Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prayer solves gas pains?

Every time (and it happens quite frequently) that I hear someone say "Americans are stupid" or something to that effect, I cringe. It doesn't matter how intelligent that person is, once they utter that phrase they go down in my esteem. It's like saying Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are stupid — it's a sweeping generalization, and it makes you sound ignorant and arrogant. There are over 350 million Americans and if they were all stupid, America would not have reached the super power status is has today — I'm not saying it deserves that status, but it didn't get there by being a country populated entirely by idiots. 

That being said, there are, like anywhere, some stupid, arrogant people in the United States and some of them are crediting God for lowering their gas prices

I make no secret of my lack of spiritual beliefs, but I try not to infringe on the spiritual sides of others. However, this really got my goat, as it were. There are over 6 billion people living on earth today, and according to the World Bank over one billion people live in extreme poverty, living on less than $1 a day. According to world religion statistics compiled by, the number one religion is Christianity with approximately 2.1 billion devotees, followed by Islam with 1.5 billion, Hindus close behind at 900 million, and so on  — in short, there are a lot of believers out there, which leads me to make what I believe to be a well-educated guess that a lot of people pray at least once a day. 

Though most world religions teach you to be selfless, chances are a lot of people are praying that they make it through the day, and yet a lot of people die from something we take for granted in the West like nutritional deficiencies or influenza, many of them small children. So it boggles my mind that there are people out there praying for gas prices to be lowered, particularly since they believe their prayers are being answered. 

When I first heard the story on CBC radio this morning, one woman complained that she had to make the decision between food and gas for her car — now, I don't know her exact situation, maybe there is no public transit where she lives, and she can't carpool or walk to work. But then again, maybe she can, and in that case she needs to get her priorities straight. 

The "Pray at the Pump" movement are ignoring some statistics from the Federal Highway Administration, which says Americans are driving less — 53.2 billion miles less — and that's what's causing the drop in American gas prices to $3.78/gallon from the over $4/ gallon it was this in July. 

Perhaps I'm taking this too seriously, and I should be laughing off people who think the drop in gas prices is a direct result of divine intervention. But there's something about this that just reeks of a sense of entitlement due to living in a first world country. 

Someone told me recently that if third world countries were as rich as Canada or the U.S., they would be just as decadent. That may very well be true, but it's no excuse for whining over not being able to drive our cars when some people don't even have access to bicycles.

1 comment:

Adam Riggio said...

I found a great couple of lines that fit this "God lowered my gas prices by five cents" movement. It's 120 years old, but it fits pretty well here.

"The most modest exercise of the intellect, not to say of decency, should certainly be enough to convince these interpreters of the perfect childishness and unworthiness of such a misuse of the divine digital dexterity. However small our piety, if we ever encountered a god who always cured us of a cold in the head at just the right time, or got us into our carriage at the very instant heavy rain began to fall, he would seem so absurd a god that he'd have to be abolished even if he existed. God as a domestic servant, as a letter carrier, as an almanac--man--at bottom, he is' a mere name for the stupidest sort of chance. . . . "Divine Providence," which every third man in "educated Germany" still believes in, is so strong an argument against God that it would be impossible to think of a stronger. "

Read The Anti Christ when you get a chance. It's good funny light Nietzsche. How's Vancouver?