Showing posts with label masturbation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label masturbation. Show all posts

Monday, February 28, 2011

Anti-Gay Christian Fundamentalist Rev. Grant Storms Arrested for Masturbating in Public Park while Watching Children

     Hypocrisy alert: Rev. Grant Storms, another outspoken, hate-spewing, anti-gay Christian cleric, goes down in a sex scandal involving children.  

     The Rev. Grant Storms, a Christian fundamentalist best known for his bullhorn protests of the Southern Decadence festival in the French Quarter, was arrested for allegedly masturbating at a Metairie park Friday afternoon...Storms told deputies that he was merely having lunch at Lafreniere Park, 3000 Downs Blvd., in his van when he decided to relieve himself using a bottle instead of using the restroom, an incident report said.
     But two witnesses said they saw Storms through the open windows of his van masturbating himself while watching children on the playground, the report said.
     Armed with bullhorns, Bibles and picket signs, Storms and a group of followers in 2003 protested against Southern Decadence, the gay three-day festival held over Labor Day weekend in the French Quarter. Storms' efforts prompted the New Orleans City Council to ban megaphones and other amplification devices.
     And we gays are the ones they're calling pedophiles.

Rev. Storms, Masturbator,
and Possible Pedophile

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Christine O'Donnell Said Gays Suffer From "Identity Disorder"

     The Washington Post reports the latest on Republican Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell's homophobia:
     Christine O'Donnell claimed in a 2006 interview that homosexuals are psychologically defective, arguing that they suffer from "identity disorder," the reporter [Victor Greto] who conducted the interview tells me [Greg Sargent of the Post].
     "People are created in God's image. Homosexuality is an identity adopted through societal factors. It's an identity disorder."
     O'Donnell's suggestion that gays suffer from a psychological disorder is far worse than other comments about gays that have already gotten media attention, such as her claim that the government spent too much on AIDS and her insistence that "gays get away with so much."
     Also: Last week O'Donnell insisted that her rigid moralistic views represent long-ago youthful excesses. But as late as 2006, she was apparently still suggesting that gays are suffering from some sort of mental illness that has caused them to stray from God's "image."
     But begging an imaginary friend in the sky to help you stop masturbating isn't an identity disorder? 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Christine O'Donnell on Abortion, Rape, Incest, Homophobia, "Ex-Gays," Masturbation & Election Result Lies

     Proud Christian Christine O'Donnell is officially the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Delaware.  There is already enough information on her in the news to write 10,000 dissertations.  Here are some of the highlights.

     In the videos below, she is confronted about her lies about her performance in a previous bid for the senate.  She's exposed as paranoid.  She is against women's reproductive rights, even in cases of rape and incest.  She's homophobic, believes in ex-gay therapy, compares homosexuals to Hitler, and used gay-slurs and stereotypes against her Republican opponent for the nomination.  She's using Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin's talking points in her speeches, saying President Obama is "anti-American."  On the night of her primary win the nation GOP (including Karl Rove, who called her statements "nutty") said they wouldn't support her, but a day later they are singing her praises.

     This is new face of the extremist Tea-Party-enhanced Republican party.  

     For example, five senate Republican nominees, including Rand Paul (KY), Sharron Angle (NV), Ken Buck (CO), Joe Miller (AK) and Christine O'Donnell (DE), have taken the extreme position that abortion should be illegal even for women pregnant in cases of rape and incest.  In the video embedded below, Rachel Maddow makes the following comment concerning these Republican party's hypocritical claims of being for small government while legislating American's most private choices:
     The government should force rape vicitms under pain of criminal prosecution to give birth to their rapist's baby...If you are a fourtenn year old girl who is raped by your uncle or by your father, the government will force you, as a fourteen-year-old, to give birth to the child that is the product of that incestuous rape. Remember, this is the year of small government conservatives, getting government out of your life.
     Here is Maddow's report on women running for office and women's rights in this year's elections.

     The Republican flip-flop on Christine O'Donnell: Karl Rove calls Christine O'Donnell "nutty" and won't giving her GOP money to "I'm also helpin' her" get elected.


     O'Donnell calling President Obama "anti-American" and trying to sound like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin in speeches.


     Below, Christine O'Donnell is exposed for lying about her performance in a previous election versus Joe Biden. When confronted with the hard statistical facts of of her loss to Biden, she lied again.  But she's a good Christian.  Her term as president and founder of The Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth, her condemnation of masturbation, and comparisons between homosexuals and Hitler, tell us so.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some Catholic Pedophile-Priests Don't Consider Sex with Children a Violation of Celibacy

     What role does priestly celibacy play in the crisis of sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church?

