Tag Archives | Prayer

Virginia County Board: Followers Of ‘Pre-Christian Deities’ Forbidden To Deliver Opening Prayers

PIC: Baal (PD)

PIC: Baal (PD)

Well, there goes my benediction to Baal. On the bright side, the county’s recognition of the gods of Wicca as Pre-Christian Deities does give Wiccans some legal ammo to use against those who claim that their religion was made up whole-cloth by Gerald Gardner. Also, I’m assuming deities contemporaneous with Christianity are just fine, so grab your Pope cards and take the next flight to Chesterfield, Subgenii: These folks clearly need “Bob” and his redeeming message of Slack.

County officials in Virginia have apparently violated the constitution by designating which religious leaders can deliver prayers before public meetings, according to the state’s American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU sent a letter Thursday to the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, which had limited opening prayers to ordained leaders of monotheistic religions.

“The First Amendment requires governing bodies to allow everyone the chance to deliver prayers before official meetings,” said the Rev.

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Results Of An Atheist Prayer Experiment

What happens when nonbelievers pray to God for 40 straight days in the hope that the Almighty will reveal Himself? The U.K.-based Premier Christian Radio organized just such an experiment, and, amazingly, two participants had religious awakenings, although nothing special happened to anyone else. Premier Christian Media writes:

Seventy one atheists and agnostics signed up to take part in the Atheist Prayer Experiment. Each person was asked to pray for a few minutes per day for forty days during September and October 2012. They were praying for God to reveal himself to them.

Of the 71 who signed up:

• 2 have reported that they now believe in God (Kendra and Kelly).

• 2 failed to take part in the experiment.

• 52 have said they did not receive any revelation of God’s existence through prayer. Some of these stopped praying at an early or later point in the experiment, or failed to pray on some days, and some prayed for the entire duration.

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Catholic Church’s Anti-Glacier Prayers ‘Worked Too Well’

Could this whole “global warming” thing which has wrought landscape change, weather disasters, and wildfires be the result of a 300-year-old prayer from the Vatican imploring God to melt the icy peaks? Via National Geographic:

About 50 people set out on foot from the Swiss village of Fiesch at dawn on July 31. “Glacier is ice, ice is water, water is life,” intoned priest Toni Wenger, before beseeching God to stop the glaciers high above them from melting.

By changing a few, crucial words in the liturgy, Father Wenger reversed a Catholic ritual that for 350 years had implored the heavens to push back the glaciers. The Vatican had approved the change as the effects of global warming became all too tangible in the Alps.

The people of devoutly Catholic Fiesch and Fieschertal have made the annual pilgrimage since 1674, when Europe was in the grip of the Little Ice Age.

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The Pray-O-Mat Booth Offers Instant Blessings

Created by German artist Oliver Sturm, the Gebetomat is a single-person structure modeled on a photo booth which offers hundreds of pre-recorded prayers in dozens of languages. These apparently have been popping up in Europe, most recently at the University of Manchester, where a Gebetomat was installed re-branded as a "Pray-O-Mat". Just insert 50 eurocents and pick a selection from Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or various indigenous faiths -- whatever you need. This seem to harken to a future in which the devout will turn to robots for their doses religion. No word on the possible creation of a curses-on-demand automated hexing booth:
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Atheist Girl In Rhode Island Faces Stream Of Death Threats

Jessica Ahlquist is a 16-year-old self-described nerd who has garnered nationwide attention after successfully suing to have a giant banner emblazoned with an official school prayer removed from the auditorium of her public high school in Cranston, Rhode Island. The response has demonstrated the limits of Christian love — she has basically become the villain of her entire city, with her state representative, Peter Palumbo, called Jessica an “evil little thing” on the radio, and a sample of the online outpouring of hatred from other Cranston residents can be seen on JesusFetusFajitaFishsticks:

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With $666,000 in Federal Research Money, Scientists Determined Prayer Could Not Heal AIDS

PrayerTrine Tsouderos reports in the Chicago Tribune:
Thanks to a $374,000 taxpayer-funded grant, we now know that inhaling lemon and lavender scents doesn't do a lot for our ability to heal a wound. With $666,000 in federal research money, scientists examined whether distant prayer could heal AIDS. It could not. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine also helped pay scientists to study whether squirting brewed coffee into someone's intestines can help treat pancreatic cancer (a $406,000 grant) and whether massage makes people with advanced cancer feel better ($1.25 million). The coffee enemas did not help. The massage did. NCCAM also has invested in studies of various forms of energy healing, including one based on the ideas of a self-described "healer, clairvoyant and medicine woman" who says her children inspired her to learn to read auras. The cost for that was $104,000.
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Rick Perry’s “Response” Prayer At Reliant Stadium

George W. Bush redux? In case you missed it, here is Texas Governor and possible next president Perry laying it on thick at his massive prayer meet, dubbed "The Response", on August 6 in Houston. He wants you to know that he has determined the cause of all of the United States' current economic, social, and political woes: "As a nation we have forgotten who made us, who blesses us."
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Atheist Group Sues to Block Texas Governor Rick Perry From Prayer Rally

Rick's GunMike Tolson writes in the Houston Chronicle:
A group that has already criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his involvement with a Christian prayer rally scheduled for Reliant Stadium next month went a step further Wednesday and filed a federal lawsuit in Houston to stop him from promoting it. The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims Perry's association with the "The Response: A Call to Prayer for a National in Crisis" breaches the separation of church and state. The complaint, filed in the Southern District on behalf of five named individuals who live in Houston, notes the plaintiffs are "nonbelievers who support the free exercise of religion, but strongly oppose the governmental establishment and endorsement of religion ...." The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring Perry's official involvement. A Perry spokesman said he won't back away from the event.
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Texas Governor Organizes Statewide Prayer To Jesus

National_Prayer_Day_Rick_Perry_governor.350w_263hWatch the batshit insanity unfold as Texas governor Rick Perry proclaims a statewide day of fasting and prayer to Jesus to solve “economic collapse, natural disaster, terrorism” and your “troubles paying your bills” -- all things that the governor says are "spiritual issues." It's dubbed The Response, and involves Texans simultaneously praying on August 6 so as to "make a sound that will be heard in the heavens," with a football stadium in Houston as the focal point. Also, it's kind of a response to New York's legalization of gay marriage, and other governors are invited:
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