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Who hears #PrayersForOklahoma?
May 21st, 2013
04:45 PM ET

Who hears #PrayersForOklahoma?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - God may not notice the thousands of prayers tweeted for victims of Oklahoma’s devastating tornado - but Ricky Gervais sure has. And he is not pleased.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 75,000 people have used the hashtag #PrayForOklahoma, including pop starlets, pastors and politicians, according to Topsy.com, a trend-monitoring site.

For example, the White House tweeted,

But the hashtag and the sentiments it promotes prompted a fierce backlash on social media, led by Gervais, a British comedian, and other prominent nonbelievers.

And while one Oklahoma City pastor says he appreciates the Twitter prayers, some religious scholars say devout petitions require more than moving your hands across a keyboard.

"A prayer is supposed to have a consequence for you," said Elizabeth Drescher, a lecturer at Santa Clara University in California. "It's not an act of magic."

Gervais, an ardent foe of organized religion, was more caustic.

After MTV tweeted that pop stars Beyonce, Rihanna and Katy Perry are sending their prayers to Oklahoma, Gervais responded, “I feel like an idiot now … I only sent money.”

Gervais and other atheists also kick-started a counter-trend, using the hashtag #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma.

“If all people are doing is praying, it is worthless,” Hemant Mehta, an Illinois math teacher who writes the blog “Friendly Atheist,” told CNN. “If they are praying and donating to the Red Cross, that’s more like it.”

Mehta is promoting a group called Foundation Beyond Belief that aims to provide a humanist response to crises like the Oklahoma tornado.

The prayer debate spilled into other social media sites as well, with commenters on CNN’s Facebook page sparring over God’s role in Monday’s destructive whirlwind.

According to Oklahoma officials, 24 people have died, many more are injured, and once-orderly streets look likes foretastes of the apocalypse.

In response to a woman who said she was praying for the victims, Facebook commenter Peter Tongue replied, “If prayer works, there wouldn’t be a disaster like this in the first place .... so please keep your religion to yourself.”

But believers had their say as well.

“God is still in control!” said Wilbur Dugger, a commenter on CNN’s Facebook page. “Everything (God) does is to get our attention. … My sympathy and prayers go out to those who get caught up in his demonstrations of (God) ruling the world.”

The social-media sparring over prayer and God’s will reflect a culture in which traditional notions of religion - and the places where people talk about faith - are changing faster than a Twitter feed, said Drescher, the Santa Clara lecturer.

“We’re watching people re-articulate what it means to be spiritual and religious,” she said.

Just a few years ago, for example, no one knew what a hashtag was. Now the “#PrayFor...” meme appears after almost every national and international tragedy.

But what exactly does it mean? Is the tweeting multitude really folding its hands in prayer, or is it a fleeting expression of existential angst? Or maybe just a trendy thing to say?

“It seems to express hope and anxiety, and maybe even helplessness,” Drescher said.

“At the same time, it evokes this strong response from people who see it as a cop-out, a way of claiming some kind of spiritual space that doesn’t actually have any meaning to the people who are posting the meme or the community they are addressing.”

Traditionally, prayer has required something of the pray-er: an orientation toward reverence, a readiness to act, Drescher continued. “You are meant to do something - and that something may not be an easy thing.”

Slapping a hashtag at the end of a tweet doesn’t meet that standard, the scholar said.

The Rev. David Johnson of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City said the prayerful tweets mean something to him - even if he’s been too busy to read them.

Since Monday, St. Andrew’s has become a Red Cross command post and reunion site for families to find loved ones caught in the tornado’s path. The tragedy has also touched the congregation itself, with homes, and some lives, lost on Tuesday, Johnson said.

Told of the Twitter prayers, Johnson said, “that’s awesome.”

“People feel helpless - like God called them to do something but they don’t know what. That’s where prayer comes in.”

Johnson said his church appreciates the many material donations coming its way: the generator sent by a lady from Arkansas, the food and water sent from neighboring towns. But they also solicit, and are happy to receive, the many prayers recited - or tweeted - on their behalf, he said.