     An Australian bishop exposed one way pedophile-priests interpret their promise to live celibacy.  The Inquirer reports:
     Some pedophile priests believe molesting children does not breach their vow of celibacy, a retired Australian Catholic bishop said in a magazine interview.  Geoffrey Robinson, former auxiliary bishop of Sydney, told The Australian Women's Weekly he had made the observation during years of work with victims of child abuse within the church.  "We've met it often enough to see it as a factor. That's what the vow of celibacy refers to, being married. If it's not an adult woman, then somehow they're not breaking their vow," the 72-year-old said.
     This is the same kind of compartmentalized thinking that I heard when I was a seminarian and a priest.  Many priests tell themselves that if it isn't vaginal sex, then it's still celibacy.   This is a perfect example of the  "what's the least amount I have to do to  meet the prescriptions of church law?" morality, which is widespread among Catholics.  

     Here's example of how this "morality" works.  Let's say that the bishops release a pastoral letter encouraging Catholics to practice the sacrament of reconciliation (confession/penance) regularly for their spiritual betterment.  They may be hoping folks will spill their sins once or twice a month, but if the letter strongly encourages Catholics to go to confession during Lent and Advent, most Catholics will go twice a year, once during each of these liturgical seasons.  What's the least amount I'm required to do and still be a good Catholic?  What's the bottom line?

     When it comes to sex, rather than treating the entire continuum of sexual acts as holy, natural, and good, the church has developed an entire hierarchy of sinful sexual acts.  The church trains its children to compartmentalize sex, into distinct acts, from the very beginning, with only one act, unitive and procreative vaginal sex between a man and a woman, who are married to each other, considered holy.

     Catholics have all sorts of ways of dealing with this.  I had a Catholic friend in college, who vowed she would be a virgin until she got married, but she blew most of the guys in the theatre department.  It was okay, because she wasn't having sex, and neither was President Bill Clinton.  It's not adultery if you don't swallow.

     In seminary, I believed I was still a virgin, because I had never had sex with woman.  Men didn't count, so the fooling around I did in college with my roommate and my sexual exploitation by Fr. Mustache didn't count.  After all, sodomy isn't real sex, according to Catholic teaching, so blow jobs between two men are even lesser versions of sex, mutual masturbation even lesser, and naked back rubs were nothing.  (Fr. O'Baldy taught me that one.)  

     For all you Catholics out there, don't worry. Besides Fr. Mustache and Fr. O'Baldy,  I didn't "act out" (which is such a loaded negative term, adapted from addiction vocabulary), after I learned that celibacy also involved chastity, which meant no masturbation.  Of course, I did masturbate, but prayerfully, thinking about communion with god.  And ,I didn't "act out" with someone else in the room until after I graduated from seminary, but that's a story for another post and it was love, not "acting."

     All Catholics are called to chastity, and I would venture to guess that 99% of them don't live chastely.  They masturbate alone or with their opposite sex spouses.  They have oral sex, anal sex, boob-sex, dry humping sex; anything and everything that isn't penis-in-vagina-with-no-artificial-birth-control-and-a-successful-deposit-of-semen sex, because if they did that, it would be a sin.

     There are such guilty, fearful, and grandiose expectations placed upon the sexual act in Catholic moral teachings.  Few Catholics can live up to these prescriptions; therefore, people develop ways of rationalizing their behavior, so that they can meet the church's unachievable sexual sainthood.

     It is no shock that pedophile-priests would not consider raping children, and the lesser sin of groping a child, a violation of celibacy.  The system of Catholic sexual ethics sowed the seeds of their distortion and their crimes long ago.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Beat Goes On... (Part Two)


This is part two of my response to the newly named Archbishop Leonard of Belgium's statement that homosexuality is not normal in the same way that anorexia is not normal.  (Click here for part one.)  Just to refresh your memory, we were back in my seminary days, when I was doing everything I possibly could to stop myself from masturbating and having homosexual feelings and fantasies.

And, the beat goes on...

Even if there were prayerful ejaculations, the intrinsically-disordered-yet-god-given sexual longings and attractions persisted.  In these dark-night-of-the-soul moments, I was counseled to sidestep my sexual energy and attractions.  In my mind's eye, I was to open up my personal Internet Explorer—Father Tommy's Brain Browser—and click on my "Favorites" tab.  There I was to have numerous bookmarked options, proven in sidestepping the forbidden urge to purge my testosterone cocktail.

