Pray 4 Trig

Prayer poster

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff Eyges alerted me to the website Pray 4 Trig, and it’s a fundie winner! Its subtitle tells us that its purpose is to organize a “Worldwide Day of Prayer to Heal Trig Palin”.

The home page is set up as a FAQ.

Q: So what makes this particular prayer so special? Why should congregations gather in support of it?

A: Atheists and others who hate God…

Umm… Actually, if you would bother to look up the definition of an atheist… oh, never mind. Why do I bother?

…like to claim that He only “answers prayers” where divine intervention can’t be proven. They make websites about it, like Why Won’t God Heal Amputees? They say that God won’t answer the prayers of amputees because He isn’t real!

Mommy!! Suzy said that Santa isn’t real! Tell her she’s wrong!

Q: Well, why doesn’t He answer their prayers?

A: Honestly, when’s the last time you heard of a congregation praying, with faith, that a member’s lost limb would be restored to him? Never in my lifetime. Too many people lack faith.

Seriously? That’s their answer? That most Christians are too disinterested in helping out others in their congregation? That’s a seriously damning condemnation. And they claim atheists don’t have morals!

Apparently God is sitting up there on his cloud just waiting to heal amputees, but nobody bothers to ask him! If all they’d do was ask, there would be a worldwide epidemic of new arms and legs sprouting up everywhere!

With enough congregations joining up, I have no doubt there will be sufficient people with genuine faith in God (instead of lip service) to ensure that Trig Palin is healed of Down Syndrome.

They’re also saying that most Christians aren’t True Christians™. God ignores non-True Christians™, so all of the praying that they do goes straight into God’s commode. He likes to stand in front of the toilet and watch the non-True Christians’™ prayers swirl around in the bowl and then disappear as he flushes their prayers away.

God is a dick.

Q: Why Trig Palin?

A: Trig Palin is well known in the media; people all over the world know just who he is, and they already care about him. It will be much easier for them to sincerely pray for someone they care for, instead of what to them is a random name.

Apparently True Christians™ save all their brotherly love for the children of True Republicans™.

Also, it is known publicly that Trig Palin indeed has Down Syndrome. Science has no way to undo this condition, which is the result of an extra chromosome; but God can. When Trig Palin is found to be miraculously healed, everyone but the most hardened atheist will have to acknowledge God’s Majesty!

Hey, that’s all we ever asked for. A little freakin’ evidence for once!

So what happens when Trig isn’t healed? Does that mean God doesn’t exist?

The rest of that page is filled with mundane stuff, such as telling us that this global event of True Christians™ will happen on April 18, 2010.

Presumably, that means that on April 19, Trig will be “Down-free” (No, you don’t get down off a Trig. You get down off a duck.) and there will be a mass conversion of atheists to Christianity.

Or, more likely, Trig will still have Down Syndrome, and there will be a mass conversion of Christians to atheism. (Who am I kidding? Only the first part of that sentence will be true.)

50 Responses to “Pray 4 Trig”

  1. Bart v.d. M. Says:

    On the one hand this’ll mean that in addition to pointing at ‘all the studies’ we can soon point at this event and say that prayer apparently has no effect whatsoever, but on the other I sure hope Trig isn’t getting his hopes up, because that’ll mean his special day will get ruined. But of course, I should ‘have a little faith’, shouldn’t I? If you think positive, stuff can only turn out positive, right?

  2. Parrotlover77 Says:

    They’re also saying that most Christians aren’t True Christians™. God ignores non-True Christians™, so all of the praying that they do goes straight into God’s commode. He likes to stand in front of the toilet and watch the non-True Christians’™ prayers swirl around in the bowl and then disappear as he flushes their prayers away.

    But the question on everyone’s mind: Do the toilets in heaven swirl clockwise or counterclockwise?

  3. ZombieChrist Says:

    I will pray twice as hard as any christian that Down’s syndrome suddenly becomes contagious and spreads to Sarah Palin.

  4. tkd Says:

    Not posting this to be flippant about what happened to this family, but this is the most public, large-scale pray for healing I have ever seen. Seems to me there has never been “evidence” it works. Just more sad stories like this one:
    http://twitter.com/natalienorton

  5. Mary K. Says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA……I almost pissed my pants over this one!

  6. J. A. Baker Says:

    (No, you don’t get down off a Trig. You get down off a duck.)