“We’ve seen quite a lot of trauma in the last day,” Johnson said. “Obviously, people are going to ask why God allows tornadoes to happen. That’s just part of this world. God doesn’t promise us that bad things won’t happen, he promises to help us get through it. That’s what prayer helps us do.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • United States

soundoff (3,515 Responses)
  1. Dave Trotter

    Is this CNN's way of trying to explain their justification of why Bilzter expected everyone, even athiests, to be "praising the lord"? CNN is going the way of Fox News. Good luck on that journey!

    May 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  2. Bells B.

    I love how people who mock the idea of God (in the name of science), are the same people who say "The Universe just always was, OK?". What's more unscientific than having an effect (the existence of matter and space in the universe) without a cause?

    I'm not saying I feel strongly either way, just get annoyed when people who say "science, science, science, belief in God is not supported by science– except please, don't discuss science when the universe was created, it just was'. It's the same leap of faith that people show in a belief in God. There is intellectual honesty in both approaches.

    In fact, science and god go hand in hand and are not contrarian.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Colin

      you said, "What's more unscientific than having an effect (the existence of matter and space in the universe) without a cause?"

      Great, what created your god?

      May 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • .

      I love how you're posting over and over about nothing.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • WASP

      @bells: the universe wasn't always in the state we find it today, that's religion making that claim.
      science claims it started as a singularity. i say if you want to understand the beginnings of the universe watch a star being "born".
      it starts as a singularity then POP! expands outward with increasing force until it's mass and gravity equal each other out.

      wiling to further explain, however it's a long thesis to write out.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Don M

      Colin: Your question is silly. If God exists, he would exist necessarily. God, if he exists, would be the first uncaused cause. So, your question is like asking, "What is the cause of the first uncaused cause?" It's nonsense. The very concept of God is to be uncaused. Just like, say, the very concept of a bachelor is an unmarried male. So, it would be nonsense to ask, "What's the name of the bachelor's wife?"

      May 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  3. Charlie

    Ultimately we rely on God for what is to come, in spite of what has been. What is to come is not of this world. He created this world. He left it alone to an extent to evolve as it has. It has evolved such that the lion kills the weaker animal for food and another day a deer also gets mistakenly hit on the highway by my daughter and the deer suffers. My daughter has some pain because of the deer's pain, but not as much as what the deer has felt. We will use science to understand how to stop tornadoes, or to find ways to minimize the impact of tsunami's because God made us to care, to have minds that want to make life better for people. These are great things to learn to do obviously. Tornadoes have come and will come just the way the deer ran across the highway. Prayers are often made so that people and animals will not suffer. People still suffer. People who lack sanitation, who lack food, who have no clean water. People who are tortured. We pray becauae we trust God in spite of human evolution and in spite of tusnamis, in spite of pain. I don't believe that God wants us to suffer. I pray that His Kingdom will come, and there will be no more suffering.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  4. Cis

    Sorry until atheists are on the ground, providing tangible and immediate food, clothing, shelter, comfort in times of disaster they need to shut up. Hiding behind Red Cross or some other organization doesn't cut it either. Writing a check without action is equal to the praying without action they are complaining about. Deflecting their inaction by pointing out the failings of other groups = zero credibility and puts focus on them v. victims which is wrong, selfish regardless or your faith, color, creed, etc.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Jason

      You make a lot of assumptions.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      No, writing a check without action is not equal to praying without action as long as the money goes to, say, the Red Cross who always take action.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Darw1n

      Atheists are on the ground, helping people, every day.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • woo

      i'm sure you know for certain that there are no atheists helping in OK.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • sam

      You're off base, but I'm sure you know that.

