Praying Can’t Hurt

I have heard this said many times by different people, both moderately and very religious. Even as an atheist, I used to agree. Its a nice gesture, no different then saying “you are in my thoughts“.

You hear it all the time, whenever something bad happens somewhere in the world. The religious send their prayers. Both regular and high profile people alike, are in solidarity in their prayers. And its not just for big events. People pray for friends and relatives for all sorts of reasons. In my travels around internet religious debates as an atheist, I have been told “I will pray for you” more times then I can count. And im sure most people have had similar experiences.

For the longest of time, I looked at it as just a kind gesture. Somewhat silly, but none the less harmless.

But is prayer REALLY harmless? Yes. And No.

There is nothing harmful about saying a prayer for personal comfort. The action in itself is not destructive.

But the problem comes in the mindset of the people who make the prayer. It is very easy to become reliant on an answered prayer, or to put to much faith in a prayers usefulness. And of course, there is the issue of the arrogance one can show with their  prayers.

First of all, for prospective, I think prayer is a useless and silly gesture. Just to be clear.

When it comes to the “arrogance” aspect, I reflect back to my forum cruising days. Theists telling me that I was  in their prayers, I used to think of as a nice gesture. But later , I begun to find this as somewhat arrogant, and of course, useless.

Lets consider the reasoning for the prayer.

I live in the western world, I do not have all that many trials and troubles that I can speak of. I have more mental and emotional  baggage then an Air Canada flight to Hawaii, but I am not starving or living life in fear. So apparently, I am just worthy because of my NON faith.

Millions in the world, have much bigger problems, in the NOW. People home and abroad are starving, growing up in bad conditions, or otherwise living lives of personal hell. Do they not seem more worthy of prayer?

Which brings me to the next point, praying for the sick/poor/homeless/victims of a disaster or other disadvantaged people. The common practice is to send prayers out, put faith in the almighty one of there choosing to help the people in need. I can understand this more when it comes to the less fortunate (both because they have less money to give, and they tend to be undereducated or otherwise know nothing else), but not so much for more high stature names. Royals, celebrities, athletes. People that you know rake in the millions and billions.

Though I am not against the act of praying, I raise an eyebrow when that is the ONLY action taken from the said individual. Granted, it does depend on how much disposable income you have. But if you have the means, and you want to REALLY help whatever your chosen cause is, don’t just pray.

Prayer does not feed, dress or put the homeless into affordable housing. Prayer does not feed starving people and children, nor does it solve the many injustices perpetrated all over the world. And it certainly WILL NOT solve many of humanity’s big impending problems (climate change, resource depletion in an overpopulated world ect).

It is for this reason, that I do not condone prayer. The act in itself is relatively harmless, assuming it is out of genuine concern (and not arrogance). But the last thing we need as a species right now, is a reliance on an answered prayer to solve all of our problems. Because the only answer we will get, is extinction.

Prayers and thoughts may be comforting, but its actions that move mountains.

Real Men Don’t Hit Women – Double Standards

Real Men Don't Hit Women - Double Standards

You may have seen this (and memes like it) going around your favorite social media site or where ever. I understand the reasoning, to condemn the violence against women. It is a worthy cause.

But I disagree with THIS particular meme, as it sets up a potential double standard. An unspoken one that goes with this, is the false assumption that the male will always be the instigator of violence.

Abuse is never right. And I know that since males tend to be the more dominant ones in the relationship, they are more likley to be abusive then the reverse. But this is not an absolute rule.

Though largely unheard (partly BECAUSE of this double standard!), females can be abusive to males. These little meme sends a message that, no matter what, a women is sacred, and should never be hit.

Frankly, BS.

Self defense is justified in any situation of abuse.

Its time to get rid of this double standard, and the everlasting stigmas (eg: a man who is abused by a women is weak) that just perpetuate this form of abuse further.

Abuse in ANY form, is terrible. If you are favoring one form of abuse, but willfully ignoring another because of bias, you are not helping the situation.

End of discussion.

Abuse

In this entry, I will tackle any issue that gets a fair share of air time, but not from an angle that you are used to.

We all have heard of cases of abuse in terms of husbands against wives, boyfriends against girlfriends etc (domestic/dating violence). This form of abuse is by far the most prevalent, so it only makes sense that it gets the most attention. But there is a fairly small minority, yet none the less an existent minority, which is MALE victims of abuse.

Female vs Male violence is rare, for relatively obvious reasons. Men are, for the most part, stronger than women, so, therefore, are more often than not the aggressors in a violent situation. For this reason, men are responsible for sexually assaulting women far more than they are for men.

But no matter how rare, sexual assault IS sexual assault. But male victims are almost never treated equally (or for that matter, taken as seriously) as female victims.

For one, a male caught in an abusive relationship with a female, may keep quiet, due to the fear of the authorities (and people in general), not taking them seriously, and/or considering them weak. And when it comes to female vs male victims of sexual assault, males may be inclined to stay quiet, because the whole thing may be thought of as a joke, something funny.

The moral of the post is, though male vs female abuse may make up the MAJORITY of the cases, do not assume that only males are capable of such crimes as domestic violence or sexual assault. Male victims of sexual assault are NOT a joke, and male victims of domestic violence are NOT pathetic, or weak.

If we are to ever hope to help victims of violence, we must not exclude some, based only on their gender.