Question for columnist Julie McDonald-Smith: So what should we teach children in the classroom about prayers?
That the Chinese don’t pray to God, yet have fewer gun murders than the Bible Belt? That Third-World people pray like mad, yet continue to live under tragic and crushing economic conditions, partly due to religious proscriptions of contraceptives? That during World War II whole nations begged God for help, but 50 million people were slaughtered anyway? That well-meaning religious people throughout history have “eliminated” whole populations of other well-meaning people for praying to a different God?
Talk about bullying.
Prayer: How to do nothing and still think you’re doing something. Prayer makes us feel better, but nothing in this world is accomplished through magical thinking. (Just ask the parents of critically ill children who refused modern medical treatment in favor of prayer.) We accomplish through action, through working together as a team, not by begging an imaginary superhero who very clearly throughout our history has been both woefully unresponsive and stone-deaf.