      May 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Ryan

    God knows everything. He doesn't just "notice" things. Ricky is a jerk. People need prayer and financial support. This is a wake up call for all of us that says, "we don't know when we're going to die, so we better live life like that is a reality." We really should think about God and how temporary everything else is, including our own life, our possessions. We all die once, and then we will meet our maker. We better make sure we are ready for that event. Repent of our sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. God became a man and died on the cross for our sins so that whoever will repent and believe on Him will have eternal life.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Data Jack

      If your god knows all things, how does praying to him help? In what way do victims of disasters need prayers? Are you really going to change your god's mind?

      May 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Ryan

      @Data Jack

      God repented of what he was going to do to Ninevah because they repented of their sins. Likewise, God's wrath abides on us and if we don't repent and place our faith in Him (Christ), God will not repent of His judgment on us. God has one way to heaven – Jesus Christ. None of us are good enough to go to heaven. God's standard is perfection, and only God himself meets that standard. You and I have to pray for God's mercy and see our sins the way God sees them. We are wretched before God. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

      May 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  6. James

    God answers prayers, he just hates amputees. c'mon get real

    May 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  7. SSE

    “God is still in control!” said Wilbur Dugger, a commenter on CNN’s Facebook page. “Everything (God) does is to get our attention. … My sympathy and prayers go out to those who get caught up in his demonstrations of (God) ruling the world.”

    Hmmm, I think it's time to get those pesky humans' attention. Think I'll kill a few kids and impale a teacher or two. That'll do the trick!
    /Nice god you got there, Mr. Dugger

    May 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • UNICORN10

      THE BIG GUY DID PART THE RED SEA FOR MOSSES . LIKE THAT ONE...WHAT THREW ME IS WHEN HE KILLED THE FIRST BORN MALE CHILD IN A WHOLE CITY......WELL HE DOES WORK IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS. ALL PART OF THE DIVINE PLAN.

      May 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Atheism is for everyone

      Exactly what I was thinking. If that were to be true, such a god would deserve no respect anyways.

      May 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  8. Carol

    Who is to say that the people who are sending prayers aren't also sending money? And, really, who gives a hashtag what Ricky Gervais thinks about it??

    May 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • MM

      Miss the point much?

      May 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  9. Jill

    For so many people who dont believe there is a God you sure get mighty upset talking about Him or others talking about Him. Why so upset if its not real?

    May 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • WASP

      @jill: why do you folks get so upset when we hand you logic and state that gods aren't real?

      " i propose we are both atheists, i just believe in one less god than you do." 🙂

      May 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • tom

      So disagreeing with someone proves that they are right? I suspect that is the type of rational a person would have to posses in order to maintain faith.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • MM

      By this logic, when someone lies, you shouldn't correct them, because what they said is a lie.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • papageorgieo

      The same way someone can get frustrated watching a one legged man in a ass-kicking contest...

      May 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  10. YOU OWN NOTHING!!!!!

    Nothing that you have is yours. Your life is not your own. Your house is not your own. Your childen are Gods children. Everything that you own comes to you from God. Instead of being upset over the material things you lost remember that they were not your own. Focus on God and the people around you who He brings in your life to help you grow from this experience. God will take care of you dont worry. Worrying doesnt add to your life it takes away. Thank God for what you do have and be satisfied. God bless, console, and give hope to those who have lost material things but not the important things in life. God bless.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • korino

      You should be Baker Acted

      May 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • WASP

      @you: "Your childen are Gods children."

      so that explains why he kills them by sending floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, disease, famine, etc etc etc

      yet he loves them as his own son...........whom he offered to himself as a sacrifice.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • MM

      "yet he loves them as his own son...........whom he offered to himself as a sacrifice."

      To himself.

      In most places, that's child abuse.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  11. Pinewalker

    God "may" not be listening.......really?? I'd love to know exactly what that means??? Can you imagine the story line starting he "may" not be gay or the president "may" not be concerned or the residents of Oklahoma "may" have brough this on themselves. I guess in America it "may" be ok today to bully people of faith.....no strike that...... it "is" ok apparently

    May 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Carol

      I think I'll annoy Ricky Gervais and pray for him after I make a donation to the Red Cross.

