[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.

71 thoughts on “[cancer|religion] Me and prayer

  1. homa_bird says:

    Big diff between religion and spirituality, all in all I feel you are a very spiritual person, because primarily, you are not a hypocrite. You are honest about your beliefs. That’s a pure and deep spiritual stance, right there. Religious hypocrisy is pretty abominable imo, and the majority of crimes against humanity personal, national, all ways to Sunday, come from religious hypocrisy. When one accepts without question or integrity or heart the dogma, rituals, practices and demands of a religion, for selfish or cowardly or lazy reasons, game over; abominations and cruelty and mayhem ensue. No Mr. Lake, imho a life lived with honesty and integrity and daily grappling with raw self is a deeply spiritual life, and the best one possible.

    And forgive me now if I, in obnoxious defense of a personal belief, do throw a bit of science in: namely the 1st immutable law of thermodynamics: energy can be changed and rearranged but never destroyed. I do, therefore, and for more than just scientific reasons, believe in a soul. Your physical body of course goes to re-energize and sustain at numerous other levels (no matter how it is dispensed with) but the energy of hopes, dreams, efforts, love, hate, yearning, appetite etc etc, where does that (unseen) energy go? Where does your beautiful love for the Child go? I believe we are immortal, we take our souls with us on another, and another round of deepened expression and illumination. Nothing is wasted. My belief, good for me. But seriously, Jay Lake reborn as? (I read in a post long ago you were not able to sit through Cloud Atlas… but anyways) Wonderful thought, yes? I see you as someone’s beloved child, for starters. It just. makes. so. much. sense.

  2. Stevo Darkly says:

    Very kindly and sensitively put. It is appreciated.

    A lesser soul under stress might be tempted (and forgiven) to be less understanding of others’ POV, but in this you are the picture of grace.

  3. Pingback: 7@11

Comments are closed.