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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dear Fellow Atheists

posted by on October 22 at 13:23 PM

Do you think you might be reduced to prayer, secret, silent, or otherwise, on behalf of an Obama victory on election night?

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Posted by Dan Savage | October 22, 2008 1:30 PM

nope. i have no use for gods who help elect palins.

Posted by SeMe | October 22, 2008 1:32 PM

There's nothing contradictory about an atheist praying.

Posted by mackro mackro | October 22, 2008 1:32 PM

No; could there be anything more retarded than begging an invisible imaginary being to intervene on behalf of an election? It's like wishing on a star or something as a little kid for a present you really really want Santa to bring you.

Besides, Obama's already won. It's over before the votes are even counted. Talk about wasted prayers; it would be like begging God to let Reagan somehow defeat that political titan Carter in 1980...

Posted by since you asked | October 22, 2008 1:32 PM

no, but i will maintain FAITH in my fellow americans that they'll do the right thing, having now exhausted almost all other options.


Posted by diggum | October 22, 2008 1:32 PM

I'd like to believe I have the strength of my convictions.

Posted by kid icarus | October 22, 2008 1:36 PM

Well you certainly wouldn't have to pray to god.

Posted by the Uke | October 22, 2008 1:37 PM


(This question is also valid for agnostics, too.)

Posted by w7ngman | October 22, 2008 1:37 PM


Posted by Dan Savage | October 22, 2008 1:37 PM

Ativan's the same thing as prayer, right?

Posted by josiethefiend | October 22, 2008 1:38 PM


Posted by Sirkowski | October 22, 2008 1:38 PM

Nope--I'll be volunteering in Nevada for Obama on election night, hopefully I'll be too busy to have time to pray.

Posted by Lesley | October 22, 2008 1:40 PM

No. But I may cross my fingers for good luck.

Posted by Matthew | October 22, 2008 1:42 PM

Nope. It's the same as praying for the outcome of a football game.

I'm in Ohio, and I already voted. I'll do what I can to get out the vote, and then get me some junk food and booze and watch our greatest spectator sport.

Posted by Nora | October 22, 2008 1:42 PM

I won't be praying, but I will be hoping and crossing my fingers and knocking wood and throwing salt over my shoulder . . .

Posted by Levislade | October 22, 2008 1:43 PM

That would be dumb.

Posted by Don't you think he looks tired? | October 22, 2008 1:45 PM

God, no!

Posted by Chris B | October 22, 2008 1:45 PM

Absolutely not.

I will vote, write for the Internet about the election, work for Obama, give a little money...I will NOT waste any time on things that don't matter.

Posted by Laurie Mann | October 22, 2008 1:45 PM

Definitely not.

Posted by Tiffany | October 22, 2008 1:51 PM

is sacrificing virgin republicans praying?

Posted by randy beaver | October 22, 2008 1:53 PM

No. But there will be much drinking!

Posted by what? | October 22, 2008 1:56 PM

I may consciously redirect some of my anxious, super-stressing mental energy as fuel for the belief that he'll win. Which, when you think about, is pretty much the same as praying, only without the delusion that it does any good.

Posted by An agnostic weighs in | October 22, 2008 1:58 PM

Praying/Meditation is good for focusing your thinking, but not for affecting external events.

So no, I will not.

Posted by Jeremy from Seattle | October 22, 2008 1:58 PM

no indeed.

whiskey is my only deity and it shall flow forth copiously on november 4th regardless of the outcome.

Posted by ingo | October 22, 2008 1:59 PM

No way.
Like any moral atheist I will strive to set a good example by my vote, will have a modicum of faith in my fellow humans to do the right thing, and will deal with the consequences if they fail to.

Posted by Gurldoggie | October 22, 2008 2:00 PM

No, but I do plan on drinking heavily and occasionally sneaking a furtive peek at the electoral map.

Posted by Geni | October 22, 2008 2:01 PM

The only praying I will be doing will be at the porcelin alter if McCain somehow pulls off a victory...

