Monday, July 18, 2011

A little prayer

Apparently, this little prayer is showing up on Facebook:
Let Us Bow our Heads..... Dear God I come to you as humbly as I know how. I confess my sins, those known and unknown. Lord you know I am not perfect and I fall short everyday of my life, but I want to take time out to say thank you for your mercy. Thank you for my health, my family and my friends, the roof over my head, food on my table, and everything I have..... AMEN RE-post if GOD has blessed you in any way
Nice, isn't it? I do have a couple issues with it (besides the obvious). "I confess my sins, those known and unknown." How? How can I confess my unknown sins? If I don't know about them, then it's not very reasonable of me to feel guilty about them. That way leads to paranoia. This line goes back to the idea that we are constantly, in thought and deed, sinning, i.e., pissing God off. Sure, we sometimes do things that are unethical, but we haven't realized that they are unethical. If someone points out such a thing, and convinces me that I've committed an unethical act, then I'll cop to it, and do what I can to correct the situation. That would be appropriate. Assuming that I've done something wrong without it being shown to me, not so appropriate.

"Lord you know I am not perfect and I fall short everyday of my life,": well, I'm not perfect by my own standards, but I wouldn't say that I fall short every single day. Some days, I do pretty damn good, thank you very much.

"but I want to take time out to say thank you for your mercy." : I have a pretty good life, but even so, as I look around, if this is mercy? Well, then God has an odd idea of mercy. Rather, I would say "thanks for not being an even bigger asshole."

As for the rest of the thanks, let me take them one by one.

"Thank you for my health,": Yes, thank you to my doctor and dentist, and their staffs. Thank you to my insurance company. Thank you to those who have taught me good health habits, and those who have encouraged me to maintain those habits I follow. Thank you to the supervisors and human resources manager at a previous employer who worked with me to give me the time I needed to get healthy when I was constantly sick, helping me with the medical leave paperwork, and keeping the job for me for when I was able to return. Thank you to my wife for the joy that research shows is helping me be healthier.

"[Thank you for] my family and friends": Thanks Mom for all your hard work and sacrifice over the years. I know it wasn't easy, and I hope you feel it was worth it. Thanks to my stepdad, for all your help both for me and Mom. Thanks Grandpa for teaching integrity by example. Thanks to the extended family for all the good times, and the help in the bad times. Thanks to every friend (and honestly, the best friends become family) that has ever shared a good time with me, and helped me through the rough times. Thank you for saving my life when I was suicidal. Thank you for teaching me about difference, and having fun in new ways. Thanks to my best friend, the man who has become a brother to me, for all the conversations that lasted for hours, and for letting me borrow your books. Thanks to my wife for sticking with me through all my bullshit, and for sexing me up so often (and for anyone who thinks its somehow crass or "not done" to give thanks for sex, are you saying you aren't grateful when you get laid? for shame). I could go on like this for hours, but thanks to you all, even if you aren't mentioned specifically.

"[Thank you for] the roof over my head," : Thank you to our realtor, you were great and actually listened and worked for us. Thanks to the mortgage broker dealing with us through email and phone calls, and getting us a great rate that let us have a better house than we thought we could afford. Thanks to the bank for the mortgage. Thanks to my in-laws for lending us money for the downpayment. Thanks to the roofers who fixed the roof. Thanks to the seller's realtor who talked his client into taking our offer, and thanks to the seller. Thanks to the guy who fixed our heater.

"[Thank you for] the food on my table": Thank you to everyone who works in the grocery store, and the chain of supply behind you. Thank you to my employer for giving me a job that pays well enough to get food on my table. Thanks to all the farmers. Thanks to the credit card company that I too often have to use to put said food on my table.

"[Thank you for] everything else": Thank you to my educators. Thank you to the police. Thank you to the soldiers. Thank you to construction crews that fix the roads. Thank you to everyone who ever wrote a book. Thank you to the bloggers who give me so much to think about and enjoy. Thank you to the journalists who inform me about the world. Thank you to the scientists who discover the universe's wonders. Thank you to everyone who has ever challenged my views, and not shied away from the discussion. Thank you to my internet and cable provider. Thank you to the inventor of Pepsi. Thank you to the garbage man. Thank you everyone for everything you've ever done for me.

While I didn't include everyone in those paragraphs that I should thank, one name that doesn't deserve to be there is "God." It's pointless to thank someone that's not real, and insulting to those who genuinely deserve my gratitude.

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