    Cue the Sad Trombone.

    (And yes, I “fixed” your link.)

  7. Jeff Eyges Says:

    But the question on everyone’s mind: Do the toilets in heaven swirl clockwise or counterclockwise?

    I just got here and was going to ask that!

    Trust me, when it doesn’t work, they’ll blame it on the “negative spiritual energy” or “spiritual pollution” or whatever that we atheists put out. All the more justification for getting rid of us.

  8. Troy Says:

    Unfortunately, the window of opportunity to cure Trig Palin passed, Down’s syndrome is nothing an ultrasound/amniocentesis and an abortion can’t cure. Sarah Palin got the first part right but didn’t swallow the medicine.

    Well anyway she got some mileage out of it, it makes her a darling of the religious right and culminated in the arrival of the Wasilla hillbillies.

  9. Bacopa Says:

    Having Trisomy-21 (Down’s syndrome) is as unlikely to be healed as is an amputation. It’s even worse than that. Suppose all Trig’s cells were given a normal chromosome configuration by some miracle: What would happpen? Almost nothing. That extra chromosome does its damage during embryonic and fetal development. The most that can be hoped for is that Trig will reach the highest levels of functioning for a Down’s child. If he does reach his level of functioning I don’t think we can attribute that to prayer. AFAIK, Trig was born pretty healthy and required no major medical interventions as a neonate. That good start plus the obvious resources of the Palin family make Trig’s prospects very good.

  10. Mike aka MonolithTMA Says:

    I added April 19th to my calendar so I can follow up on this. It’s so sad to see people abused in this way, getting their hopes up only to have them dashed upon the rocks.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Unfortunately, the window of opportunity to cure Trig Palin passed, Down’s syndrome is nothing an ultrasound/amniocentesis and an abortion can’t cure. Sarah Palin got the first part right but didn’t swallow the medicine.

    Well anyway she got some mileage out of it, it makes her a darling of the religious right and culminated in the arrival of the Wasilla hillbillies.

    That statement plays right into the fundie’s hands! It is the attitude they claim all pro-choice supporters have.

    Not every liberal heathen thinks that abortion is the “cure” for a genetic deformity. That’s why it’s called “pro-choice” and not “pro-abortion.”

    Sarah Palin, hate her as I do, has every right to have her daughter’s Down’s child, toss it around like a sack of potatos, and use it for political gain. It’s distasteful, yes, but it’s her choice. So far, there are no signs of abuse (other than perhaps the fundie upbringing, but that’s another conversation entirely), so, well, there you go.

  12. J. A. Baker Says:

    The most that can be hoped for is that Trig will reach the highest levels of functioning for a Down’s child.

    But given the fundie upbringing Trig is likely to receive, how will we know the difference?

  13. Portwes Says:

    1) If god does insert that missing chromosome, will he also change the typical Down’s facial features, or is Trig stuck with the existing face? how will we know it’s Trig if he gets a new face?

    2) “if enough people with genuine faith pray”
    - how many is enough? 12? 39? 852?
    - how do we know when faith is genuine? is there a Faith SAT test god gives? what score will qualify your faith as geniune?

  14. SoreLoser Says:

    When I first read this, I thought that all us atheists (me for the last 50+ years) should join in the praying. After all, I would switch if god actually showed up and did something like cure a Down’s Syndrome kid or regrew some of those amputations.

    But then I’m not a Christian so god would ignore me…even though I’m actually one of the most important converts he could make. He already has the Christians (or [fill in the blank]) on board so wouldn’t it make sense to go after teh atheists?

    I guess my Sundays are safe for watching football.

  15. Jeff Eyges Says:

    It occurs to me that as his facial features will remain unchanged, this woman can claim that he was, in fact, healed, but that God chose to leave his external appearance the same as a reminder to us of – whatever.

    There is no limit to their capacity for denial. If it were energy, we’d never run out. They have an inexhaustible supply.

  16. OtherRob Says:

    I have to say that if Trig Palin were to suddenly be cured of Down syndrome on April 19 it would give me pause for thought.

