Monday, July 5, 2010

The Andy Rooney "Prayer" E-Mail Is a Hoax!

Perhaps some of you have received the following viral e-mail...

Subject: Andy Rooney and God

or as it's usually sent,

Subject: Andy Rooney and Prayer

Andy Rooney says:  (so the email claims)

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin , but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.

Yes, and this is the United States of America , a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem , I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer....

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad , I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.

If I went to a ping pong match in China , I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.

And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit.. When in Rome .....

But what about the atheists? Is another argument.

What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!

Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.

God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.

The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want. It is time that the majority

Rules! It's time we tell them, 'You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away'. We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!

God bless us one and all ... Especially those who denounce Him , God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.

Let's make 2010 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions . And our military forces come home from all the wars.

Keep looking up.  If you agree with this, please pass it on.

If you are among the many out there who believe this, agreed with this and took the time to pass it on than I'm sorry to have to tell you this (well not really) but this e-mail you've chosen to forward is actually a Hoax. Whoever wrote this e-mail is, at the very least, committing fraud, and I might add, obviously having a good laugh at the expense of the religious right. 

I knew it had to be a joke the moment I started to read it since, as any good atheist knows, Andy Rooney is a well established and well known Agnostic/Atheist.

May I suggest you read his book, "Sincerely, Andy Rooney" published in 1999. Or just Google Andy Rooney-atheist, or check out the discussion on this subject at snoops or click on the following Wikipedia link...  and scroll down to the section titled "Views" where they discuss the fact that Andy Rooney has been a self-proclaimed Agnostic most of his adult life and has more recently, as of 2008, declared himself to be a full-fledged Atheist.

This whole situation is so outrageous that it begs the question, is the Christian right so hard up to have a credible spokesperson that they actually have to make one up?  I guess they are when their best-known representatives are the likes of the barely educated Sarah Palin (Miss I went to Five schools in Six years and Finally got a Four year degree).  Or Rush Limbaugh who never finished school at all.  Or even better still, the Reverend Pat Robertson, who seems to believe, preach and teach that earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and disease only visit the sinful and the wicked.

Yes, I guess when that's the best you've got, you'd do anything, even commit fraud - if you had to;  just to claim that a bright, clever, educated and insightful man like Andy Rooney  shared your point of view.  Even when it's so obvious that he doesn't, couldn't and wouldn't. 

Even without taking the time to research this viral e-mail for errors. It should be obvious to most people that it's filled with inaccuracies.

For instance, China Is a Communist/Atheist State and as such does not permit prayers to Buddha or any other deity at its public events. I should think most people would know that, unless of course they are ignorantly confusing mainland China with its bitter enemy Tibet.

As I reread the e-mail, it becomes increasingly apparent that rather than endorsing prayer. It's actually Mocking it while it trivializes religion in general. Take for example, the whole thing about Christians should stop turning the other cheek; Meaning what?

Christians should stop being Christian??

"Turn the other cheek" after all, was taught by Christ himself and is and always has been one of the basic tenants of Christian belief.

As in, Matthew chapter 5 verse 38-39 "You have heard that it was said, 'An Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

While I have always understood why some religious people might pray for the safety and well-being of a loved one at war. I have never understood those who insist on praying for the defeat of one side over the other, when Christ was so obviously a pacifist.

When it comes to praying about war.  I think Mark Twain said it best in his brilliant piece "The War  Prayer"   

It's also worth noting that the lawsuit concerning prayer before football was actually a dispute between two Christian groups and had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with atheists versus Christians.  It was in fact, more like Catholic versus Protestant since it was a Catholic group that first objected to the Protestant sectarian nature of a Christian chaplain's prayer. The Mormons ended up joining forces with the Catholics in support of their cause. 

Finally, for those of you so-called religious people who insist on propagating this propaganda by forwarding this e-mail, that Andy Rooney so obviously did not write; may I suggest you reread your 10 Commandments and pay particular attention to the one that talks about bearing false witness against thy neighbor.

Agnostic Thinking...

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word comments if the panel is not open) or you can e-mail me direct at and your comment will be posted. And don't forget to check out my original blog   Just Thinking 


  1. well, i finally got to read this post, which we discussed a few weeks ago. of course, the far right is desperate. they have no validity in any aspect in the areas of honest and informed discourse or depth of basic understanding. all they seem to be able to come up with are the types of tactics they employed toward the sherrod debacle. they should be viewed as the absolutely pathetic creatures they are...except for the dangerous fact that they just might energize the least intelligent among us to actually put down their cans of beer and go vote.

