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Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Dangers of Prayer

Posted by on March 30 at 16:10 PM

They said prayer was good for you. They were wrong. From Reuters:

A study of more than 1,800 patients who underwent heart bypass surgery has failed to show that prayers specially organized for their recovery had any impact, researchers said on Thursday.

In fact, the study found some of the patients who knew they were being prayed for did worse than others who were only told they might be prayed for—though those who did the study said they could not explain why.

(Tell that to the folks at my new favorite site, It’s won my heart with goofy arguments like this: “The secular left loves to quote Jefferson when it wants to promote the so-called ‘wall of separation’ between church and state. The problem with their argument is that Jefferson had nothing to do with drafting the Constitution. Jefferson was in France when the document was written and ratified by the states. It doesn’t matter what Jefferson had to say.”)

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Everyone knows religion is rot. So why did The Stranger go to that stupid "Prayer Vigil" this weekend?

The Times and the P-I covered it like it was an important community event.

Will you please write an article about what a waste of time the prayer vigil was?

was "in France" Jefferson's code word for in the barn shaggin' slave girls?

Jessica, your comment manages to be both ignorant and callous. Hooray for you.

I thought it was a memorial vigil (i.e. prayer optional; mourn as you please).

FWIW, neither did Jesus help write the Constitution. Like Jefferson, he was in France the whole time.

I guess it doesn't matter to the redstaters that the establishment clause is in the First Amendment, not in the original Constitution. Dumbasses.

This blogger refers to something about "activist judges" thinking they know more than the founding fathers what the constitution means. We can't ask the founding fathers what the constitution means because they're fucking DEAD. I guess only blogging red-state goobers know what the founding fathers meant, huh? Or what Jesus would do?

Establishment Clause: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ... Dumbass that i am, i see nothing in the Constitution's 1st Amendment or elsewhere about a wall of separation between church & state. Jefferson confected that wall in a personal letter 15 years after the Constitution was ratified.

Writers of the Constitution wanted only to prevent big government from building a state mandated religion such as the Church of England. The Constitution is silent on school prayer, parochial schools, or faith-based subsidies to the Church of Elvis or the First Church of George Herbert Walker Christ. President Grant's Peace Policy, 100 years after the Constitution, was channelled through Christian denominations. (Jefferson, as noted, was silent on the writing of the Establishment Clause because he was being French with Dusky Sally. As for me, i wouldn't want to be part of any Establishment Clause that would have someone like me for a member.)


No argument from me on the basic intent of the First Amendment, and if some elements of the faith-based community could accept the idea that the Establishment Clause=no favoritism on the government's part when it comes to religious expression, things would be mostly hunky-dory (even for a Strong Atheist such as myself).

But let's face facts: some religions, if given the opportunity, would impose their particular viewpoint on everyone, at the exclusion of all other viewpoints, and the people who wrote the Bill of Rights feared THAT just as much as they did the idea of a state-sanctioned religion.

They'd seen the results of of theocratic rule, both in the form of church run states AND state run churches, and decided neither was acceptible.

August Mr. Comte: No argument from me about a theocracy-free zone, but the possibility of theocracy in latter-day America is risibly remote. As an unintended consequence of 1st Amendment ambiguity, there is an exaggerated tendency to purge religious expression from public life. Once shunned, the catechisms & observances of strong atheism now have almost theocratic power in defining the terms of debate about church & state. As for a separation of Frank Church & state, mission accomplished.

If prayer is useless, how does one explain John of God in Brazil? He has healed over 100,000 people over a several year span using prayer and traditional spiritual healing. He has healed AIDS, cancer, MS, etc., all the diseases our modern medicine cannot. He is regularly recorded and taped by puzzled Western doctors. He says God does the healing, not him.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

OH -- and he does it all for FREE!

"You CANNOT ... petition the Lord ... with prayer!" - Jim Morrison

The previous post needs an honest answer. Has anyone here successfully petitioned the Lord or the Goddess with intercessory prayer?

And tying up Luce Enz about the Constitution, OTLA is correct. We don't know the final answer to what the Fathers meant in 1787, and we should demand a paternity test. We don't totally know what Thomas Jefferson meant in his 1802 rap to the Danbury Baptists about a wall of separation. He do know this: the Constitution is whatever Ruth Buzzi Ginzberg & 8 old men in long black dresses say it is.

The Stranger hates Christians and especially Christian prayer. Please go to one of the boring mainstream newspapers with your Christianity.

For the record, I don't hate Christians qua Christians but I do despise some of the contemporary cultural bullshit that gets smuggled into Christianity and then re-branded as holy and Biblical.

Christians do smuggle contemporary cultural bullshit into their cult. And do absurd things "in the name of God"

You just don't see the Jews bringing that level of contemporay cultural bullshit into their religion, and they've never done the kinds of things "in the name of God" that the Christians have.

We're lucky to have an anti-Christian publication in our town, it's a nasty cult. Please don't go soft on the Christians. It's good policy to hate all Christians and not get tricked into their bullshit, Stranger readers have come to expect that.

In future, when referring to studies done in the medical literature, it is probably a good idea to include the relevent Journal. The Journal in which the above study was published was the AHJ (American Heart Journal). This is important if someone wants to read the original article and assess the methodologies directly, as opposed to third hand. Almost all English language scientific literature abstracts can be accessed on the PubMed website.

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