Jay Lake: Writer

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[Cancer, Religion]

[cancer|religion] Me and prayer

As anyone who’s read my blog for more than about twelve minutes knows, I am a staunch atheist. One might even say raving. This is both a personal stance and cultural-political stance. No one’s interests, least of all those of the faithful, are served by intruding religion into public policy, let alone the law. In such a scenario, whichever faith serves as the template diminishes all the others. I’m fairly certain, for example, that those many conservative Christian advocates of school prayer would be horrified if the prayers were Islamic. Which is pretty much how those of us who aren’t Christian feel about Christian prayer in schools and other public settings.

That being said, I have an absolute respect for the role of religion in the private life of every individual, whatever their faith (or lack thereof), citizenship, place of residence and what have you. So when a friend tells me they pray, I respect what prayer means to them and for them.

When a friend tells me they pray for me and my cancer, I respect that as well. That isn’t a statement about my relationship with faith. That’s a statement about their relationship with faith.

I’m saying this because people on Facebook and in my blog comments fairly often tell me they’re praying for me, and somewhat less often but still frequently apologize for that. Please, pray if your spirit is so moved. I don’t have to believe in your faith. It’s enough for me that you do.

And to those who do pray for me, thank you.

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