Here are just a few of the options that my seminary formation team prescribed:
1.      Pray in Public:  Since offering ejaculations in bed is too risky, why not go down to the chapel and pray before the Blessed Sacrament.  You can’t touch yourself in public, lest you be seen by someone else and reported to the faculty.  But it’s dark in the chapel, and there were so many shadowy options: behind the salty oak shield of an empty pew, the dozen creamy marble side altars, the soundproof anonymity of a desperate confessional, or in the abandoned rafters of the vaulted ceiling.  No, it was safer to pray alone, in your room.

2.      Exercise:  Exhaust yourself physically so that you don't have any energy left for self-abuse.  But, unless you are pumping iron with your cock, the erections will keep coming.

3.      Hands above the Sheets:  If you are cursed with nighttime risings and everlasting morning wood, you should sleep with your hands above the sheets.  Of course, what man in their 20s and sexual prime is not "cursed" with such obstacles?  I was told that sleeping with a body pillow helps.  Not at all. It added to the possibilities and made the physical feelings match up realistically with the fantasies.

4.      Cold Shower: The age old prescription, good for avoiding blindness and hair growth on the palms.  Only, in the seminary, the showers were communal.  Even though everyone had their own little private john and shower cubicle, there was always the fear/fantasy that someone would follow you into your marble-walled closet-sprinkler and take an offering on the tongue.  Not a good place to go when a repressed gay boy can't stop the swelling!

5.      Physical Punishment:   I never went for this, as I wasn’t into spiritual S&M, like John Paul II and the Opus Dei clan.   It was ludicrous that god had given me the gift of a body so that I could scratch, tear, cut, and whip it for god's pleasure and sexual abuse.  The gift of my psyche was another issue.  I preferred psychological mortification.

6.      Call Somebody (Preferably Not a 1-900 Number):  My phone bills were huge in seminary, not to 900 numbers!  There was no anonymity when it came to our school disseminated phone bills.  Being in the Eastern Time Zone, I spent the hours between ten and eleven on the phone with friends and family out west.  The trouble, Father, is that you quickly discover there is no even Stephen and that others are more important to you than you to them, because they never call first, and before you know it, you are jealous and they are never off the hook to your own personal needs, and how is that dependency good for celibacy?  Furthermore, you can't call and wake someone at three in the morning when you wake up with your desperate dick in your happy hand, unless they are looking for phone sex, which is not celibacy, Father. Great Scott! Next option, please.

7.      Go for a Walk with a Friend:   This was a great option; one of my favorites.  I went on walk after walk after walk with friends.  Some of my intimacy needs were met by talking with other closeted gay guys who were secretly going through the same struggle as me.  We waxed theological and philosophical, distancing ourselves from the reality of the wet spots on our flies.  The grounds around the seminary were wooded, an inviting retreat from faculty evaluations and peer scrutiny and a great place for blow jobs, even though I never indulged in that fantasy.  There was always someone else in need of a walk.  The risk of all that walking and talking was getting to close to someone, developing a “particular friendship,” and falling in love.  But gay men were disordered and incapable of falling in real love, so there was really nothing to fear.  Then why did my heart go pitty-pat, when my hand brushed his as we walked under the spring moonlight?  Why do I want to hold his hand?  Why can I not imagine my life without his presence, his friendship, his love?  This love, it is real, right?  It is of god, right?  No!  Dry marriages (that is friendships in which celibates become dependent upon one another and live like spouses even though they are not fucking) are not permitted.  A celibate is to be dependent upon no one, but god Himself (and, of course, holy dysfunctional mother church).

8.      Release the Energy by Singing:  I spent at least ten minutes a day wailing to some musical theatre anathema, I mean anthem, at the top of my lungs.  I majored in acting in college after all, and the theatre was still in my blood.  So I accessed that musical energy: transcendent, purging, and non-touch.  When I was in a butch mood: Garth Brooks or Clint Black provided the template.  But it was safest to stick to the liturgical music of Marty Haugen, David Hass, or Michael Joncas, but even they can be pushed into the background to become a gay masturbatory score.