  17. Jeff Eyges Says:

    IF it were to happen, it could be the result of directed “energy” (I’m sorry to sound New Agey; I don’t know how else to express it). It would put the kibosh on materialism, but it wouldn’t necessarily indicate existence of a personal creator. Naturally, the fundies – most people of faith, probably – wouldn’t see it that way; for them, everything is always an either/or proposition.

    Larry Dossey wrote a series of books in the nineties and early part of this decade exploring the relationship between prayer and healing. He claimed to have found something on the order of 140 studies (when he began) that indicated a positive correlation.

    Now, we have this study, the results of which were published a couple of years ago, indicating no correlation at all. I don’t know what to think.

    However, whichever way it turns out – you’re right, Ron. He’s still a dick.

  18. OtherRob Says:

    Jeff, I don’t believe there has been any *scientific* studies showing that prayer has any positive effect. In fact, in one study (the details of which escape me) a couple of years ago, the group of patients who knew they were being prayed for actually did *worse* than the control group.

    And you’re right, if there were any improvement of Trig on the 19th there are many possible causes ranging from actual intersession by the One True God™ to pure coincidence. Though such an occurrence would definitely push me back toward “Believer” on the belief spectrum.

    Of course, I don’t expect anything to actually happen.

  19. Jeff Eyges Says:

    In fact, in one study (the details of which escape me) a couple of years ago, the group of patients who knew they were being prayed for actually did *worse* than the control group.

    Yeah, that’s the one I’m talking about. Dossey, however, spent the better part of a decade claiming there was sound evidence to the contrary. I think his books were footnoted, as well – but I’m too lazy (and, at this point, too disinterested) to go back and check out his sources now.

    In any case, if God does exist, it does his bid for recognition no good at all that those who are the most vocal in the case for his existence are invariably abject morons.

  20. Ron Britton Says:

    OtherRob said:

    I have to say that if Trig Palin were to suddenly be cured of Down syndrome on April 19 it would give me pause for thought.

    Jeff Eyges said:

    It would put the kibosh on materialism, but it wouldn’t necessarily indicate existence of a personal creator.

    Jeff, I hope I’m not over- or misinterpreting what you’re saying, but it kind of seems like you’re trying to weasel out of it.

    Yes, his “miraculous” cure would be strong evidence for non-materialism while simultaneously not being proof of the precise Biblical worldview espoused by these people. However, it seems to me that in order for this stunt to actually work, the supernatural realm would probably have to be somewhere in the neighborhood of the Christian theology.

    Just as the true believers will come up with a litany of justifications for why this didn’t work (when it ultimately fails), it kind of sounds like you’re prepared to come up with your own excuses for not becoming a Christian.

    As for me, I would probably become a believer in the most generic form of a deity. Without further evidence, I would be unable to describe it any more specifically than that.

    However, whichever way it turns out – you’re right, Ron. He’s still a dick.

    Actually, I’m not saying that God, if he/she/it exists, really is a dick. I’m saying that the petty, selfish, petulant little bastard of a God invented by the Pray4Trig people is a massive dick.

  21. Troy Says:

    A reply to Parrotlover77:
    While I would have made a different choice than Palin, I don’t deny the right to make the choice she did, and it is all the better that it was informed. Essentially nature makes these choices all the time, with chromosome 21 the smallest of them it can slip through the natural safeguards that we have. On the other hand if Palin had her way she would in fact deny me (or actually my girlfriend who feels the same as I) that choice.

  22. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Just as the true believers will come up with a litany of justifications for why this didn’t work (when it ultimately fails), it kind of sounds like you’re prepared to come up with your own excuses for not becoming a Christian.

    No, not at all – because it isn’t going to work!

    I was just responding to what OtherRob said. And I don’t think that this –

    it seems to me that in order for this stunt to actually work, the supernatural realm would probably have to be somewhere in the neighborhood of the Christian theology.

    necessarily follows at all. It could be (and I’m not arguing for this) that we have a rarely-tapped ability to influence reality from a distance. It wouldn’t have to involve a creator at all. This was, essentially, Dossey’s assertion – he tried to tie it in to the concept of non-locality, or entanglement.

