Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Food Network caves to Big Prayer™

The Food Network is not a television station that I watch alot (mainly because it makes me very hungry whenever I do), but earlier today I was watching a show about using liquid nitrogen in the kitchen. During one of the commercial breaks, an ad caught my attention. It featured a man, on the street, lamenting about the world's economic situation (try as I might, I can't seem to find the ad on Youtube). What piqued my interest was that the man began saying how he began praying that things would get better...but it didn't seem that prayer made any difference. He went on to say how he was beginning to question if prayer actually did anything. "Alright," I said to myself, "an ad supporting critical thinking and rationality!" That's when the ad turned a different direction: the answer, the man said, was because he simply wasn't praying big enough.

The ad, it turns out, was for a book called Pray Big. There wasn't really any information about the book, but it gave a website to check out: So I did.

Pray Big, sponsored by "Crossroad Christian Communications" (the folks responsible for spewing out 100 Huntley Street) is written by Will Davis Jr., a guy who resembles a wimpy Al Bundy. He likes to point out that his official title is Dr. Will Davis Jr., despite the fact that his CV consists of a BA in History from Baylor University and a Masters in divinity and a "doctorate in ministry", whatever the hell that is, from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (try getting a PhD from a real University before calling yourself a doctor next time, Davis).

The website claims:
"Will Davis Jr. offers straightforward guidance on how you can pray with focus and confidence for big things, small details, other people and, yes, even yourself. He teaches you how to pray and includes one hundred pinpoint prayers based on the Bible."
Davis supposedly teaches the idea of "big, pinpoint prayers". In other words, he thinks that prayers work better if they are specific and for big things (ignoring the fact, of course, that prayer of any kind doesn't work at all). He claims that when people pray they typically "underask" for things from God. The problem with prayer, he says, is that people should ask for MORE.

To be honest, I'm not surprised by this at all. The whole idea of prayer is inherently a selfish one. Christians believe that God put humans on the planet for the sole purpose of worshiping him, and nevertheless, they expect that their God should give them whatever they demand, just as long as they put their hands together, close their eyes and whisper some words off into the aether. Davis simply takes the egotistic concept of prayer and stretches it to the next level: don't ask for wimpy things, ask for BIG things!

But the bigger issue here is: why is the Food Network airing ads for this Christian hogwash? They are a private company, so I suppose they are allowed to air whatever ads they wish, but what do you think the chances are of airing an ad supporting a secular or humanist view? What do you suppose their excuse would be rejecting such an ad?


Dawson said...

I could be confusing it with another channel but here in Northern California the Food Network sometimes airs overly christian programing. So the tie in definitely bigger than that...

Anyway I also had to say the idea of "not praying big enough" just reminded me of this guy :P

C.W.G.K said...

Interesting. I've never seen Christian programming on the Canadian version of the Food Network before. I know a few other stations that play Christian programs late at night, but they are always preceeded by a disclaimer stating something along the lines of "the following program does not represent the views of this station". This wasn't the case, at least for this ad.

Also, Edward Current is a genius.