9.      Dance:  Eventually, I started dancing as I sang.  This was holy; good.  I offered my dance, my entire body, my being, my erections to god like David before the arc of the covenant, without apology, without shame.  These were beautiful moments in my prayer life, and left me feeling very close to god, but the erections persisted and so did the need to love and be loved in an incarnate way, not some spiritual Jesus, but actual flesh and blood, touching me, holding me, penetrating me.  In agony, I begged the god of my celibate, closeted forefathers, "Is this too much to ask?"  The Baptists were right.  It’s dangerous to have sex standing up, because it might lead to dancing.

10.  Go for a Drive: Get lost on the road.  Drive through the countryside.  Lose yourself and your erection in the transcendent landscapes of our great Christian nation, and don’t drink any liquids before leaving.  All those rest stops make tempting cesspits for repressive release.  Everybody knows what goes on in those bushes.  But, there are always cops in the bushes, so resist.  Resist!  I did. Still, that didn't help, for it is possible to drive one's stick shift while on the road.   But, the risks are great, who wants to lose control and pull a solo Parenthood?  Imagine the head-lines! 

11.  Go for a Hike:  Get back to nature.  Feel the earth beneath your feet, the sunlight on your nose, and the wind through your hairy forearms.  Know that the universe transcends you and your celibate struggles.  Commune with the gurgling brooks.  Whistle with the birds.  Walk St. Francis' path.  Only whatever you do, don't hug the trees.  Flora abuse!  Don't pee behind the boulders!  Don't follow the fantasy that the bearded, bearish, sparkle-eyed man with the walking stick and tarnished wedding ring that just greeted you on the path, also looked you up and down, before offering you a willing smile, and inviting, "It's a great day to be alone in the woods, isn't it?"  No!  Don't go there! You sick, perverted, depraved Sodomite!  He's married. There's no way that was a come on.  Stay on the path, the narrow, well-trodden path.  No backwoods ministry for you!  Focus on the smell of the earth, the mushrooms, not Mr. Lumberjack's juicy, musky, begging, loneliness.  That is your own.  Find god in your loneliness!  You are in the desert, not the woods.  Embrace the desert.

12.  Journal: Don't touch yourself, instead grab your pen and the spiral bound pad on your bedside.  Free write for god.  Offer it all up on paper.  Work it out there.  Pray-write it away.  I have notebooks, leather bound journals, and loose leaf sheets covered with all the sexual urges and tears that I exorcised via my journals while a seminarian and a priest.  But still, it's just paper, and the need to seed never went away.

13.  Learn to Play and Instrument (other than your organ): Try sitting at a piano in the chapel and plunking out "Home on the Range" and "Fur Elise" while other are trying to pray.  It's not going to happen.  So, buy a guitar, play in your own private room.  I did and again "Home on the Range" got old fast.  I did get myself up to about a third grade level of guitar playing.  I told myself it was a humbling experience, god putting me in my place.  But I had to be sure to only strum the guitar's chords.

14.  Go Out with Friends:  as long as your friends are also closeted and celibate and that you don't go to any questionable (off campus) venues.  I never went to a gay bar until after I'd left the priesthood, and even then it was a traumatic experience, so indoctrinated I was to believe that just entering a place like that would give me a venereal disease or that I'd immediately be gang raped by lecherous, dirty, old men .  After all, if priests were hitting on me throughout college and seminary, it had to be so much worse in gay bar, right?


     If all else failed, and ultimately it did, I was counseled to picture a big red stop sign in my mind and silently scream "STOP!"
This is how I was to treat my sexual urges, thoughts, and fantasies.  I was to order them to stop.  I was to sidestep them and ultimately compartmentalize and repress them, all under the guise of celibacy for the kingdom of god, because for a homosexual Catholic, whether or not s/he is a priest, brother, or nun, the only option for one's sexual salvation is celibacy.

And that, according to Archy Leo, Pope Ben, and Catholic moralists around the world is normal.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Different Strokes for Different Folks: a Guest Blog Post

     My buddy, Russ Manley, over at Blue Truck, Red State (http://bluetruckredstate.blogspot.com), gave me permission to reprint his following recent post, "Different Strokes for Different Folks."   Thanks, Russ!  And, thanks for being a fellow voice crying out in the face of the Gospel According to Hate.


     I used to have a certain admiration for the late Pope John Paul II as an indefatigable supporter of human rights in general, notwithstanding his also obvious support for the Catholic moral position on matters of sexuality.

