March 28, 2016

More Of A Chant

“If there is a god then he must really hate people.” Kurt Vonnegut

The world is full of thoughts and prayers again tonight. It seems to be the one thing everyone can do after a tragedy- ineffective as thoughts and prayers are in times like these, everyone in the world is quick to send out thoughts and prayers.

Thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers.

As a casual observer and as a person who has never uttered even a single prayer, they seem to me to be quite ineffective in creating peace, establishing justice, closing the widening gap between the haves and the have not or addressing any one of the million issues that are tearing our societies apart. One may even argue that it is the very nature of prayer that is forcing us into these disgusting cases of violence in the first place.

I refuse to send a prayer anywhere in the world tonight. I refuse to pray in any capacity. Ever. I will do my utmost to mediate, to hope for, to look within myself and seek solace, or work with my students or engage my family or talk to as many people as I can, or share my writing or find peace through song…I will do just about anything but pray and contribute to the madness that prayer has wrought on the world. I have no use for a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity, because clearly he isn’t listening, or he isn’t there or if he is there and he can hear then WTF?

Enough thoughts and prayers. Some lunatic who thought his prayers would be answered blew himself up killing 70 children so that they couldn’t pray any more. Is this where we are? Thousands of years of evolution? All of our art? Science? All we have become is another suicide religious attack and the rest of us bleating like sheep- thinking and praying.

I am tired of worrying if I will offend religious folk. Here is the deal- I find your religions, all of them, offensive. I find the idea of bombings and death and redemption and sin and sects and intolerance and thinking you have all the answers and that you are right and priests and mosques and thoughts and prayers offensive. You can argue that this is not what religion is all about, but the proof is in the bombings, in the wars, in the persecution, in the racism, in the death and destruction. For those of us standing on the outside, death and destruction is all religion has ever been about. I've seen little else.

Woah. That rant came out of nowhere, but it has been bubbling inside me all day long and I needed it in words and out of me. Ignore if it you must, but I needed to name my anger and frustration.

All I know is that I am thankful that I am able to live in a safe secular society that allows me to raise my kids without the overt violent influence of any religion. I know there are so many people who have been forcefully bound to god for generations…..ahhh….here I go again. Maybe it is time for a new topic.

I went for a run today. It has been so long since I ran, that I felt out of practice, tried and sluggish. It was really more of a walk, but it still felt good to be alone for an hour even if I walked for most of the time. My ankles are sore and I realised that things like running must be maintained and there is little room for slacking off.

In other news, I will be taking my blessed, gracious, privileged self for a six day beach vacation in Thailand tomorrow, during which time I will enjoy good food and affordable drink. Bonding time with my family, a reconnection to the ocean, and the ever so sweet sensation of toasted salty skin and post shower aloe vera lotion. I will stuff my face with Pad Thai, grilled corn and mango sticky rice as I watch the waves lap up on the beach. It is in those moments of quiet sandy reflection that I have come close to uttering anything resembling a prayer. And usually it is more of a chant that sounds like this…thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


  1. Such a great post, thank you for that.

  2. Hey, if Thatcher is here commenting, I'm in the right place- Yo, brother, come up to Strawberry sometime.

    Vonnegut is so Vonnegutly Vonnegut.

    Yeah, T's and P's are a cliche, words said so often they have lost meaning. Whether it's those, and if it is truly done in way more than uttering words, thoughts, meditations, maybe are all a way of acknowledging the pain of our flawed world.

    To me any group, religion, organization or sect that justifies, sanctifies, condones, or does the killing of another human being is false. One need not to have prayer or a deity to hold that human life has a sacredness of its own that should never be violated.