Posted by carrma | October 22, 2008 2:01 PM


But how about I sacrifice a chicken, put on a bear skin and perform a magic dance?. That'd be less stupid. ("oh lighten up, you filthy heathens") ^_^

Posted by Adrael | October 22, 2008 2:02 PM

Perhaps you are unclear on what "atheist" means. There isn't much point attempting to bother an imaginary sky fairy.

Posted by Sean | October 22, 2008 2:03 PM

(This question is MORE valid for agnostics, hypocritical for an atheist to even think about)

Posted by cochise. | October 22, 2008 2:06 PM

I'm not sure I'd be listened to.

Posted by monkey | October 22, 2008 2:07 PM

Probably not.

Posted by Parsnip | October 22, 2008 2:12 PM

Absolutely not.

Posted by Max Bell | October 22, 2008 2:12 PM

I may light some incense in front of my cheap little statue of Apollo the night before, as I do for soccer games. A little superstition calms me down.

Posted by Abby | October 22, 2008 2:13 PM

@Adrael: Nice Yahtzee reference. I giggled.

There might be some "Oh my God"s and "Please please please let this turn out okay", but I'm talking to myself, 'cause I'm the only one here.

Posted by snoozebar | October 22, 2008 2:17 PM

There are no atheists in foxholes!

Naw, I'll be considering the best options if the election is stolen. The current front-runner is "general strike." Start saving up your essential foodstuffs!

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 22, 2008 2:17 PM

No. But I might sin extra hard.

Posted by Superfrankenstein | October 22, 2008 2:19 PM

I'm totally gonna pray for an Obama win. Bigtime. I'm going to be saying a special individualized prayer on Election Day to every last one of those dudes--Buddha, God, Allah, Kali, Mary, Santa, etc., etc.

I'm an atheist, but with something this important, I figure it doesn't hurt to hedge my bets.

Posted by Anne | October 22, 2008 2:20 PM

Hell yes. I know it won't help, but at least it can't hurt, either; and I won't be able to help myself anyway. Childhood habits die hard or not at all.

It's less praying and more just simple repetition. ... please please please please please please, please, please, please ... To help from going insane.

Posted by Peggy G. | October 22, 2008 2:20 PM

I will be praying to Allah, just like Obama.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 22, 2008 2:24 PM

If by "pray" you mean "find a Republican and punch him/her in the face" then yes, I plan on doing lots o' praying on election night.

Posted by Hernandez | October 22, 2008 2:25 PM

Hell no.

My beliefs aside, consider the contingencies:

1. (most likely) God does not exist - no point in praying

2. God supports McCain/Palin - praying for Obama to win would in theory increase chances of going to hell. However, if such a god exists, I am already going to hell for having premarital sex and endorsing/participating in gay weddings. No point in praying.

3. God supports Obama/Biden - God clearly has more influence than my solitary vote in a red state (Kentucky). No point in praying.

4. God is undecided - God cannot tell the difference between chicken and a plate of shit with bits of glass in it. God is an idiot. No point in praying.


Posted by Helena | October 22, 2008 2:28 PM

I am an atheist but in the Mutant Message Down Under vein, I submit to Jim Morrison that in fact You CAN Petition the Lord with Prayer!!!!!

PLEASE let the best outcome befall us!

Posted by hillpagan | October 22, 2008 2:31 PM

It seems to me the only prayer worth giving is one of thanks.

Posted by Vince | October 22, 2008 2:31 PM

I'll just be holding my breath and pacing...close enough? (maybe even drink if things get at all close)

Posted by Carry | October 22, 2008 2:32 PM

No. I'll either work the phone banks or send more money. Prayer is just lazy.

Posted by Miss Poppy Hussein Dixon | October 22, 2008 2:33 PM

Obama's got it. My prayers are for Prop. 1

Posted by Andrew | October 22, 2008 2:34 PM


Posted by Shilo Urban | October 22, 2008 2:35 PM


Posted by N | October 22, 2008 2:35 PM

who would you pray TO, yourself?

Posted by jason | October 22, 2008 2:40 PM

prayer shmayer

Posted by 4f...sake | October 22, 2008 2:40 PM

the only thing for which i pray is that humans may wake from their infantile superstitions in time to save ourselves from the dark night of oblivion.

