ours.
It is the media’s primary job in such a situation to first present hard news which directly deals with the safety and health of the community. Only after all such information has been exhaustively covered should coverage to soft news (and a prayer service qualifies as this) be given. You certainly don’t cut away in the middle of a live press conference at which hard news is being presented to go to a soft news prayer service.
Further, I have seen no coverage of any other services other than different Christian ones in our local area, and this constitutes biased reporting. More faiths than the Christian faith are trying to give people a sense of solidarity and comfort. In all fairness, this needs to be shown, too, and given the same amount of time as is given to the various Christian services.
Part of the reason America is great (and the reason, incidentally, both sides of my family came here) is the religious freedom it provides. At the risk of setting myself up for flames, I understand the intent behind something like a ‘Day of Prayer’ but I do not support the gesture itself. I would be much more supportive of a Presidential gesture which indicated the need for all Americans to stand together regardless of faith than one which was so obviously faith based. Belief in God does not make one an American. Belief in the principles that make America is what makes an American.
What I’ve found over the last ten years or so is that, whatever one’s religious and/or spiritual–or lack of same–viewpoint is, it’s really much more effective when it doesn’t feature a large chip on the shoulder.
Still, when look back to when I did think having one of those was important, I derived my own kind of comfort from it. Carry on.
Sorry, I meant to say Baptist Megachurch. They’re the ones that go in for sactuaries the size of the Astrodome.
I am well familiar with the attitude and the basis for it, so I didn’t need it explained, thank you very much.
I find it ironic you’re lecturing an atheist on the protections of free speech about religion in the Bill of Rights. Where the fuck did I say they didn’t have the right to think that way or to say it? And again, I have to say this is a rant. I’m expressing how it makes me feel when I hear repeated statements that as an American I should turn to god.
Yes, that was somewhat irritating, too, but I haven’t been complaining about that right now because I know how shaky everybody is right now.
Fuck you by the horse you rode in on. I’m not in christians’ faces telling them this proves their god doesn’t exist. I’m not going around kicking people when they’re down. I’m not calling for the mass annihilation of every Arab on the planet, or whole nation states. But dammit it pisses me off to have christians telling me that I must now worship their god. No, I don’t have to fucking worship your fucking god, and no that does not make me any less of an American than you. And can you not consider for one possible minute that I might be shaken up by this tragedy, too, and just maybe I need to vent a little frustration by going on a message board that is called The BBQ Pit?
And you will note I’m not in Great Debates.
HubZilla, while I share the sentiment, I really would prefer you not hijack this thread to argue that point. Again, I said at the beginning I don’t begrudge anyone turning to their religion right now to find comfort. I am pissed at them imposing it on me, or implying that I should join them.
Anyway, I’d just like to say to everyone thank you for not understanding and thank you for making this a problem on my end and thank you for making me feel isolated and unwanted.
I don’t blame you for being irked when people imply you should join them. I find this very obnoxious too, and quite inappropriate. But I am not sure how in this instance, people are “imposing” anything on you because they have the religious services shown on TV. They are showing something that they feel will appeal to a high percentage of their viewers. Certainly there is nothing unusual about this. I see it all the time.
I am a Classical-music-listening, vegetarian, non-football fan. Yet everywhere I go, I hear rock/popular music (which I DON’T want to hear). It seems like it is the default assumption, everyone listens to some form of popular music, except for me. (I know this is not true, it just usually feels this way.) I am sometimes quizzed about what is “wrong” with me, because I don’t keep up on popular music. Same with meat-eating, yadda yadda yadda. I see football on TV all the time, football-related products for sale in every store, and am surrounded by fervent, geeky fans. And I SO don’t give a rat’s ass about football. And yet I am inundated with all of these things on TV and in popular culture, because apparently enough people are interested in them, even if I am not. So I cope. I do admit, I boycott the local TV station, because it really is the “local football coverage station”, and I find it useless. One of the nice things about having cable or a satellite dish is that there are MANY options open to you on TV.
Being inundated with stuff you have no interest in is irritating, and I understand your rant, but please understand that there are MANY irritating things out there. You’re not the only one that gets fed up with it. But that’s life.
Oh fer crissake, get a grip here. Nothing makes me cringe like one of my co-nonreligionists dragging a cross behind him.
I’m a hard agnostic–equivalent to an atheist for any given religion–and national days of prayers do nothing for me. But I ignore all suggestions I join up with the Christians (or whomever) anyway, so more of the same doesn’t get to me, and I don’t see any reason to get in an uproar about something that does in fact bring a lot of people comfort at this time.