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Do you ever watch televangelists? Any show is one long infomercial that always ends with a direct appeal in two parts: please pray for us, and send lots of cash, as much as you can.
But why bother with the request for money? People who have the ear of the almighty creator of the universe can tap into a whole lot more than whatever’s in their wallets. Who cares about trifling financial donations when you can get help from the Big Man himself?
Televangelists’ appeals for money make clear that they know what I know: that praying is like waiting for the Great Pumpkin. People can reliably deliver money, but prayer doesn’t deliver anything.
This reminds me of a quote from that persuasive theologian, George Carlin. About God, he says,

But he loves you! He loves you … and he needs money! He always needs money. He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise … but somehow he just can’t handle money.

It starts about one minute into this piece. (Caution: the dialogue is a bit R-rated. It is George Carlin, after all.)

We exist in a bizarre combination of
Stone Age emotions,
medieval beliefs,
and god-like technology.
—Edward O. Wilson

(This is a modified version of a post originally published 10/13/11.) 
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CROSS EXAMINED After graduating from MIT, Bob Seidensticker designed digital hardware, and he is a co-contributor to 14 software patents. For more than a decade, he has explored the debate between Christianity...