  2. I'm not so sure the caned beer drinking crowd is the most desirable vote. Bottled beer maybe, but definitely not caned. lol

  3. Um, the Christian right isn't hard up for a "credible spokesperson". We have plenty of them. If you care to grasp the point of this "e-mail", it points out that actually the anti-Christian LEFT are the ones that are unhinged. If you don't believe, that's fine. Nobody's forcing you to believe. Don't participate in the prayer. Don't go to the Christmas concert. But don't deny those who do the opportunity to practice their religion.

    If you have any problem with that, read the Constitution and read about the Founding Fathers. Hate to break your bubble, but this Nation was founded on religious principles by men that expressed their beliefs when creating this Nation.

    Is this article fraud? No. Was it misrepresented? Yes, only by who (supposedly) wrote it. THE POINTS ARE STILL VALID AND VERY POWERFUL! The religious right doesn't need a spokesman for these "common sense" points.

    Maybe that's why it gets under your skin.

  4. "Fraud" by definition is a "Deliberate Deception".

    The email therefore is a fraud!

  5. So someone planted this "hoax" with Andy Rooney as the purported author of this email. But the points are so valid in every way. And when was the last time you went to China? Who says you can't pray to Buddha, or Christ, or any other religion there in public? And do you understand what's meant by "turn the other cheek"? If not, read your Bible first before you make a comment about it. One more thing, I don't see anything about "praying about war" in the email. Do you?

  6. The point of the email is so right on whether Rooney said it or not. It's the message NOT the messenger that's important is this case.

  7. @Mike in Illinois. Have you heard of the Treaty of Tripoli? 'The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.' ~ 1797 Treaty of Tripoli. Passed unanimously by congress and signed by president John Adams

  8. Talk about fraud....your misquoting the Bible is outright stupid on your part....Matthew 5, Verse 38-39 says, "When they came into the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. 'Why all the commotion and weeping? The child isn't dead, she's only asleep.'"

    Nothing about turning the other cheek, there. If you are going to be critical of Christianity and advance biblical evidence for your own purposes, you should at least be accurate....

  9. Your incomplete grasp of history needs some strengthening.

    First, the original Treaty of Tripoli was written in Arabic in order to communicate and reach agreement with the Pasha of Tripoli. Article 11, the relevant passage not cited by you, is credited to Barlow's 1797 translation and that punlicly passed through the years as an accurate translation until Hunter Miller was commissioned by the U.S. Government to analyze its treaties. In his analysis, Miller concluded, "A further and perhaps equal mystery is the fact that since 1797 the Barlow translation has been trustfully and universally accepted as the just equivalent of the Arabic... yet evidence of the erroneous character of the Barlow translation has been in the archives of the Department of State since perhaps 1800 or thereabouts..." Source: "The Barbary Treaties : Tripoli 1796 - Hunter Miller's Notes". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Retrieved 2007-05-08.

    So at the very least the purportedly countervening evidence you advance is very much in question.

    Second, you are missing the whole point. It is not a matter of American democracy being built on Christian principles, but rather that it was devised by a vast majority of Christian followers. Unlike the British against whom they were seeking independence, the early (mostly Christian) architects of our Constitution valued religious freedom and tolerance. But in establishing any semblance of separation between church and state, they certainly did NOT INTEND TO ALSO GIVE UP THEIR RIGHTS TO PRACTICE CHRISTIAN BELIEFS AND PRINCIPLES.

    As for the essay credited to Andy Rooney, only Andy Rooney knows for sure. Given your other inaccuracies, I will not take your word as gospel (pun intended) that Rooney is or isn't an agnostic. But the fact is, the message of the posting remains valid, not just for the conservative right but for the conservative left, the middle of the road right, and the middle of the road left. In fact, the only segment of our population for whom it does not appear appropriate is for the fascist left to which you belong, evidently.

  10. ‎"I
    wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean
    real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making
    long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise
    men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity."--- Benjamin Franklin,

  11. The only trouble with these people are their idealism. Anyone who knows about Rooney, knows what an A-hole he really is.

  12. "China Is a Communist/Atheist State and as such does not permit prayers to Buddha or any other deity at its public events."