Posted by Lee | October 22, 2008 2:47 PM

I'm sure it will be like every other Atheist Sunday I have. I'm not sure if it's true prayer.

"Come on... Come on... You motherfuckers, come on... God Damnit the Vikings suck!"

Posted by ygduf | October 22, 2008 2:50 PM

Oh hell yeah. Been praying about this election for some time now anyway... Why should I stop on the 4th? (Anyone care to predict how long they'll take to count the hanging chads or whatever this time around - a week? Two? Three?)

And: I don't consider myself being "reduced" to prayer. It's more like "rising" to it.

Posted by merry | October 22, 2008 2:55 PM

Yes, Alhamdulillah.

Posted by A | October 22, 2008 2:59 PM

I think I shall be praying to the sidewalk water fountain at Broadway and John. Unlike god, it actually exists and can be touched (not that I would, ewwww).

Posted by Q*bert H. Humphrey | October 22, 2008 3:04 PM

@snoozebar: Nice. I wasn't expecting that somebody would get it. +1 internets for you.

Also, this week's review just came out, in case you haven't watched it already. =P

Posted by Adrael | October 22, 2008 3:04 PM

No need. Just keep working/fighting up until the balloting is done. Then work/fight to verify the votes.

That's more useful than praying.

Posted by CMR | October 22, 2008 3:10 PM

What do you expect, that some magical version of Santa Claus in the sky is going to swoop down and influence the election results just because you asked for it? That's retarded. Either commit to being an atheist and reject superstitious nonsense or go hold hands with the Antioch Bible Church crowd at their election night pray-in.

Posted by Greg | October 22, 2008 3:12 PM


Posted by idaho | October 22, 2008 3:18 PM

@20: You think you can find virgin Republicans? It would certainly be worth trying. If it doesn't work, well, at least there will be 7 fewer Republicans.

Posted by idaho | October 22, 2008 3:20 PM

Upon an Obama victory, I will shout HALLELUJAH! to the gods of malt & hops.

Posted by blackhook | October 22, 2008 3:28 PM

do unfocused, "begging thoughts" count as prayer?

Posted by cranky | October 22, 2008 3:36 PM

Being a cultural Catholic, if not in actual belief, I believe I might be reduced to prayer on election night asking for Obama to win. Maybe it's just habit. If not to God, then to any random deity in hopes that someone or something might be listening. That may contradict my atheism, but so be it.

Posted by Betsy | October 22, 2008 3:37 PM

I'm agnostic, but I'll be secretly praying to God, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, and any Genie I can find in a bottle. We need all the help we can get

Posted by Ann | October 22, 2008 3:43 PM

@53: OMG I just laughed soooo hard.


Not gonna pray, but gonna drink and cringe. Drink and cringe. TheN maybe get pissed or excited. Just like watching any sports event. ;p

If he wins, I know I am going to cry. Damnit.

Posted by Original Monique | October 22, 2008 3:45 PM

Praying no, willing it to be so, yes.

Posted by Sdizzle | October 22, 2008 3:52 PM

If by 'pray' you mean 'get high and spend way too much time analyzing up-to-the minute poll numbers and breaking stories,' the answer is YES.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 22, 2008 3:55 PM

Jesus Christ! Goddamnit! Okay, I'm done with praying!

To hold on to what miniscule amount of sanity we all have left, here are my suggestions: just get stoned and vote for what we know is right (well, smoke AFTER voting, we don't want any stupid mistakes!)-calm down-meditate on life and shit-smoke some more, and may as well drink too-listen to some kick-ass music-try not to hold our breath-and get ready, for whatever may happen!

If you are like me, you sway between total conviction that Obama will win, to abject horror that at the last minute McCain will win.

I want to believe in my fellow people, but we see and hear about so many total idiots every day that it is very hard to keep thinking that good will prevail!

I have some Republican family members (our curse), and here is an example of their stupidity. "I had lunch with Sarah Palin at a Republican function in Alaska once-she is so sweet and nice-she will totally make a great vice president!"

I had no idea that the perception of someone being sweet and nice was a qualification for vice president!

I'm trying not to be negative, but just sayin!

