Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Putting my cantankerous pants on one leg at a time...

Since I know this is going to be a bit of a controversial topic, I'm just going to go ahead and rant about it anyway since it's something that severely annoys me and what the hey, this is my blog anyway.

Ok, so I know that people who say this mean well, but seriously, don't bless me or offer to pray for me. If I don't share your beliefs it has no positive effect on me and in fact it's a bit insulting - it's almost like a threat sometimes and feels like you're forcing them on me, in the vein of "I'm going to do it whether you like it or not!" I know people often say it because they either don't know what else to say or do, or possibly that they genuinely believe that it works, although even as someone who respects belief in other people if not what they actually believe in I still wonder how often that situation could really be claimed to be entirely true. Maybe it's a way for them to still their own doubts. Or looking at things cynically, a way for them to relieve their own feelings of guilt about not actually wanting to do anything to help. But really, if I was a Satanist and said "the devil be with you" or "may you rot in hell as an eternal reward for your good works" I doubt people would take it as gracefully, even if I genuinely believed in Satan (or let's say Hades to try and avoid negative associations) as the creator of life and mediator of eternal justice. Even though if you're Christian you should at least know that God originally created Satan as an angel, who (like humanity) chose his own path and actually looking at it from a human perspective did pretty well out of it, becoming his own boss and owning his own Realm of Darkness compared to the other chump angels who stayed in Heaven. I'd say he's pretty happy with how his Eternal Reward is paying out. And if I said that to the average kind of person who tries to bless other people they'd be very upset.

Anyway, that digression aside, I can't fault hope and sympathy, but I can fault the hypocritical approach to respect that many religious people take, regardless of what that religion is - respect is something you have to give if you want to demand it. And sometimes I feel like people trying to bless one or pray for one who doesn't share their beliefs is kind of like a smoker blowing their second hand smoke into your face just because they want to share the lovely tar-filled joy of their habit with you. If you feel like the other person is in a hard or hopeless situation and want to lend your sympathy or even if, being honest with yourself, you are loathe to actually do anything to help, what's wrong with just saying "I'll be thinking of you" or "I'm here for you if you need to talk" or even offering to do something with them that will help distract them from their troubles for a while? Save the sanctimonious stuff for someone who will appreciate it much more or at least just say it quietly to yourself. Or at least don't act offended if you offer to pray for me and I tell you not to bother because there's no such thing as God and people only believe in him because they don't want to accept that this one life is the only chance they might have and they're probably worried that they've already blown it, but if you want to really help me you can buy me a Belgian dark hot chocolate from Holly's coffee anytime you like. You believe what you want and I'll believe what I want - I'm sure each of us is secretly pitying the other for it.

And hmm, thinking back I really should have tried to learn to say this all in Korean so the damn Evangelists downtown would stop harassing me when I'm trying to get somewhere. It's freezing cold! If I didn't want to stop and talk to you when the weather was fine why the hell would I want to do it now when it's -11 degrees??? That's not what sparked this off by the way, it's just an observation :)

And yes, this is also the same thing I feel about those stupid Facebook "repost if you support OOO" chain letter things. Sure it worked that one time when it was still a new concept but now they do nothing to help and the only thing they raise awareness for is for whatever gimmick they are running. If you want to help get off your arse and do something, even if it's just opening your wallet and donating $5.

Anyway, if this offends anyone, well you know how to close the window or unsubscribe from updates so I might as well go ahead and rub it in - suck it! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ


  1. I still remember when my parents found at about my sister's brain tumour. My mom had like one good friend at the time, who was my friend's mom and was very religious. And my mom told her about everything that was going on, and her response was a simple "Aww. I'll be praying for you" and a change of topic. My mom has never forgiven her.