    Not to mention the fact that nobody prays to Buddha; he's not a deity, just a role model - Buddhism is a non-theistic religion, as far as I know. So again we see the Christians' ignorant prejudiced belief that all religion is about worshiping a deity instead of a set of beliefs about what reality is. There are in fact non-theistic religions, polytheistic religions, etc. But Christians usually can't imagine anything that doesn't fit the same structure as their own religion and just uses different names.

  13. Yep!!! FREEDOM OF RELIGION, that is all we as Born Again Christians ask for. Nothing more and nothing less. Let us pray in freedom and let us worship in freedom, the One and Only Mighty God, the Creator of the whole universe and everything that is in it, also known as The Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the whole world, the One and Only Savior, like there is none other.

    We as Born Again Christians give you all the freedoms to be atheists, Sodomites and whatever. We do begrudge you very much the "right???" to MURDER unborn babies. We as Christians would like for all babies to have THEIR right to life also. These unborn babies have just as much a right to life as you atheists and Sodomites do.

    In a split second after death all atheists will forever believe in God but then it will be too late to escape the eternal fires of hell. What kind of rights and freedoms do you think you will have in hell?

    We as Born Again Christians give you all the freedoms to be atheists, Sodomites and whatever. We do begrudge you very much the "right???" to MURDER unborn babies. We as Christians would like for all babies to have THEIR right to life also. These unborn babies have just as much a right to life as you atheists and Sodomites do.

  14. This sounds like preaching to me. This is what non-believers don't like to hear. I am a non-believer but believe that religion is great as long as its personal. The minute you start to spread your religion (pastors and priests and many more) the minute you have tried to spread your own personal ideals. Being the fact that most interpret a book or some sort of readings. Interpretation is perception and I personally don't want anyone else's ideals running my life. Religion is the fabrication of answers to questions in primitive minds. What happens when no one knows an answer. Someone tries to find one and claims it as truth whether it is or not. Generally the dominant of the group and everyone believes it. Why is it that just about wherever you find a drastically different language they believe in something else. The tower of babel??? I don't think so. If you're going to believe in a religion that is great if it makes you happy. But don't let someone else try and impose their views on you and don't impose yours on other people. I don't mind hearing prayers wherever I go. It lets me know what that person is struggling with in their life. Quit thinking of it as a prayer to a god but a calling for help from the person asking for it.

  15. Hey Anonymous on 11/15,

    "Religion is the fabrication of answers to questions in primitive minds." Surely you don't mean to imply that all the religious scholars over the centuries have been "primitive minds" Have the athetists and agnostics throughout history been the only humans with something other than primitive minds? Well, that would be a revelation and probably fly in the face of the expected statistical distribution of brilliant minds.

    Since Steven Hawking believes in the possibility of multiverses, I guess they must be so. Problem is, the conjecture is untestable by definition. Believing in something that is not provable is usually dismissed, in your line of reasoning, as the product of a primitive mind. Yet when a scientist such as Hawking proposes something like multiverses, those same "non-primitive" minds hold up belief in such possibilities as evidence of their own intelligence.

    If you are to claim religious beliefs in things unprovable as flawed, surely you must admit that your belief, even certainty, of your own knowledge of the true nature of existence as being just as flawed.

    "I don't demand that a theory correspond to reality because I don't know what it is."
    - Stephen Hawking

    Hawking would make a great religious scholar.

    BTW, I very definitely think of my prayers as a conversation with my Creator. I am also convinced that those prayers have been answered though I don't have the recordings. All it takes is an open heart and an open mind and a desire to find God. You keep thinking you have everything figured out, it'll work at least till you die.

  16. I see the difficulty in communicating with one another, but happy to acknowledge civility in the debate..
    As a born again Christian I am commanded to love my neighbors and my enemies as well.
    I dont think the atheist will mind the prayers of Christians once they are not trying to force their faith on others. We the Christians are undeserved people, and lack the wisdom of the world, but we believe that we are created by a Great God that deserves our worship. We should as Christianity teaches us not to condemn either atheist or homosexuals.
    We are demanded to spread love and peace, otherwise our Christianity is false and hypocritical and brings upon us the judgement of those who see our hypocrisy and hate it. I don't blame them. Real Christian should bring praise for their conduct even from their enemies.

  17. I still have a problem with atheist. How can something they don't believe exist cause them so much heartburn?





    Reverend Noah Vail
    [Quote from Aldous Huxley]

  19. To Pedro: You say "it will be too late to escape the eternal fires of hell". How do you know there is a hell, have you been there? Just asking.

