January 15, 2010

A matter of faith

I have to confess: I've mostly avoided news coverage of the Haitian earthquake. Human suffering on that scale wrenches my guts, especially since there is not one damn thing I can do for those people. I mean, yeah, I did my ten-dollar-text thing, and I hope y'all are doing the same.
Mobile donors can text “Haiti” to 90999 to send a ten dollar donation to the Red Cross.
Nonetheless, that gift feels like a futile gesture. What's $10 when a city is in ruins? Then, last night, from the back of my head...

Pray for them.

Not quite my grandma's voice but it might has well have been. I'm not much of a pray-er myself. (Speaking of futile gestures!) But it drives the point home why, despite my religious skepticism, I don't begrudge the faithful.

Faith offers comfort in the face of insurmountable sorrow. I get it. Sometimes I'm even vaguely jealous. So if you're into that sort of thing, do your thing.

Lots of religions (from all over the world) concur: prayers, spells, or rituals only work if those involved believe. And I keep hearing that the people of Haiti are asking for our prayers. So I say pray, chant, meditate -- like the angel Earl says in Saving Grace: "climb up a tree if it gets you closer to God." If enough people believe those actions have a positive impact, maybe they will.

Shout-out break -- I'm real glad this girl is praying.

But then, this crap:
Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson says Haiti has been "cursed" because of what he called a "pact with the devil" in its history. His spokesman said the Wednesday comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slave rebellion against French colonists in 1791.
I grew up with this joker. In those days it was, "pray that Reagan will get to appoint more conservative justices to the Supreme Court," and, "AIDS is God's curse on the homos and druggies." Then I learned that justices receive lifetime appointments, and suddenly realized he was praying for someone to die! I likewise couldn't believe his lack of compassion for sick people.

Oh, Brother Pat: just one of the extremist voices that drove me out of the flock. Don't even get me started on the subjugation of women, threats of damnation, or the Rapture.

Still, if I don't do faith, but respect those who do, is it too much to ask for the same from the faithful?

Hope I didn't get too deep today...


  1. I like that you got a little deep here Misty, and yes, I think we can all take the time to pray for those suffering in Haiti. God bless.

  2. Deep is good. Cathartic (sp?) even. Coming from someone with little respect for manmade religion but deep respect for the power of faith in goodness, I think prayer works wonders when offered in the proper state of humility.
    Very well said and that $10 will go far. That's about 2 cases of water for some very thirsty people. - Amen

  3. I am completely humbled that you linked me here...glad that I'm praying. I feel like everything I've been doing is futile too so it's hard to know what to think.

    I do think that religious extremists of any kind and people who speak their extreme beliefs drive so many people away from religion and faith. My approach is one of love. God loves all of us and we're all sinners...whether we do voodoo or rob banks or whatever. Who am I to judge is one person's sin is worse than another's?

    I just think that so many people miss the GOOD of faith because of PEOPLE who contaminate God's true intentions. That is really sad, I think. :(

  4. There was a little bake sale on campus to raise money to send for Haiti. They rattled off their 50 cent and dollar items to me. I told them I wanted a cupcake. It was small and dry and not pretty or fancy. This was like pre-spring break sorority girls trying to lose some pounds excuse for a cupcake. But I turned it into the best cupcake I have had in years by making it worth $10.


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