Most awesome Unitarian blogger PeaceBang wrote a fabulous and thoughtful post in response to the responses to my response to the person who wrote in annoyed that a born-again co-worker says "I'll pray for you." The B.A.C.W. isn't praying for the letter-writer to be saved, you understand--according to the letter, she only says this "any time she hears I'm having a problem."
Which just isn't a big deal, which is what I said. If she were praying for conversion, that would be a different matter, and Rev. PeaceBang pulls out her theological chops quite nicely on that issue:
By all means, tell those who are praying for you to "find Jesus" that you don't appreciate those sentiments, and that you hope they will grow in faith enough to stop praying in public like the hypocrites Jesus derided in Matthew 6:5.
But praying for your sprained ankle to get better? Who's that hurting? As one of my friends, who himself is a fairly militant atheist of the Dawkins variety, put it, "If someone says they'll pray for you every time you complain to them about something, stop whining to them! It's a win-win all around."
Many of the negative letters I received were far less civil than those printed in the Globe. A number of them referred to the B.A.C.W.'s activity as "religious harassment," suggesting an extreme lack of perspective and ignorance of history. Several suggested that the letter-writer should take the case to the company's human-resources department, an action that has all the maturity of "Mom! Make him quit looking at me!" to it. And my all-time favorite, from a man who referred to religion as a "superstitious and hateful activity" (unlike his own reasoned and compassionate attitude, presumably), wrote this (spelling and punctuation corrected from the original):
May every Mormon mercenary out to earn his angel wings team up with every Moonie passing out flowers, every Muslim looking to convert Christians, every Jehovah's Witness looking to stuff a Watchtower down your throat, converge on your home for a good old-fashioned religious save-Robin-Abrahams's-[expletive] revival.
Clearly, this man knows nothing of the psychology of writers. There's not a religious system in the world that I find so noxious that I wouldn't welcome the chance to discuss it as a distraction from working.
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