  20. 1. I'm agnostic.
    2. It's ok if people pray, even in my presence.
    3. It's not a left or right issue, it is a choice issue.
    4. When people pray, I just sit back and think about my choice for that few moments of their prayer. My quiet time.
    5. Life roles on, and lawyers make too much $ off of stuff like this.

    ... At least in the USA, we can have civil discourse about this. Not so in many other countries.

    Bob in Oregon

  21. Let me see if I have this straight......
    Christians believe in a God who loves ALL, while atheists and agnostics believe there is no God or, at the least, no way to prove the existence of God. Christians believe in spreading the "good news" about their Loving God in a way that is non-threatening and patient, while atheist prefer to thrust their opposing views on others through legistlation and court orders. Agnostics prefer to be guided by a "live and let live" principle. They are fine as long as you don't bother them with things like morality and ethical behavior that is based on Christian teachings. As a Christian, my prayer is that all non-believers will someday come face to face.......or heart to heart....with my God. I pray that they will be consumed by His love and feel His presence in a way that will be undeniable. How great would you feel when that day comes? And if it never does, I know my God still loves you as He proved the day He sent His Son to die for you.

  22. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
    But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:16-21 Words of Jesus

  23. While the Commander-in-Fraud, Oboma-nation, choses to leave the Creator out of his quoting of the Declaration of Independance, The Founding Fathers didn't. The Declaration and the Constitution of the United States do not foster any specific nation faith, be it Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Nor do these documents say they do not exist, or the citizens cannot believe as they wish.

    We are all "...endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights..." B. O. may not believe in the Creator, but I am sure regardless of whether Andy Rooney actually wrote this essay, the Creator believes in B. O. as He believes in all of us.

  24. I have read all of these comments and it make me sad. And even though some of you have presented great source referrences and some of you have quoted beautiful scripture from the bible, your arguments arent really about God or religion as it is more about yourselves and wanting to be right. Because the truth is for the majority of you whether atheist, christian, agnostic or etc... the person you see in the mirror from day to day is the god you put first.

  25. I didn't know God was allowed to enter a comment here...since that is who the person writing above must be to know our hearts, thoughts, and motivations.

  26. Just happened on this blog and didn't really believe that there were actual diseased minds in America, that someone was joshing us, but reading this venom and idiocy I guess there are. You'll be losing one when the bastard in AZ is put away.

    I'll see you all on Judgment Day!!
    Atlanta (you know, the "fly-over" section of the US)

  27. I find it funny how atheist try to put anything and everything into their own terms. Atheist are going to have to accept that in the near future people are going to stop caring about hurt feelings and some people are just going to have to grow up. It shows how dumb the writer of this article is to try and prove people are dumb by saying stuff like she went to 5 diff schools, so who cares, me going to 5 diff schools make me dumber than the next person? And that Rush didnt even go to school, im sorry most atheist I knew in school hated it so therefore if they hated it wouldnt that be proving that a persons ability to be smart or even learn for that matter isnt totally based on some stupid public education. Well that my piece like or lump it.


  29. I love all u guys and will continue to pray for this website and all that follows it. This is exactly the same emotions I feel about my Religion(Christinanity.) Im truly worried about you guys to the point where I needed speak out(thus the post) and NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT FROM ME because its my God given right that was found on by this country. God truly bless America

  30. God bless America and God bless all of you and your families. The Truth is absolute and one day "EVERY knee shall bow to the name of Jesus Christ". I pray that God give us all wisdom and discernment to be good disciples; to follow His will for our lives and to fulfill the Greatest commandment of all which is: "Love your neighbor as yourself!". Let's LOVE more and condemn less. God is a good, patient and merciful God! If you know the Truth, pass it on in love and pray for those that listen. There is nothing else we can do. God does the work in the heart, not us. Just be kind, loving and good and eventually, a hard heart will soften and realize their inherent need for a Savior. May the Lord truly pour out His mercy and grace upon all of you. May you have health; good marriages; healthy children and lots of love and peace in your life!