    I must say, though, that if there is a personal creator, he is a “petty, selfish, petulant little bastard of a God”. To sit back and watch us suffer for all of these millennia, doing absolutely nothing to alleviate or mitigate it – how could this possibly be justified? Free will? “His ways are not our ways”? Surely, that isn’t where you mean to go. If he does exist, he doesn’t deserve our devotion. This is what the maltheists believe – that he exists, but is a complete prick, and we shouldn’t be feeding his massive ego.

    Please tell me that if this works you aren’t all going to fall on your knees and Praise Jesus!

  23. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Here, I’ll offer you another scenario. Modern Orthodox (as opposed to ultra-Orthodox) Jews believe that Christians are mistaken, but they do think that God accepts their worship and devotion. It’s a condescending attitude – Christianity is suitable for them, because they aren’t sophisticated or mature enough to conceptualize pure monotheism, so, essentially, God makes allowances. There are even a few who take the position that Christianity is God’s revelation to the gentiles; that it’s actually what he wants them to be engaged in. Of course, at the end of the day, they still believe that Judaism represents absolute truth, and that Christianity – well, let’s just say, “less so”. Every person of faith believes that his or her belief system is a “theory of everything”.

    My only point is that if any paranormal activity is observed, it doesn’t prove the validity of one particular interpretation. As I said originally, it isn’t either/or. If something extraordinary occurs, it doesn’t necessarily mean “Goddidit!”

  24. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeff:

    I didn’t say I’d believe their interpretation. I said I’d be inclined to believe a very generic form. If somebody proposed an alternative explanation that satisfies Occam’s Razor, I’d go with that instead.

    One data point provides very little information. You can’t conclude much from it.

  25. Jeff Eyges Says:

    One data point provides very little information. You can’t conclude much from it.

    That’s what I’m trying to say. I think we’re saying the same thing.

    And I realize you aren’t saying you’d become a fundie. I’m just saying it wouldn’t even have to be understood in a theistic context, even one that is broadly-defined. That’s what the Buddhists would do with it, for example (although experience has convinced me that they – the Tibetans and their followers, at any rate – are coming from pretty much the same place in many regards as are the theists; it just gets filtered through a different cultural lens).

    I really shouldn’t be starting sentences with, “If this works… .” A Christian reading it will think, “Oh, those atheists, they aren’t as certain as they pretend to be, they know the truth in their hearts…”!

  26. TheRealistMom Says:

    Holy shit (pun absolutely intended), this is offensive on so many levels I can’t even begin to describe it here. Guess it’s time for me to dust off the blog I’ve been neglecting. I’m ranking this up with the idiot on FSTDT that claimed mental handicaps are caused by sins committed in the womb, and if the developmentally disabled would repent they would be “cured”. Only this will get a lot more publicity.

    I’m guessing then being a terrible atheist and all I must have inflicted Down syndrome on my child, it wasn’t a 1 in 2650 chance for a woman age 23 to have a child with that particular genetic anomaly. (the chances of a conception with trisomy 21 is likely much higher, just that most result in miscarriage).

    Assholes.

  27. Flah Says:

    I concur, RealistMom, this is beyond offensive. How will they claim success? How will they place the blame for failure? And what kind of asshole does it take to build a prayer chain for a child that probably has better access to health care than most other children in the friggin’ world??

  28. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I’m ranking this up with the idiot on FSTDT that claimed mental handicaps are caused by sins committed in the womb, and if the developmentally disabled would repent they would be “cured”.

    Seriously? I must admit that’s a new one to me – and there isn’t much these days, coming from their quarter, that takes me by surprise.

    Actually, this is probably FSTDT material as well.

  29. OtherRob Says:

    Jeff said:

    Please tell me that if this works you aren’t all going to fall on your knees and Praise Jesus!

    No, I won’t be doing that. But if by some miracle ;) Trig were to be cured, I would definitely slide somewhat more toward belief on the believer/agnostic/athiest spectrum.

    Skeptics and non-believers say, “show me the evidence.” Well, this would be evidence.

    RealistMom said:

    I’m ranking this up with the idiot on FSTDT that claimed mental handicaps are caused by sins committed in the womb, and if the developmentally disabled would repent they would be “cured”.

    What? What?! Human beings believe this? Actual human beings capable of forming sentences and feeding themselves? This is just beyond my comprehension.

