Most theists are quick to tell you that prayers get answered all the time. Of course, the empirical data says otherwise, but we all know how impervious theists are to rational examination of their beliefs.
However, I've got a question for all those honest theists who are so insistent that their preferred deity will answer their prayers. What is the difference between the answer to a prayer and the fullfilment of a curse?
Seriously, aren't they basically the same thing, and only the outcome being different (one for a "positive" result, the other for something "negative")? Is a curse something that God would deliver on, or is it just as ineffective as intercessory prayers?
At least in the world of sports, it's a common practice for individuals and teams to gather together and pray. Many credit "god" for their good fortune, skills and ability (of course, that leaves good old mom-and-dad out in the cold: thanks for those genes!) The KC Star has an article today about the faith of football players. Great for them -- they pray together.
But what are they really praying for? Luck, points surrepitously added to their score, or -- perhaps the injury and/or failure of the other team? After all, if "god" is going to favor one side, there is obviously a lack of such favor on the other, and what really is the difference between giving the favored side a little boost and the opponent a kick in the shorts?
Seriously -- would these professional, highly trained, extremely talented athletes be getting a lot of praise and positive press if they were calling down curses, hellfire and damnation on the other team? I can just see the quarterback standing in the middle of the field, his teammates huddled around him, chanting and swaying together as he calls out on his "god" to smite the other team, smack them down hard, make them hurt, make them suffer, make them LOSE!!!