      But I can never forget the cold and cutting pronouncement he made in his last book, Memory and Identity, reported in the news media just a week or two after my husband's death, that same-sex marriage was an "ideology of evil."  Yes, two men and a little dog living quietly and peacefully in a little town far out on the prairie, working their jobs, serving the community, paying their taxes, attending church, buying groceries, doing all the very same things their neighbors did, day in and day out, were "objectively disordered" and "intrinsically evil," points he had already made in a letter to American bishops twenty years earlier. 

      But now with my husband barely cold in the ground, I felt His Holiness's nasty, coldhearted, evil-minded words more acutely than ever before.  This was a man, it must be recalled, in a position of ultimate moral authority over more than a billion people; and for all his great intellect and wide experience, the best he could say about Cody and me is that we were evil, and promoting evil.  Really. 

      Well now come to find out, as Sullivan and others have reported, the late Pontiff
whipped himself with a belt, even on vacation, and slept on the floor as acts of penitence and to bring him closer to Christian perfection, according to a new book by the Polish prelate spearheading his sainthood case...

     "It's an instrument of Christian perfection," Oder said, responding to questions about how such a practice could be condoned considering Catholic teaching holds that the human body is a gift from God.

     "As some members of his close entourage in Poland and in the Vatican were able to hear with their own ears, John Paul flagellated himself. In his armoire, amid all the vestments and hanging on a hanger, was a belt which he used as a whip and which he always brought to Castel Gandolfo," the papal retreat where John Paul vacationed each summer.
     Sullivan, a devout Catholic, approves, saying
    I have every respect for the practice of self-mortification and self-denial. . . .  I see the last Pope's embrace of these things as affecting signs of his deep and genuine closeness to God.
     Yet despite his loyal support for self-flagellation - a practice which Jesus never indulged in, and never, ever recommended - that brilliant mind also has the independence to ask the pertinent question here:
    So why is self-abuse inherently wrong when it is done by hand and yet saintly when it is done by whip?
     Masturbation, of course, is also an "intrinsically and gravely disordered action," the Church says.

      So - if you jack yourself off, or you get off with your committed partner, you are committing outrageous evil.  And destroying civilization while you're at it.  Don't even think about asking for the law to protect your love and marriage, you filthy, twisted, disordered creep, you.

      But - if you whip yourself bloody in your bedroom every night, why, God smiles - and loves you even more.

      Now I ask you, fellas:  Just how fucked up is that?

      Christian perfection, my ass. 

      And again I refer my truckbuddies to Matthew 25 for clarification.

And the Beat Goes on...

Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports:
     "Homosexuality is not the same as normal sex in the same way that anorexia is not a normal appetite," says the new Archbishop of Belgium.
     Archbishop Léonard's comments were made in an interview with a Belgian television station. He added that he would "never call anorexia patients abnormal."
     A few years ago, when he was serving as Bishop of Namen, he caused a storm of controversy when he said that homosexuality was abnormal. Last week Pope Benedict XVI named him as the successor to Archbishop Daniels.

What to say in response to that?  Catholic clerics have already told us gays that we're going to hell.  The Rick Warrens, Anita Bryants, and Proposition 8 supporters of the world have taken the pastime of equating homosexuality with pedophilia, incest, and bestiality and ontologically transformed it into a political fetish and fund-raising Avatar.  We homos are used to the name-calling, so why not add eating disorders to the mix?  Make homosexuality a behavioral addiction!

Well sorry, Archy Leo, but you are so last century.

In seminary, I learned all about how sin is addiction.  I was formed to treat my sexual energy, which was supposedly created in god's image and given to me as a divine gift, like it was an addiction.  If I had a sexual thought that I couldn't shake (figuratively and literally), I was counseled to first acknowledge its existence, because as one of my professors warned me: "You're only as sick as your secrets."  I thought he was so wise, so deep.  It wasn't until a few years later that I realized he was a plagiarist and probably a recovered alcoholic, who had taken his Twelve Step theology and projected it onto his celibate delusion

For many celibates, sexual energy has to be treated as an addiction, for it's a slippery slope: a passing attraction, a slip of the eye, a random sexual thought, focusing on the sexy thought, fantasizing about the thought, erection, multiple fantasies, cascades of erections, animal gravity wrestling one’s hands South, masturbation, random, uncontrollable, addictive gay sex, AIDS, death, and an eternity in hell!

But still, I was assured that to have a mere sexual thought was okay, because who can control a thought or an urge coming into their consciousness?

