Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn't in God's Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn't it seem a little arrogant? It's a Divine Plan. What's the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and screw up Your Plan?
And here's something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren't answered. What do you say? "Well, it's God's will." "Thy Will Be Done." Fine, but if it's God's will, and He's going to do what He wants to anyway, why bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn't you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It's all very confusing.
If you haven't seen his whole routine, I placed the video at the bottom of this post. I think it is hilarious.
But now to the Texas School Board, it seems that today before the board continued their waste of tax payer dollars by arguing over what should be in textbooks, they had to have an opening prayer. Now what is the purpose of prayer for evangelicals? Perhaps to ask for the ability to be honest with the facts and to treat others with dignity and respect? Oh no, the purpose of Boardmember Cynthia Dunbar was to lecture the crowd on her view of history. She was informing God, I guess, of the Christian history of the United States. I often saw this when I was a Christian. Public prayers most of the time were a pretense to preach to those who were in attendance. It was an opportunity to tell people things that you wanted to tell them without them interrupting you.
Listen to Ms. Dunbar's prayer:
In typical P. Z. Myers' fashion, he calls Ms. Dunbar's prayer for what it actually was--an arrogant act of cowardice.
Of course she wasn't actually lecturing god — that entity doesn't exist, and if you believe he does, then it would be an act of hubris to stand there and tell him what to think — but she was instead taking a moment to harangue the committee and audience with her far-right revisionist baloney without risk that someone might challenge her. In a room full of god-fearin' folk, she didn't have to worry about anyone interrupting a prayer to tell her that she's full of crap. It was an act of outrageous cowardice.
George Carlin on Religion and Prayer: