Religion

Shameless-Shaming

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Memo to the "prayer-shamed": FUCK RIGHT OFF.

I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is, there's a new phrase going around, and it's another one of those phrases that, if you hear someone use it seriously, you know that "seriously" is something you never have to take that person ever again. The bad news is, that phrase is "prayer-shaming".

See, here's what happened. A couple of people shot up a holiday party in San Bernardino, CA. And whenever someone shoots up a thing in a place, everyone says that their thoughts, their prayers, or their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. And this time, a critical mass of people called bullshit. And all the people who were talking about their thoughts and prayers got snippy. How dare anyone question the sincerity or effectiveness of their prayers? PRAYER-SHAMING!

Go fuck yourselves. This is long overdue. It's long overdue for any number of reasons. One of those reasons is the reason that this particular idea finally hit a critical mass - that many of the people claiming their thoughts and prayers are with the victims later turn out to have their thoughts and actions with the NRA, with the 2nd Amendment zealots, and with their tribal loyalty when it comes time to maybe do something about how often their thoughts and prayers have to be with victims.

And this is definitely true. Your thoughts and prayers may be with the victims and their families, but when those thoughts are the victims deserved to die because they weren't carrying guns to protect themselves, and your prayers are prayers that enough bodies don't pile up to create enough of a public opinion shift that lobbyist pressure and gerrymandering won't be enough to stop it, your thoughts and prayers don't mean shit.

But let's face it. Your thoughts and prayers aren't really with the victims. Not for much longer than it takes to tell everyone that they are, at the very least. That's not how people work. You've got shit to do. WIthin minutes, you've moved on to different concerns. You've got holiday shopping to do. You've got to put gas in the car. You're wondering when the fuck cable news is going to talk about something else, anything else, because while your thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, you know there's other shit going on. Other victims, other families. Anything else.

Also, all of the above aside, fuck your prayers. What, exactly, are you asking your god for when you pray for the victims and their families? That the victims will be less dead? That the families will be less sad? What, exactly, are you beseeching your deity for on behalf of these people? For those tiny fraction of you out there who are actually praying for the victim instead of tacking their names at the end after your family or just flat-out lying, what do you want your god to do about it?

Because theologically speaking, I've heard it said that supreme beings only help those who help themselves, and I seem to recall that, three years ago next week, we collectively decided that the straight-up murder of 20 schoolchildren (and six adults) warranted a sum total of fuckety-all action on our part as a nation. I'm pretty sure that's definitive proof to any sky-daddy you can imagine that we have no intention of helping ourselves.

So, yes, there's some prayer-shaming going on. You know, just like when Subway Jared got arrested, there was some pedophile-shaming going on. Whether you enjoy hearing it or not, you're doing something that should in fact have some shame attached to it. You're pretending to care to make yourself feel better, while not doing anything to make anyone else feel better. And getting pissy at anyone who suggests that you're not helping.

And, on top of that, you're appropriating the -shaming suffix, which have been used primarily to describe things that have wrongly been thought of as shameful, like women enjoying sex or people being overweight. And you're using it to protect something considered so virtuous that for decades, none have even dared question it. So if you were somehow, after all that, short on reasons to go fuck yourselves, there's a nice big one to finish off. But don't worry. As you go and fuck yourself, know that my thoughts are with you.

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