Somewhere among a mayor’s job description is the duty of overlooking the city’s public service needs, and that includes initiating and enforcing policies and strategies to combat such apertures in the infrastructure. For example, Jackson, Mississippi has been struggling with a problem concerning widespread potholes. And, upliftingly, its mayor has put forth a plan to combat this–a plan boasting vision, innovation, and the clear, strategic mindset appropriate for a city mayor.
He wants to pray for the potholes to disappear.
Mayor Tony Yarber has posted this on his Twitter feed, ostensibly excited about his cunning, “cutting-edge” (here’s an explanation if you don’t get the reference) plan to combat his city’s shortcomings in shortcomings in infrastructure maintenance. Here’s a more comprehensive article about this issue.
Look, we couldn’t care less if he dedicated his personal time to praying for his potholes to disappear. Not a problem. He can believe in and practice whatever religion he intends to, given it does not infringe upon the rights of others.
But you know when it does become a problem? When you literally and publicly declare “prayer” to be a suitable alternative to legitimate research, engineering, critical thinking, and problem solving. Gathering in a room and clasping your hands isn’t tantamount to gathering workers and instructing them on how to fix potholes. In other words, praying for a problem to dissipate by the power of the Lord isn’t exactly going to accomplish a whole lot unless you get off your rear and actually do something.
Along with this is the issue of publicly encouraging citizens to engage in prayer in order to combat problems, as an alternative to legitimately doing something. This practice deludes younger generations into accepting prayer and seeking divine assistance as a preferable method of combating social, personal, and sociopolitical predicaments. We’re gonna end up with a generation of citizens relying on the Lord’s help rather than rational thinking, logical assessment, and active engagement in seeking solutions.
Normally, you wouldn’t consider “faith over factual assessment” as resulting in literal loss of lives.
Normally, you’d be wrong.
Faith healing is the practice of using supposedly divine and supernatural methods (ranging from laying of hands on the patient’s head to solely praying for the patient) rather than or even in absence of legitimate medical procedures and treatment. Seen prevalently in children (of pretty screwed up parents, clearly), “victims” of faith healing suffer medical neglect and receive little more than bedside prayer. And, yes, this can kill.
Prayer > Practicing Legitimate Medical Techniques, or at least according to these parents.
We need people who can think. People who can act. People who know enough not to solely rely on prayer and divine assistance. People who know enough to utilize rational thinking and clear assessment of the situation. People who known enough to combat such problems via logical actions and procedures.
If you want to ace a test, don’t wish on a shooting star. Get off your rear and study.