  30. Syldoran Says:

    OtherRob: I’m under the assumption that those human beings are able to form sentences and feed themselves as more of an instinct. It doesn’t require real thinking–which goes hand-in-hand with the lifestyle.

  31. TheRealistMom Says:

    I lost several neurons in this search, but I finally found what I was looking for on FSTDT:

    Quote# 19388

    [about a girl being born with mental disabilities]

    This girl is like a leper so what she needs to do is try and find god

    if she really believes she can be healed from this state, she will be healed from this state

    Most afflictions like this are caused by sins committed while still inside the womb. If she can repent for what she does god will embrace her and make her as human as you or me but if she chooses not to she’ll always be like this

    god tests every one of us

    The stupidity, it burns.

  32. Jeff Eyges Says:

    That’s incredible. Someone that stupid shouldn’t be allowed to be fully participatory in a democracy. Really, there needs to be a penalty, some form of sanction, as a consequence to being that hateful and willfully obtuse.

  33. godlizard Says:

    I know of families who have done wonders to make their Downs’ syndrome child’s life the best it can possibly be, with nutrition, physical and cognitive therapy, and a lot of hard work. Sadly, none of that can be accomplished while hauling a child around to wingnut pep rallies like a stage prop.

    and @TheRealistMom, that is truly reprehensible. Xtians who form stupid pointless prayer-circle jerks are one thing, but ignorant freaks that blame innocent children for womb-sins are beyond stupid. They’re beyond beyond. Womb sins? Really? SINS IN THE WOMB? How completely insanely evil do you have to be to cite embryonic transgressions as a justification for childhood disability?

    It’s at least as evil as blaming 9/11 or AIDS on homosexuals, or earthquakes on Hatian slaves struggling for freedom.

    It’s an awful lot of evil, isn’t it?

  34. Parrotlover77 Says:

    It could be (and I’m not arguing for this) that we have a rarely-tapped ability to influence reality from a distance.

    OMGZ ITS TEH SECRET!! OPRAH!!! But yea, I agree with you. It would certainly open up a possibility to prayer working and, therefore, some form of god being at the other end… but it could also just be The Secret.

    Like all good science, to know for sure we would need repeated experimentation to make sure it wasn’t just a statistical anomoly. But that’s not how fundies work, so we don’t need to worry about getting all sciency and finding the truth!

    I think that if Trig shows better-than-average intelligence or physical ability that Pray4Trig will claim a resounding success — a prayed for miracle right before our eyes!

    Nevermind that Palin’s substantial resources, connections, and wealth could have had any influence on better-than-average performance. And if Trig is average or below average? It was god’s plan! God is not a soda dispenser of miracles! Etc.

    Most afflictions like this are caused by sins committed while still inside the womb. If she can repent for what she does god will embrace her and make her as human as you or me but if she chooses not to she’ll always be like this

    What sins can a fetus possibly commit? I’m being absolutely serious here. Children don’t really form any sort of actual complex thought until months after they are born (for fundies, this can be a lifetime). And sins are basically thought-crime. I really want to know what the possibilities are.

  35. Syldoran Says:

    Luckily, I’ve only ever seen that one quote about sinning in the womb. With any luck, that means there really aren’t that many idiots in the world who believe that.

  36. Jeff Eyges Says:

    What sins can a fetus possibly commit?

    Oh, who knows? Rebelling against the sovereignty of the amniotic fluid? Who knows with these people?

    Of course, the Buddhists think these things are the results of actions committed in prior lifetimes. Is it so different? And you don’t always have to be an adult or even a human being; most think an animal that kills for survival accumulates scads of negative karma. It’s actually an extremely pessimistic belief system (although most Buddhists would think me ignorant for saying so) – one trip-up, and you get into a negative downward spiral, karmically, from which it takes aeons to extricate yourself. People don’t realize this about Buddhism. They see the Dalai Lama interviewed on TV, talking about love and compassion, and they think that’s all there is to it. It ain’t. He’s actually the most forward-thinking person the Tibetans have. Most lamas – even a lot of the younger ones – are still operating with a medieval mindset.

    Of course, Zen, one of the other forms widely available to Westerners, is different (depending upon the teacher, and certainly here in the West) – but it’s always been something of a maverick in the Buddhist world. It’s iconoclastic by design.

