Hundreds of comments to Katie Glaeser’s excellent article about ATFP on the CNN Belief Blog provide insight on how people are reacting to this movement. Presumably comments will more heavily represent strong opinions. Reactions over the weekend of February 25-27, 2011 ran around one-third positive and two-thirds negative.
Negative reactions divided evenly into two categories: 1) Ridicule, and 2) Criticism.
Criticism came for three main reasons: 1) This kind of prayer is wrong, 2) This kind of prayer is misguided, or 3) This prayer movement is incomplete.
Positive reactions came mostly from religious people, but some non-religious people reacted favorably.
Samples of Reactions
Here are some samples of the kinds of reactions:
1. Ridicule because prayer is stupid: "There is no end to the madness in religion; Prayers do nothing, well except for being an lame excuse for doing nothing." (by doctore0 Feb 25 at 7:00 am)
2. Criticism because praying for terrorists is wrong: "If you harbor anything but hatred for these terrorists, your morality is simply malfunctioning." (by TheRationale Feb 25 at 10:48 am)
3. Criticism because praying for other people or things is better: "How about using this "prayer" energy to feed starving children." (by LouAZ Feb. 25 at 11:12 am)
4. Criticism because the web site excludes Christian terrorists: "I decided to use this site and pray for G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but I couldn’t find them on the list." (by Muhammed Feb 26 at 2:03 am)
5. Appreciation from a religious person: "This is a great idea. I will have to check this site out. All things are possible through prayer, faith and love." (by sadie Feb 25 at 11:03 am)
6. Appreciation from a non-religious person: "I think this is a thoughtful article. For the most part, I am not religious, but I think prayer helps mostly the person praying to understand things more clearly and see a sort of sense in all of the world." (by LE Feb 25, at 5:45 pm)
Link to the CNN Blog.