Tag Archive | Prayer

What Theos Didn’t Report

Cross SkylineHaving dismantled Theos’s latest survey, I thought it would be productive to offer an alternative executive summary, a sort of executive minority report, pointing out all the interesting things they kept quiet about or played down because they didn’t fit their preferred narrative. I think these are far more revealing than the things they wanted to focus on, and my commentary, while cheeky and slightly biased, is only intended to be the flipside of Theos’s own spin. Read More…

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What does God need with a starship?

More theological wisdom from Captain Kirk, the best moment of the otherwise rather poor Star Trek V (useful rule of thumb: the odd-numbered films are bad, even numbers are good). It’s a question that’s worth asking about all areas of religious practice, even if the starships tend to be metaphorical, rather than literal. Read More…

Fundie God Dictation Bible: Matthew 6:5-6

This is dedicated to Bideford Town Council, Eric Pickles, Baroness Warsi, and all their fellow travellers who equate religious freedom with permission to enforce corporate prayer in the guise of public service. Read More…

Without a prayer

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’m not really a believer in “retail prayer”, the idea that you pray for something and get it exactly as ordered in the next supernatural delivery run. Actually, I don’t see anything that convinces me that petitionary prayer in general has any effect. Reports of answers to prayer are very liable to confirmation bias, various studies have shown prayer to have no effect, and as ever, there’s the uncomfortable question of favouritism if God chooses to answer some prayers, but not all of them. But that’s not to say that I think prayer’s useless. Read More…

Council prayers ruled illegal

The High Court has ruled that Bideford Town Council acted unlawfully by including prayers at the start of meetings. A pleasing result, although not particularly surprising, seeing that it effectively discriminated against councillors who held non-Christian beliefs. And it appears that it’s unlikely to have any serious impact, seeing that it’s still possible to hold prayers just before a meeting, and the new Localism Act is intended to give councils the powers they would need to authorise these prayers. But there are two interesting elements to this story – one is the reasoning given for the ruling, and one is the reaction to it. Read More…

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