On the subject of "Thoughts and prayers"

Disclaimer:  Many Christians do not fit this mold.  However, in my experience the vast majority American conservatives do. This is addressed to the second group. UPDATED: Feb 19, 2018

To you so-called Christians (and politicians who pretend to be), to all those who answered the events of last week by asking all of us to pray as if this was our only option in dealing with the fear, hate and violence that is currently threatening the lives of many (and the piece of mind of all of us) To those who do pray about the school shootings, the non-school shootings, the impending wars with foreign powers, and the changing environment of our planet, and ALL things that you scare you so much that you sit back and put them in God’s hands, if that is all you have to offer, then let’s start at the very beginning:

Genesis 1:28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Dominion is an interesting word, google it and find it means:

1. sovereignty; control.
"man's attempt to establish dominion over nature"
synonyms: supremacy, ascendancy, dominance, domination, superiority, predominance, preeminence, hegemony, authority, mastery, control, command, power, sway, rule, government, jurisdiction, sovereignty, suzerainty
"at the time the Spartans had dominion over Athens"

If this passage and definition are to be believed, it follows that power to impact the trajectory of all things on earth was given to you, the Christian.  With this “gift” from God, you became responsible for the earth and all its living inhabitants. God gave you sovereignty, so he isn’t going to interfere. He gave the responsibility of breaking and fixing all things to you. Therefore it follows that to honor your God, it is your responsibility to learn how the world works, how it really works, and respond in action - instead of asking and waiting for God to do the work he asked you to do. If you believe this, then you believe He made you a leader. It is time for you to become one.

One of my favorite internet posts after the events in Florida

One of my favorite internet posts after the events in Florida

Instead, it seems you need to believe in Divine intervention, even though in the first words of the book of your faith, you were told to take responsibility for all such intervention. You cannot claim to be living in God’s word if you cannot respond to the events of world, take action and make change. While I do not share your faith, I implore you to believe in your God-given dominion, to believe in your power, and to believe in your responsibility for the health of the earth and its inhabitants.

And by all means, pray if you want, no one is asking you to stop. No one is judging you because you do.  We are imploring you to see your prayer is SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH! Take action where you can and demand action where u cannot. If you cannot start doing that here and now, then you have rejected the first gift given to you by the God you claim to live for. Unless you act, as empowered by the God you follow – your faith is worthless here. In fact, the responsibility for all living things is the ONLY thing your faith has that is valuable to this earth. on some level you know being responsible here is the true test of your faith. Yet, you have so eloquently squandered it all. All your best intentions have gotten us here, and if you believe you have dominion over this world, you have to own that. But you do not.

Your faith also tells you to believe that you will be persecuted for what you believe, and that belief makes it very easy for you to ignore this and all other attempts to reason with you.  You consider belief greater than reason, and any attempt to reason with  belief is, in your mind, persecution.  Time and time again, you choose believe yourself persecuted before you choose to believe that you could be wrong, and God forbid that you consider whether the absolute and prescriptive nature of your beliefs might not be appropriate in a world of so many beliefs and powers. And me, and so many others in our country of religious freedom, have bitten our tongues when you act like fools and propagate the idea of your persecution as a way to persecute others.

So,  the next time you respond to one of your own doing something horrible (meaning "Christians" killing innocent people and/or raping the land for the profit of a few) by sending “thoughts and prayers” - instead of learning, investigating, using the knowledge of the real world to back policy change- if you are not demanding with all the “Dominion” you have been given to make the world change because YOU said so - then you will will be ridiculed. Not for your faith but for your inability to recognize your own hypocrisy.

It is time for an outright, honest acknowledgement of the hypocrisy that you subject the rest of us to daily.  Believe that we, the people who actually live in the world do actually laugh at you for hiding behind your illogical and contradictory inability to act according to the beliefs you claim to hold so dear. We have literally tried every other possible approach to reach you here and it has gotten us nothing. No matter what we say or do, you allow your leaders to cherry-pick scripture to persecute others, and you warp what you claim to believe into fantasies that would absolve you of the very responsibility the very first page of your holiest of texts tells you to carry. Such fantasies make it all way to easy for you, while rest of us suffer under the weight of the real work of managing the world's ugliness.  Growing up,  I was taught this was Jesus' example, not to just to pray, but to work, to get your hands dirty with the rest of us.

So starting today, when you hide behind your faith instead of living up to its callings, I will laugh at you.  To your face.  And I hope others will follow my suit.  I will do this because I want you to know that the next time you watch as children get murdered in a place they are required by law to be, and your sole response is "thoughts and prayers" - know that you, the so called "Lambs of God" are not seeding care for your fellow man, you are seeding hate, resentment, and all the things necessary to make a child like Nikolas Cruz.  Know that me, and many like me insist that such people exist in this world because of the forces you refuse to face.  And if you continue to do rely on prayer alone, you will reap what you have sown.  Because you will have truly done nothing to help. You, by choice, will have rendered your faith worthless.

Of course, you could prove me wrong.  I'd love for you to do that.  Truly. I'd love it if you could talk to those different from you with the intentions of listening to and learning from another one of God's children. I'd love for you to teach yourself to recognize propaganda, to challenge  the hateful words of your leaders, to realize that it is not OK to use a few verses of Leviticus to persecute me and my friends while ignoring the rest of that particular book of the bible. I'd love for you to compromise in the political arena and understand that your church and your faith will not be touched just because you let others live their lives believing differently than you. I'd love for you to understand that you made up the idea that America is a Christian nation, and acknowledge that such an idea undermines everything about what brought our forefathers here.  I'd love for you show up at the rallies, and the polls with he intent of making the world better for all.  I'd love you to treat Puerto Rico like you would your own back yard.  I'd love it if you could begin your day with love for all instead of hate and fear for those who are different that you.

But you won't.

How do I know?  Because I was raised by you.  I could see your hypocrisy at a young age, so you tried to beat me, ridiculed me and shunned me in an attempt to make me stop questioning.  I was a child that saw you for what you were and you hated me for it. In all my life, I have only seen a few of you truly use the gifts God gave you. And this is why i first rejected your beliefs.  So if you want thoughts and prayers, here you have my thoughts, and rest assured that I pray for you to wake up, to open up, and to learn.

Leslie SmithComment