Praying for God not to be on your side

To the editor: Negative prayer may be just the remedy for those of us who blanch at religious zealots' pious public displays of prayer to their chosen deities. It's worth a try: I'll beseech my deity to use her divine powers to hinder those who feel their notion of "god" is superior to all other deities that humans have ever worshiped. ("They're praying for the worst. Is that wrong?," Op-Ed, June 24)

If my incantation prevails, government-sanctioned prayers at public meetings will cease. That way I no longer will have to betray my religious proclivities by leaving when prayers start, per the disingenuous suggestion floated by the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority in the recent decision involving the town of Greece, N.Y.


Verily, I'm praying that my negative prayers thwart the religious right's quest to browbeat nonbelievers.

Dennis Alston, Atwater, Calif.


To the editor: It's amazing how spiritually shallow many professedly religious people are.

First, "prayer warriors" who use Psalm 109:8 as imprecatory prayer directed at President Obama have taken this verse out of context, something many professedly religious people too often do. The theme of Psalm 109 involves one who has been victimized by another's lies and aggression: "They have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for love" (Pslam 109:5).

One may disagree with Obama's policies, but to see them as evil goes beyond the pale.

Second, those who strive to be spiritual eventually realize that there's no place in their lives for hate.

Yes, imprecatory prayer does have a real effect, but not the one those who use it expect.

Rob Jenkins, Huntington Beach