My Problem With Prayer

Really? You prayed for me so I can come back to this?

Aside from Tony Soprano, some serial killers and most Deltas, everyone loves their mom. In fact, you can hate any and every thing from kittens to your own kids, but nothing would garner the type of response a person would get when admitting they hate their own mother.

Anyway, everyone loves their mom. But, not everyone has a mom who everyone loves, and I happen to be one of the people who do. I was aware of this even before she first fell ill—I’ve (half)jokingly mentioned many times that my friends like my parents more than they like me—and the avalanche of love and support she’s received has reminded me.

Much of this love and support has come in the form of prayer. People praying for her, praying with her, and even suggesting special prayers for situations like this. In fact, tonight I searched for “mom” in Gmail and looked at emails and Gchats I received around the time people first found out she was ill. Every single person who contacted me mentioned something about prayer.

While this has definitely—definitely—been appreciated by my mother and the rest of my family, this situation has reinforced the disconnect I’ve always had with prayer in general and prayer specifically for ill people in particular.

Now, I’m (obviously) not a theological scholar. But, I do know that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all offer their true believers some form of an afterlife. And, in each case, the afterlife is a much, much, much better version of Earth.

If Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe this to be true, why pray for a sick person’s health to get better? I understand praying for their souls and salvation if they do happen to pass away, but if whatever comes after Earth is an unfathomably awesome version of all the best things we experience here, why would you want someone to get better so that they have to stay on shitty ole Earth a second longer than they have to?

Interestingly enough, this disconnect hasn’t altered my prayers in any way. I’m a Christian, and I believe in Heaven. I also want my mom to get better, and I’ll continue to do what I can to make sure that happens. This includes prayer, which may or may not help—the murky waters of God’s will is another theoretical pickle, but that’s another topic for another day—but what’s the harm in doing it anyway?

But, if I truly believe what I say I believe, wanting my mom to get better is a selfish want. An honorable and socially acceptable want, but selfish nonetheless. Perhaps this is where the disconnect occurs. Maybe I’m missing something, but if Heaven exists and if I believe Heaven exists, all this prayer for my mom is just me, in a roundabout way, praying for me.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

four reasons why women should rule the world…and the one reason why they don’t


ever since 8th grade, when i allowed a smile and a plaid skirt to convince me to pick the ridiculously endowed and hilariously uncoordinated ericka white on my team for ultimate dodgeball, i’ve been convinced that women should and eventually would rule the world.

i envisioned a future of female omnipotence and dominion, where all the world’s men were coerced to attend “testosterone nullification” camps, and where all industry, time-travel, and farming equipment were mercilessly controlled by the fairer gender.

obviously, i was wrong, and obviously i watched too much cinemax.

16 years later, although still convinced that the world should be run by women, i finally realize why its not.

because i’m an altruist and sh*t, i want to spread my knowledge to the masses with four reasons why women should rule the world

…and the one thing thats holding them back Continue reading

the grand effing canyon (part 1)

jews and palestinians?

a little skirmish

capulets and montagues?

childs play.

tutsis and hutus?

a walk in the park

bras and aretha?

nope. not even close.

there’s no bigger ongoing conflict, no deeper gulf, no wider chasm than the difference between what qualities men find attractive in women, and what qualities women think men should find attractive

this struggle has been on going for centuries, with earliest recorded evidence of its existance dating back to the 18th century and the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate courting incident involving marie antoinette’s baby sister, latonya jackson-antoinette. ***editors note. he’s totally making this up***

although it seemingly has the ability to transcend gender, this is a phenomenon unique to women. most men are typically clueless when it comes to women and their inate schizophrenicness when they’re deeming what is and isn’t attractive this week, so we’ve generally stopped wanting trying to figure it out, chalking it up to, well, women and their inate schizophrenicness. we just hope that the qualities we happen to possess are ones that they find attractive, and many times we’re genuinely surprised when they actually do.

on the other hand, not only do women typically remain intentionally (more on this tommorrow) clueless about what men find attractive, this intentional cluelessness has a nasty edge, sometimes manifesting as a literal scoffing and thumbing of the nose at what we deem important and why.

two comments left on this site perfectly illustrate my point:

1. “If a man had a choice between a degreed woman who was a bit crazy and a 6 in the looks/body department and a non-degreed, non-crazy woman that was an 8 ,he’d probably pick the non-degreed woman”

–forReal, from “link of the week: the eligible bachelor paradox”

although forReal’s comment admirably attempted to convey the general thought process of a man, the fact that she was compelled to use the qualifier “probably” lets me know that if this were the “hot/cold” game, she’d be hovering somewhere around “room temperature”.

not only is that “decision” not much of a decision at all, i’d go as far to say that no man who has existed or will ever exist in the history of the planet would ever even fathom passing over an attractive, uncrazy women for a crazier and less physically attractive woman just because the crazy chick happens to own a sheet of paper that lets people know she owes over 70 g’s in college loans.

i’m not going to say that we don’t give a sh*t about your “paper” (because we do…a bit. your degrees look nice hanging up in the study, and, from what i’ve read, your resumes can help our kids get into the best kindergartens) but in regards to “mattractiveness”, it generally don’t matter.

yet, despite the fact that thousands of years of human history have proven time and time again which qualities men typically prioritize when seeking a romantic mate, many women refuse to believe this…implying and insisting that a man who values a women’s physical mattractiveness and maternal potential over her master’s degrees and money is completely baseless and sexist.

this state of mind is further embodied in the following comment: 


2. “I mean, how many men claim to want a strong, independent woman… but really don’t? How else would you accont for the number of actual smart, attractive, strong, independent women out there who are single!? Huh?!”

Wendilicious, from “you dont know me”

my homie from across the pond wendy, bless her little heart, actually attempted to list adjectives such as “strong” and “independant” in the same sentence as “attractive”, a comment which actually would have fit better in highlights magazine‘s “what doesn’t belong” section. you can even argue that in this sense, the words “strong” and “attractive” directly contradict each other.

again, i’m not saying that a woman’s “strength” and “independance” don’t matter. they’re both very admirable qualities for a marine that one should be proud of, but if wendy listed “water drinking” and “human” in lieu of strong and independant, the sentence still would have read exactly the same. one important quality surrounded by two that really dont mean sh*t.  

***back tommorrow with part 2***

—the champ