      May 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  12. Brad

    If I've gotta keep my religious beliefs to myself (which I do anyway), then nonbelievers have to keep it to themselves. It's a free country. Gotta love when people preach tolerance, but if you're a believer look out. What hypocrisy.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      Yes, it seems you can be born gay, born black, born white....just don't be born with a stronger connection to the spiritual world than others, because somehow you are coo coo and apparently now useless because you are uselessly praying for something to someone who isn't there....welcome to America 2013

      May 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Great. Now get your co-believers to stop trying to change the curricula at school, the laws, etc. to be based upon your religious beliefs.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • ME II

      As in this very case, atheists rarely bring up non-belief without belief being brought up first. Gervais responded to a tweet about prayer.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  13. SSE

    Why even tell the world you are praying for anyone? In my book, that is fronting. Instead, don't tell anyone you are praying for them, just go pray! The good book even tells you not to pray in public. It clearly states that you should go into your closet where nobody can see you and pray to your god. That is the sign of a true believer. Standing in the temple shouting the words of the bible (and asking for money) is for hypocrites.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • M

      There is nothing wrong in telling someone that you are praying for them. It just means you care about them enough to bring the matter to God in your private time. What is sin is telling them # I will pray for you; and then do nothing about it. When Jesus mentioned about going to the closet and praying in secrecy is, try not to be fake!

      May 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      I happen to very much appreciate it when I am in a negative situation and someone tells me they are praying for me. It comforts me that they care enough to pray for me.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Cinematt

      Thank you.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  14. tom

    praying is doing nothing about something

    May 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  15. Tina

    I only read the first couple of lines and immediately got mad. We should all donate money if we can but prayer is comforting to the person praying and I believe to the person being lifted up in prayer. Many of my prayers have been answered. Many have not been answered in the way that I wanted them answered, but I still felt they were heard. Some people don't have money to spare and they want to pray–let them pray for Pete's sake! I believe in God! If you don't believe in God that's fine, but quit making fun of those of us who do.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • ToolTime

      One day you'll realize you've wasted a large portion of your life on an invisible man in the sky.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jason

      "Many of my prayers have been answered. Many have not been answered."

      I flipped a coin and got heads many times. But many times I did not. Maybe now you see how what you said might sound silly?

      May 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • sam

      "I only read the first couple of lines, which means I missed the point by not reading the article...I just wanted to be mad and make sure everyone knows I'm mad."

      Go read the article and try again.

      May 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  16. Colin

    Q.1 The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the religion of:

    (a) The ancient Celts;

    (b) Bronze Age Egyptians;

    (c) Pre-Colombian Aztecs; or

    (d) Modern Christians

    Q. 2 You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are:

    (a) a reptile handler who has severe mental issues;

    (b) a five year old boy who just read a fairytale;

    (c) a scientific fraud; or

    (d) a Christian

    Q. 3 I believe that an all-knowing being, powerful enough to create the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies, watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty" like protect myself from disease with a condom. I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions; or

    (d) A Christian

    Q.4 I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A gifted psychologist

    (b) A well respected geneticist

    (c) A highly educated sociologist; or

    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    Q5. I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Christian

    Q6. Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    Q.7 The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    Q.8 What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from Christianity:

    (a) Christianity tells people not only what they should believe, but what they MUST believe under threat of “burning in hell” or other of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Christianity can make a statement, such as “God is comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas Christianity is regional and a person’s Christianity, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than geographical upbringing; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.9 If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    Q.10 The statement “I believe in God because the Bible tells me to and the reason I follow the Bible is because it is the word of God” is:

    (a) Circular reasoning at its most obvious;

    (b) The reason 99% of Christians believe what they do;

    (c) Specific to the Judeo-Christian parts of the World and totally rejected by all other parts of the World; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.11 Probably the most fundamental tenet of Christian faith is that God sent his son Jesus to Earth to die and save us from the original sin of Adam and Eve. We now know that Adam and Eve was a myth. As such, any thinking Christian should:

    (a) Honestly and courageously question this and any other aspects of their faith that don’t make sense.

