I beling to a bunch of rescue groups on facebook. These groups solicit for "pledges" for animals that are on the shortlist for euthanization or need medical or something, or to organize transport. Animals whose adoption fees are paid are obviously a lot easier to adopt out than ones with fees attached.
(One of my pathetic loser white boys stalkers used to try and taunt me by claiming he belonged to an organization that kills feral kitties, because that doesn't make him look like a future school shooter or anything. Nothing's more pathetic than a loser white guy who has all the advantages of being a white guy in America, but is still so utterly mediocre that he can't do more than get shitty jobs, inflate his resumé, and rage against women for wanting to take his "vidya.")
So people in these facebook groups pledge money or share the page around till an animal gets enough donations so that they can be adopted or whatever medical treatment they need is paid for. Simple, practical process, right?
You always get people who either say they're praying or that they're sharing "with prayers." Worse yet, you sometimes get people who do the whole prayer right there in feont of you, usually at least a paragraph and often including something like "in Jesus' name amen." Based on my own highly-unscientific study, these people are NEVER the ones offering actual money. Never. Or any other kind of material support whatsoever. People note that they shared so the rescuers know how far it's spread. That's fine. But this?
I fucking hate these people.
For one thing, they clutter up the process. Are you donating money? Sharing? Maybe you had a pet who once also looked like a loser bet, but turned into a wonderful cuddleball? Great. I love reading success stories.
But prayers? Prayers do no fucking good at all. However, the people who pull this seem to think they do. Do they want credit? Do they feel guilty? Because if they posted, "I went and hugged my own kitty/put out extra treats for the feral I feed/whatever" I would totally get that. That's coping and an animal, somewhere, benefits.
But prayers. Partially this is because I absolutely love the bit in the Bible about "praying in your closet." And I hate the flashy assholes who are so frickin' ostentatious about it all. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (I mentally replace "door" with "mouth."
Then again, I think religion should not be a fucking threesome: you, your god, and your ego. Praying in public is a lot like masturbating in public or sending a dick pic. Did I ask (as in 'request', a useful substitute word for this phrase) for this? If I wanted to address your shortcomings, I'd make a request. Notice how different "Ask for it" and "Request it" are here? Think of other discussions where this could be a useful switch. Anyhoo. Still. I don't get the way guys think their little friend's abrupt appearance will be welcome, unsolicited. Penises look like some weird kind of turtle without a shell. Did you lose your pond, little feller? Should I toss it into a nearby creek?
Likewise, just because you're in love with your best friend down there doesn't mean anybody else will be. Dicks require introductions before you can really appreciate them. Let's face it, genitalia in general does not look like it was designed soberly. Why not put it someplace easier to reach? Then people could reproduce without complicated Twister-like manuevers. How about USB ports? (Although the hair things in "Avatar" were.....weird. Accessible doesn't have to mean flapping around in the breeze.) Can you tell I'm sleep deprived?
Anyhoo, though, religion seems to me to be an intimate issue of morals. The more moral you are, the less you do it for praise or publicity. In fact, such things are incredibly tacky. Who are you doing it for? If there's a photo op, well......
Look at Jimmy Carter. The guy has been building houses quietly for decades, but the press has to make an effort to search him out. He's too busy....building houses.
I once read a devastating article about the reality of those "charitable" missions to Africa or wherever. The writer talked about the goofing off, the coffee breaks, the way they had so little training in construction that the villagers had to quietly demolish the missionaries' work every evening and replace it with their own.....Another missionary got slammed when she arrived in Nairobi and discovered it was a sophistocated, cosmopolitan city, not the mud huts she'd imagined. She was not happy. What's the point of helping people who don't make for good photo ops? (And who are very different from one's self, perhaps, in skin tone---so as to serve, perhaps, as a human passport stamp?)
One of the things I loved about the Army was the feeling of putting aside's one's self, one's life, to help other people, whether it was processing Cuban people for immigration to the US, or trying to get toys for Iraqi kids. Nobody will know. There will be no medals, no commendations. The most you might get is seeing a guy working the fields he now owns, or driving the new (old) taxi he uses to pay for his daughter's school. That guy, those people---that's what we sll should be doing, but if you're three cans of tuna away from your next payday, nobody's going to criticize you for needing to take care of yourself.
I don't think it's guilt, either. Everybody has seen the regretful, "I wish I could,"----and understood. These "prayers" resemble "thoughts and prayers" to me, but less harmless. "Thoughts and prayers" take the place of the gibbering that would happen if people tried to put their emotions into speech following another gun massacre. Ostentatious prayers are pretending to help, while spending neither money nor effort, and in fact, looking for attention.
People just don't need to know. As Mother Jones said, "Pray for the dead. Fight like hell for the living."
Get fighting. Get doing. Just anything but talking about it.