Governor Asks for Prayer for Rain

What do you do in times of drought? According to the Governor of Georgia, you pray.

He joined lawmakers and ministers on the steps of the state Capitol to pray for rain.

While public prayer vigils might raise eyebrows in other parts of the nation, they are mostly shrugged off in the Bible Belt, where turning to the heavens for help is common and sometimes even politically expedient.

“Christianity has more of a place in the culture here than in some other region,” said Ray Van Neste, a professor of Christian studies at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. “And it’s only natural, in a way, for the public to pray for rain.”

But it doesn’t end there…

Perdue isn’t the first governor to hold a call for public prayer during the epic drought gripping the Southeast. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley issued a proclamation declaring a week in July as “Days of Prayer for Rain” to “humbly ask for His blessings and to hold us steady in times of difficulty.”

This begs the question of what the fuck the is the Governor doing? Why is he leading prayer? Or better yet, asking for people to pray?

“We need to try a different approach,” said Rocky Twyman, who organized the concert. “We need to call on God, because what we’re doing isn’t working. We think that instead of all this fussing and fighting, Gov. Perdue and all these others would come together and pray.”

“What we are doing isn’t working.” Is there really all that much can be done besides conservation? My Meteorology isn’t all that great but I thought the processes required for rain don’t shift much from human interaction. I know that global warming shifts weather patterns, and more places will have drought and more places will have flooding from Global Warming and these two scenarios will be less spread out. So in that sense humans have an impact. But in the immediate short term, there really isn’t much human interaction is going to do.

And why the fuck is the Governor leading this prayer. He has every right to pray himself, but what is he doing on the capitol lawns asking for and leading prayer. Is it too much to ask for high level government official that understands the constitution?

In this case, it just seems that prayer is a way to shift responsibility from people to God. I know no one is claiming that, but I have always seen religion as a way to shift responsibility for ones actions. Besides that, I don’t really care if people pray. I have never found it useful, no matter how much I used to believe, or how bad my life was. I never got anything out of prayer, no one answered my calls, and no one fixed my life but myself. So I guess my path in life has lead me to to different answers.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley tells his constituents to pray to God for rain.

Faced with an ongoing drought Governor Bob Riley decided his best course of action would be to encourage his fellow Alabamians to engage in a pointless ritual:

With the state’s weather forecasters not delivering much-needed rain, Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday turned to a higher power. The governor issued a proclamation calling for a week of prayer for rain, beginning Saturday.

Riley encouraged Alabamians to pray “individually and in their houses of worship.”

“Throughout our history, Alabamians have turned in prayer to God to humbly ask for his blessings and to hold us steady during times of difficulty,” Riley said. “This drought is without question a time of great difficulty.”

Ah yes, the old “pray to God in hopes he’ll stop being such a bastard and gives us a little relief” tactic that has worked so well in the past. Oh wait, it hasn’t worked at all.

Just the same the folks in Alabama may want to think twice before beseeching God to quench their thirst. Back on July 24 of 2006 the town of Lubbock Texas was in a serious drought and they decided to pray for rain as well:

“Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we’re asking him for his mercy and his help,” Mayor David Miller told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

The City Council and the Lubbock County commissioners are expected to adopt resolutions this week asking local residents to both pray and fast for rain this Sunday.

God didn’t get around to answering that prayer until just recently and the resulting floods have already killed 11 people:

It’s the wettest year on record in Austin, with more than 30 inches of rain since January, and Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco and Wichita Falls have received near-record amounts. The rainfall has more than compensated for a drought that gripped much of Texas in 2005-06, the National Weather Service said.

So perhaps the good people of Alabama might want to think twice before getting down on their knees. This God fellow has a well developed sense of irony it seems.