  37. Bacopa Says:

    Sins comitted in the womb? You do know that fetuses touch themselves in unwholesome ways.

  38. Ivan McIntosh Says:

    I’m pretty sure that the Pray 4 Trig site is set up by athiests amusing themselves.

    Unfortunately their forums have been taken over by a viagra spammer, but you can get the sense of it from the opening pages….

  39. OtherRob Says:

    Jeff said:

    Of course, the Buddhists think these things are the results of actions committed in prior lifetimes. Is it so different?

    I don’t know enough about Buddhist philosophy to give *their* answer to your question. But from my point of view — and, of course, assuming that reincarnation is true for the sake of the argument — a sin committed by a person that carries over into the next lifetime would be different than a sin committed by a fetus in the womb. Still can’t wrap my brain around that concept….

  40. stamati Says:

    In Buddhism, the self does not transmigrate as in Hinduism, since the Buddhists don’t believe a self separate from everything else exists.

  41. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Stamati, apart from the fact that the concept of “self” in Advaita (Indian non-dualistic philosophy) is much like that in Buddhism, my experience of thirty-five years has been that Buddhists, both Asian and Western, play fast and loose with the concept. I’ve often said that if I were pressed to give a one sentence definition of the concept of “self” in Buddhism, it would be this: when it’s to your advantage to exist, you don’t; when it’s to your disadvantage to exist, you do!

  42. Jeff Eyges Says:

    You know, I want to emphasize that although I have issues with Buddhism, I’m not saying that the tradition is without value. It emphasizes compassion and forgiveness in a way that is often lacking in western religions. There’s also a vast system of meditative method, refined over the course of centuries, that I feel can be of tremendous value to the individual and to society. (I myself am, unfortunately, the world’s worst meditator!) Alan Wallace is a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism who is currently working with neuroscientists to explore the potential of meditation to benefit society, and he’s been getting some impressive results:
    http://www.sbinstitute.com/research_Shamatha.html

    As far as Tibet is concerned, the actions of the Chinese government over the past sixty years have constituted nothing short of cultural and physical genocide, and I feel strongly that it’s incumbent upon us to do all that we can to help the Tibetans prosper in exile, and to regain autonomy in their homeland. (/soapbox)

  43. Parrotlover77 Says:

    People don’t realize this about Buddhism.

    Well, they’ve never bombed anybody over their beliefs, so it makes them a little more immune to criticism. Also, they don’t tend to force anybody into their beliefs. If they want a pessimistic outlook, fine by me as long as they do it in peace… which they seem to actually be doing for the most part.

    …and I feel strongly that it’s incumbent upon us to do all that we can to help the Tibetans prosper in exile, and to regain autonomy in their homeland.

    Word.

  44. BrainUser Says:

    This is going to look so bad that I wonder if its not an atheist putting it on.

  45. Lorelei Armstrong Says:

    My only concern is that they might have foreknowledge that he has some kind of mosaic Down Syndrome, which would mean some percentage of his cells are Trisomy 21, while others are not. Depending on the cell you check, he could be seen to have Down Syndrome or not.

  46. Vas Says:

    Ah… pray4trig is a Poe site. Stop and think for a moment even xtians are not that bat shit crazy and the comments about atheists and why god won’t heal amputees are a dead give away.

  47. Buffy Says:

    I really hope that’s a Poe. I know fundies are chock full of stupid and actually believe their magic fairy can heal *everything* (to the point that they let their children die of treatable conditions while they pray over them). But to put up a crazy site like that….

  48. Apostate Rebel Says:

    As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome, I find this abhorrent! It’s this kind of BS that leads to people with disabilities being treated as less that human beings, or as something to exploit.

  49. Psaltseller Says:

    When it became known at our church that my wife had terminal cancer, some well-meaning church lady told my then-10-year-old son “if you pray real hard your Mommy will get better.” What a load of guilt to lay on a child. The pastor defended this person, on the basis that she was trying to give the child hope. What absolute dreck.

    I used to live down the road from a fundie church that had this big neon sign outside: “Healing every Thursday!” So this is their God as a trained seal? Again, drecklichkeit.

  50. MarkB Says:

    What sins can a fetus possibly commit? … I really want to know what the possibilities are.

    Well, for males, when do the fingers finish forming?