Tantrum Warehouse
Tact Free Since 2003

Stepford Christians

So I saw a weird thing today on the streets of Seattle. A prayer station. According to this article they have been around world wide for quite some time. But perhaps since this is the Northwest, a region that prides itself on not going to church, it just hadn't hit yet. Until now.

I have to confess I didn't really know what a prayer station was--I still don't. From what I saw on the street today it is a small red tent and a group of very annoying people wearing red smocks asking you if "there is anything I could pray for for you?" They actually remind me of Walmart greeters. Both in look, and in creepy brainwashed tone.

I honestly thought that a prayer station would be more like the Wayside Chapel, which has always struck me as a nice idea. I mean, I have never had the urgent need to stop by the side of the road to pray, but it is nice that they have the facilities to do so should the need arise. And I thought that a prayer station would be like a foot traffic version of that. Stop on your way to Starbucks and save your soul.

Sadly, it is nothing so cheesy as that. The station "ministers" are pushy in that way that only evagelicals can manage. They are so cheerful as they tell you you are headed straight to hell. They do their best to bully you into "giving your life to Christ."

They circled this one elderly woman to pray for her new hip to mend. That really is a nice thing to do. And I can't imagine that it does any harm. But I do not understand this sort of God as a Santa Claus image that people have.

These people have the idea that if they pray hard enough that God will provide anything they want or need to them.

Now change the word God to cabbage and you will see why I am scratching my head at this.

I personally don't think that God listens to prayers at the end of his day, like one giant worldwide answering message. I don't think he is thinking, "Well I would get AB that promotion that she wants but she just has not prayed enough."

That sort of image of God seems to encourage people to disengage from their lives. Why bother working or trying or caring if the only thing that matters is the will of some supreme being? It also places blame on people for their misfortunes. If you had prayed harder you would never have gotten cancer.

Bad things happen to good people all the time. Life is not fair. And having a bunch of scary Stepford looking teenagers wearing very unflattering red smocks circle around me and chant is not going to change that.

And if one more of them tells me that I am dooming myself to a lifetime of fire and brimestone because I say, "No thank you, I do not need any prayers today," I am going to kick some serious crazy Christian ass.

5:26 p.m. :: comment ::
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