  31. There are a lot of sickos posting here. Meanwhile, where is the Treaty of Tripoli? Let me get busy.

  32. freedom of religion. why should america stop praying and praising God in order to please non-christians? if you don't believe in God, fine! but. do you have to protest and demand that christians stop praying in public places? do christians tell non-christians to stop being "non-christians" in public?!

    it does not matter who wrote the article. the important thing is it rings with "truth".

    do atheists have a "bible" that proves that there is no God?

    are agnostics credible? they can't even make a true stand if there is or there is no God.

    if i were to live in India i should tolerate Hinduism. If i were to live in Turkey, I should tolerate Islam. If Hindus and Muslims live in America, they should tolerate christianity for after all it's the major religion in the country at 76% (while 82% believes in God).

    oh my! the rights of the 18% were heard. what about the rights of the 82%?

  33. Andy Rooney Keep talking!! If nothing more to make people stop and think of values. You are right on and I commend you to pray pray pray!! This is still our country with a church and a prayer at the top of the daily list, the bible tells me so. Love Judy

  34. I see and understand both sides of this argument. We can quote the Bible till we are blue in the face and honestly it won't matter. There are people that will never see with their eyes what we see and feel with our hearts. And that is their right. Jesus did not resist when he was arrested and taken before the authorities. He went willingly and knew that it was what he must do. Even as he was taken to the cross he was hung between two thieves. One asked Jesus to remember him and the other mocked Him. Jesus allowed them to make their choice and we must do this as well. Jesus taught us Faith, Hope, and Love. The greatest of these is Love. We must love ALL and respect that everyone has the choice to believe or not. All I ask is that I have the right to believe and I will not force my views on anyone else. However, if given the opportunity I will be happy to discuss with anyone why I believe. Let me close with this.... Don't take my word for it. Don't look at the examples that other "so called Christians" give you on a daily basis. Sometime when you are at your computer pull up the NIV New Testament Bible on the internet from the privacy of your own home. No one will know (or judge you). Read the story of Jesus and His teachings in Matthew through Acts. As you read just notice how Jesus dealt with others. Notice what he taught. Ask yourself what did He do for personal gain during His life. I'm not saying that you will be instantly changed. All I am saying is that you might see the true example of what Christianity should be. LOVE!

  35. Andy Rooney would not have made the mistake of writing when in China, "pray to Buddha..." nor misinterpret the biblical verse, "turn the other cheek."

  36. I completely agree with the fact that not everyone will believe in Jesus/God. It is my right to believe and practice that belief just as it is your right to choose not to believe. You should not be able to take away our rights, and we should not be able to push our religion on you if you are not willing to hear. Don't sue us for praying in public and we won't sue you for not believeing/participating in public. I don't see why people get so mad about it. We are not forcing you to bow your heads and pray with us, we are just asking for you to respect our rights by letting us practice our beliefs. Continue talking, playing on your phones, singing, whatever you'd like, We are not taking away your rights, so don't take away ours. plain and simple.

  37. I pray for the soul of Andy Rooney - all men who pass from this earth will know God and Jesus exist. We all live on for eternity - some in heaven - some in hell.

  38. Americans always at war, if not with terrorists, they fight themselves ists, they fight themselves

  39. It is not a matter of ALLOWING someone to take away my right to pray and worship. I will do it anyway whether it is approved of or not. I will not even dare to try to take away anyones elses right to not do it. As far as the United States and Christian principals we have never been perfect at it and fall short of the glory of God. However, there is grace and mercy. Too many horrible things have been done in the name of religion including the "name of chritianity". What ashame because some do not truly represent the WAY OF THE CHRIST just because we call ourselves christians through out the ages. Isn't there somewhere in the bible that says "the way of truth will be evil spoken of because of you"? We are to radiate the love (agape) of God without compromising righteousness. If we love the ones who love us what are we doing different than the unbelievers? Preach the gospel as a witness is not to cramb it down anyones throat and get mad and resentful if they do not accept. We plant a seed and let it be. Jesus never gave us permission to hate so that means hate crimes against groups and others in the name of Christ/Christianity is actually mis-representing the Christ and taking God's name in vain. Love, people, not hate!

  40. as a catholic attending the world youth day in madrid (spain) august 2011 this little man dressed in white with white hair POPE BENADICT came out to address the the multitude of teenagers nearly two million stood up to applaude and pray now this is as close to jesus as one can get there was magic and love in the air too much to put into words this man represents jesus christ on the earth for catholics that is,You can say what you like about christianity (b.o) but the reality is WE as in all christians do belive in the one jesus christ, now i suggest write this on a piece of your headed note paper study it and put it in your top drawer because jesus loves you and you cant take this away so go ahead hate all you want he'll still love you.

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