But to dwell, indulge, or (dog forbid) act upon it was sinful.  So, the first thing  that I was prescribed to do was to diffuse the thought or attraction by taking it to prayer, to offer it up to god, which I did, and which always failed, except for the times that I ended up jacking off while praying. 

When I was really pent-up and hadn't masturbated for a month, something else bubbled up from my sulfuric testosterone tar pits.  The gift of my vivid imagination began to reward me with visions, very sensual, communal, and holy interactions within the spirit of prayer, and I experienced what some call "spiritual ecstasy," a.k.a. a spontaneous orgasm or at least a prolonged edging brought on by prayerful indulgence in ones spiritual/sexual appetites. 


And, it was okay!—because I was meditating over god, heaven, communion, etc.  After all, Saints Theresa and John of the Cross experienced ecstasy, so these non-touch orgasms had to be of god, not my own self-indulgence.  During this period of blessed ecstasy, I prayed for hours a day, not to satisfy my own sexual appetite, of course, but for the salvation of the world and for deeper communion with god in my prayer.


And that, according to Archy Leo, Pope Ben, and Catholic moralists around the world, is normal.




Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Hate Prayer: Part One



“I’m praying for you.” “God bless you.”  “Jesus will take care of you.” “I pray for you everyday.” “My prayers have been answered.” “It was god’s will.” “It’s a miracle.” “Please don’t give up on prayer.” “I just pray you haven’t lost your faith.” “Jesus loves you.” “You’re in my prayers.”
            AHHHHHHHH!
            I’ve heard them all, the pious platitudes considered common courtesy in religious circles, and I’ve come to accept them as part of certain relationships because I love and respect my religious friends and family.  Not wanting to offend them, I’ve refrained from telling them how their prayerful statements make me feel.  Perhaps this is another leftover from my seminary formation, the indoctrination beat into aspiring priests to avoid “scandalizing the faithful.”   A view based on the hasty generalization that people are weak and their faith is frail, vulnerable to destruction by any challenge. 
However, as more and more years separate me from the religious culture in which I used to live, I find that the warnings of “scandalizing the faithful” are and were just one more veiled method of coercion to control priests that use their brains to think independently.  Similarly, so are the prayerful platitudes with which I started this post, seemingly helpful and loving statements that are increasingly offending me. 
You see, I don’t care if you pray.  I don’t care if walk down the street talking to your imaginary friends named Frank, Harvey, and Hobbes.  I just don’t want to hear about it, and you definitely don’t need to tell me about the conversations that you have with your god about me.
            Do I end conversations or letters by saying “I’m not praying for you,” or “I don’t believe in god so he can’t bless you,” or “An atheist’s peace be with you,”?  No!  I don’t.  To paraphrase your greatest commandment: I don’t rub it in your face, so don’t rub it in mine. 
            Here’s the thing, to an atheist, prayer is a crock of shit.  There’s no nicer way to put it.  If you meditate, contemplate, journal, etc. trying to center yourself or to get in touch with your inner truth and/or the greater truth and/or peace of the universe, that’s one thing—a helpful and healthy choice for some people.  I’m not talking about you.  I don’t consider that a type of prayer in the traditional, folded-hands-on-bended-knee-at-the-bedside-every-night way.
I’m talking about the kind of prayer that treats your greater power as a cosmic vending machine, prayer that reduces everyone else on the planet to players in your epic drama, or prayer that gives you permission to hit others with your god-stick.  I’m talking about self-centered prayer with an agenda. 
No matter what they teach you in Sunday school or seminary, prayer isn’t a selfless act.  It isn’t about the other.  Prayer is one hundred and forty four thousand percent about you.  What is prayer but one’s own personal, familial, financial, and political lobbying machine?  It’s self-centered spiritual masturbation.   And, what is masturbation to religious zealots?  Sin.  So, one could argue that prayer is sin.
So, please, stop praying for me.  I don’t want to be part of your spiritual/masturbatory fantasies, because I’m not going to change.  You’re wasting your time and you’re sending bad vibes my way (more on that in tomorrow’s post). 
And next time you’re talking to an atheist, agnostic, or person who worships a different god than you, show them some respect.  Swallow that pious need to express your prayerful concern for them.  A simple, “I love you” or “I’m thinking of you” or even “Good-bye” will suffice.

Image Credits:
Tattoo of Praying Hands by Greg at Religious Tattoos: Devoted to Judeo Christian Body Art
Cosmic Vending Machine by Katorisi at Wikimedia Commons