Posted by DZ | October 22, 2008 3:59 PM

I do not believe in a creator/ omnipotent/ omniscient God, but I do believe in the existence of a spiritual entity or entities that can help us in some ways and give us information through certain oracles. I have found that when I need an answer to a vexing question with only two possible answers it works to ask the spirits, designate which answer is to be indicated by heads and which by tails, and flip a coin. Because I know that coins are normally random I typically repeat the process for confirmation- and this has never once resulted in a reversal of the given answer. When dealing with more complicated questions I recommend the I Ching.

I am not sure of whether prayers are efficacious, but they can't hurt.

Posted by east coaster | October 22, 2008 4:05 PM

Don't pray... VOTE!
Nothing fails like prayer.
rather be doing something productive than wishing at the ceiling for things.

Posted by Melissa | October 22, 2008 4:13 PM

I'm going to pray, and also throw money at it ahead of time.

Posted by Ariel | October 22, 2008 4:22 PM

Barrack will win.
This atheist is praying for God to smote the violent kooks for the next eight years and forever. I want to start seeing some lightning bolts engaged in some choice smoting at Palin rallies. I wanna see crispy smoking confederate flags and exploded KKKers. I want deadly poisonous frogs to rain down on "Obama is a Muslim" t-shirts. I want pillars of salt and swarms of locusts and teeth for teeth and eyes for eyes. I'm praying for God to go all Old Testament on the haters and make them all too scared to leave their fortified bunkers.

I will totally become a Believer if this happens.

Posted by city_kitty | October 22, 2008 4:33 PM

I have a signed peice of paper somewhere saying that if Obama is sworn in as president, I'll start believing in God.


Posted by Woodbun | October 22, 2008 4:34 PM

Hell yes.

Posted by AK | October 22, 2008 5:01 PM

I say go for it. I'm dyed in the wool atheist, but atheism is not a belief. it is a lck thereof. hence, we have no limitations with what we can and cannot do in the realm of faith. should we feel like getting all Catholic somedays, or Buddhist, we can. there is nothing threatening us with eternal damnation for straying from atheism. this is why I never got people who are atheists yet abstain from phrases such as "I swear to God", "OMG", etc. those phrases still serve a purpose and are a useful tool to express oneself. there's better activities you can be doing than policing your language.

prayer above all things shows positive feeling and a gesture of goodwill. as someone else said, it can never hurt. it shown that it can help, even if the extent of it's help is dubious. it would be better served for our outlook (and stomach lining) for all of us to make positive proclaimtions of things we hope to be true, rather than sabotaging ourselves with doubt.

Posted by another Lee | October 22, 2008 5:08 PM

I used to be an atheist, until McCain picked Sarah Palin. It was then that I realized there IS a God, and She is a Democrat.

Posted by elenchos | October 22, 2008 5:25 PM

I only pray to the aliens, and only because Gary Numan wrote a cool song about it.

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | October 22, 2008 6:00 PM

I won't pray, but I do intend to unleash all of my Aspergers/OCD/Tourettes rocking, clapping, snapping, hooting, pacing, and explosive swearing tendencies. I'll try to do this at home.

Posted by JK | October 22, 2008 6:19 PM

Sure, with the same levity that I wish for a winning lotto ticket.

Posted by anonymous | October 22, 2008 6:26 PM

What? Why?

Posted by Cate | October 22, 2008 9:35 PM

In my own way, yes. But I'm more on the humanist side of the spectrum.

Posted by Glasses | October 23, 2008 12:26 AM

No. I only talk to god during sex. Unless Obama or his lovely wife is available for a bit of election-night tension-release. . . no . . . no election-related piety from me.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | October 23, 2008 7:04 AM

Yes. I will be praying to everyone, from Jesus to the gods from Terry Pratchett books. I will also be drinking heavily. Democrats Abroad!

Posted by MK | October 23, 2008 8:06 AM

I'm going to wish on a Leprechaun's gold!

Posted by Baxter | October 23, 2008 9:08 AM

no way, even for Obama I won't sacrifice my convictions. On the other hand, can I do a good weather dance????

Posted by gloria | October 23, 2008 2:28 PM

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