    (b) Make up some euphemistic nonsense like “well, we didn’t mean that literally” after having done exactly that for the last 1900 years until science comprehensively disproved it.

    (c) Just ignore the blatant contradiction and sweep it under the mat; or

    (d) Hold on to the myth because it makes them feel good.

    Q.12 Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it is any more ridiculous than the rest of the garbage Catholics swallow and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as stupid.

    (a) Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.

    (b) When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.

    (c) You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.

    (d) A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed.

    Q13. If you are worried that your children, who you love very much, will not believe something you tell them, such as "smoking is bad for you," would you:

    (a) have your family doctor explain to them the various ill effects of smoking;

    (b) show them a film produced by the National Insti.tute for Health on the topic;

    (c) set a good example for them by not smoking; or

    (d) refuse to give them any evidence of the ill effects of smoking, insist that they rely entirely on faith and then take them out into the backyard and burn them to death if you ever catch them smoking?

    And, as a bonus question, what would you think of an "all loving Father" who chose option (d)?

    May 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Woodrow

      Colin: Ha ha ha ha. This is pure awesome.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Your lack of understanding is truly impressive.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Ryan

      Q. Which came first the hen or the egg?
      A. Neither. It takes a rooster an a hen to make a viable chicken, God made them both at the same time.

      Q. Why don't you believe in God.
      A. Because you don't want to be morally responsible for your actions, and you don't want to believe you will go to hell as a consequence for your actions. Most people reject God for this very reason. They don't want to answer to a higher power. Most men think they themselves are gods.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • korino

      I think Ryan is the one high on something

      May 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  17. Wayne

    This guy makes me sick!!!!! Ricky how could you attack others right now???? You selfish bas-tard!!!!

    May 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • ME II

      "Gervais and other atheists also kick-started a counter-trend, using the hashtag #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma."

      How is encouraging others to help in tangible ways being selfish?

      May 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  18. TheTruth

    I always find it amazing when people who don't know God blame Him for whatever they don't like. God isn't a puppetmaster, and life is still life. He isn't a waiter, standing there waiting for you to place an order so He can fill it. He's God. I also find it amazing that those who deny His existence have not, in fact, ever searched for the truth – whether He exists or not. Then they point to disasters like this as though it were proof that He doesn't exist – but it isn't proof, it's wishful thinking.
    Searching for the truth can have remarkable results: try it sometime.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Thoth

      Speaking of wishful thinking.....

      So you claim it's a 'fact' that people who don't 'know god' have never actually looked for the truth.....care to provide proof for that 'fact'? Perhaps it's not so much fact as it is 'what you like to believe'.....

      Science seeks truth, not through conjecture like religious dogma.

      May 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  19. do something

    There is a famous story:
    A man is trapped on his roof in a flood. He prays to the Lord to be saved. A man in a rowboat comes and says "Jump In." The man on the roof says "the Lord will save me". A man in a kayak comes and says "Let me help you." The man on the roof says "The Lord will save me." A man with a helicopter says "climb aboard, there is no more time left." The man on the roof insists that the Lord will save him. The man dies. When he reaches heaven, he asks the Lord why he wasn't saved. The Lord replies "I sent you a rowboat, a kayak, and even a helicopter, what did you want?"

    This story has a corollary.
    A man in trapped on his roof in a flood unconscious. His wife is in a safe place praying for his safe return to her. A friend offers to go out on his rowboat and have him. The wife says that she is praying to the Lord, and that the Lord will save him. Another friend offers to go out on his kayak. Again, the wife insists that she is praying. A third friend ignores the wife and rescues the man in his helicopter.

    I think this is the point that Ricky Gervais was trying to make.
    Praying is all well and good, but actually doing something to make the lives of others better is preferable to simply praying for their safety/well being.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  20. oouchan

    Prayer does nothing but make you feel better. Do something these people and pray later. If pray worked the tornado would NOT have happened.

    May 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.