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DADDY KNOWS - A Rant Addressed

Yesterday, I posted a personal rant. It struck several chords. The portion most referenced was the small section on prayer.  


"While we're at it, stop flippantly telling the religious to pray. Yes. Prayer works. We believe that and practice it. However, prayer works in concert with effort. Stop telling the marginalized to pray themselves to a better place or to wait for Glory. " 


I received both favorable and disappointed comments/messages regarding this statement. Today, I'll address one portion of an involved post. 


Ever since I could think logically, my father encouraged me to debate him. His skill-building was part of his plan to grow a fierce woman. Once in elementary school, I supported my argument with a Bible verse. Daddy warned me to be careful. He admonished me not to use The Good Book to repress, sovereign over, nor shame my opposition. He gave me historical examples of that cruelty. He quoted verses and demonstrated how different sides of a fight used the same verse to prove their righteousness. He identified countries that waged war in the name of religion and then used adherence to religion to maintain an underclass. Daddy implored that I use logic, science, and objective material to convince people of the merits of my argument. I heard that religion and God are personal and not weapons of subjugation. The conversation ended with him suggesting that whether, as an adult, I decide to practice organized religion or even be Christian, I should read the Bible in order, cover to cover. He proclaimed that the Bible is great literature, something his young reader could appreciate. It's also inspirational if you're open to that. See how he gave me a choice? However, he was emphatic that I did not use the Bible or religion to control. Daddy won that debate. 

This does not disparage the admirable work of theologians, formal faith leaders, and deacons. The above, who are my F.B. friends, never engage in the aforementioned.


It's regular folk who are desperate to elevate themselves above others who stoop to trumping humans with religion. The prayer part of my rant said stop doing that. 


There are as many ways to approach organized religion as individuals who consider the issue. I choose to marry my ancestors' spirituality with the Christian faith. I'm a believer but do not require that of others. I pray, not out of habit but because I have deep faith. I believe in the power of prayer. I also know that change doesn't spontaneously occur. Revolutions require activism. In yesterday's quote, my point was that observers must stop telling activists how to assert themselves. Don't refrain from assuming that what you see in a twenty-second video clip is the only part of what is likely a complex strategy. Don't be arrogant enough to think that the alternative you prefer is better, isn't happening, or hasn't been proven ineffective. Talk to someone involved.  


The believer in me objects to using religion in ways my father warned against. I object to telling children of God to accept less than they deserve and preaching that if they pray harder, life will change—if they're worthy of change. The conclusion is that if it doesn't change, they're undeserving and, thus, should remain oppressed.  


I believe in praying for change and respecting God in general. I also know that it's our duty to pray for guidance, tools, and strategy. If God instructs us to boycott corporations, write essays, or wander in the wilderness, then we may use our free will to decide whether to do such. I don't know any just resistance that succeeded without earthly effort. An effort that was criticized in the present and praised in hindsight. 

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