This pop-up ad appeared on a Pharyngula comment thread (?!), and oh, OH! How I LOL’d. If you’re not seeing the image for whatever reason, it pictures a closeup face shot of a pale, pensive, full-lipped, blue-eyed Whitney McWhiterson, with this caption:
Prayers that God hears
Learn how to pray as God wants. Find out what prayers God answers.
I did not click on the ad. IRIS HAZ A SCARED! (Not really. More like: Iris has a cocktail hour to attend and/or doesn’t want to give page hits to Christurds.) But if I didn’t know any better, why I might think the geniuses behind this gem of an Internet ad were openly admitting that prayer does not work!
Of course, prayer does not, in fact, work. Unless by “work,” we mean either “having exactly the same effect as random chance,” or, alternatively, “having the complete opposite effect of the prayed request.” (I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna pray right now that the Bush tax cuts NEVER expire! And that the entire medical establishment NEVER goes on strike until we get single-payer! And that our military adventures around the world NEVER end!)
But the fact that prayer does not work is not why I giggled uncontrollably when I saw this ad. Nope. What instantaneously came to mind was this question: exactly what sort of prayers does this God want, hear, and answer? Behold:
Dear Lord, I pray that the sun comes up tomorrow and you don’t end the entire world like you’ve been threatening to do for thousands of years! Thank you SO MUCH Jeezus!
Dear Zeus, please please PLEASE let the law of gravity continue. I just put my new puppy out in the back yard without a leash, and I’m afraid that if you stop gravity she will float up into the sky. Thanks Zeus!
Dear Gaia: I fervently pray that global warming continues and accelerates. Not because I want the polar bears to die in a couple years or major cities all over the world to be flooded in the next fifty. No, I just REALLY want all these liberal loozers and feminazi manginas to know that YOU ARE IN CONTROL. I hate them! Please flood them now! Praise Gaia!
Dear Venus, I pray that you don’t kill me tomorrow morning. Today I bought a really kick-ass Ferrari so I can (finally!) get the attention of that hawt d00d who works at the Holland Tunnel toll plaza—I just need one more day. Thank you Venus! I HEART U!!!
Dear Vishnu, I pray fervently that I do not win the lottery on Wednesday. I know, I know: I bought a ticket. But the thing is, if I win I will probably be just as much of an @$$hole as I am now, except with a whole lot more money. This cannot be good. All praise to you, Vishnu!
I could sit here all day updating this post and cracking myself up. But what would be the point of that? I’d be (selfishly) depriving my Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ of the joy of engaging in the same exercise. It’s easy: just pick a god and pray away. You’ll know you’re doing it right if the god you pray to answers your prayer. Otherwise, you need to learn to pray better.