Do Not Pray: It Might Work

13 11 2007

Filed under: Sonny Perdue, Georgia, Politics, Church and State

If prayer were to miraculously bring sufficient rain, it would require humanists to at least recognize God’s favor, but worse for them, that good things happen when public officials pray. Such is the case in Georgia, where today, Gov. Sonny Perdue held a prayer service today for ministers and law makers on the steps of the state Capitol to pray for rain that will relieve Georgia’s drought situation.

As Georgia descends deeper into drought, Governor Sonny Perdue has ordered water restrictions and asked President Bush for help.

On Wednesday, the governor will call on a higher power. He’ll join lawmakers and ministers on the steps of the state Capitol to pray for rain.

Adding insult to injury in typical atheist fashion, Freedom From Religion Foundation endorsed the Atlanta Freethought Society’s prayer protest.

In a letter to Gov. Perdue, Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote, “Our hearts go out to everyone affected” by the crisis drought. Yet the situation “does not excuse the use of government office to sponsor a prayer service.”

What has changed in government’s capacity to pray since Eisenhower? Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer? Bush declaring a National Day of Prayer in remembrance of 9/11? Or let’s even kick it old school: what about the first convening of the Continental Congress on September 7, 1774 when the first legislative action that body took was to motion to open in prayer? All inexcusable, right? No, the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document.

More from FFRF’s letter:

Gaylor noted “the illogic of appealing to a ‘higher power’ for rain,” since an omnipotent, omniscient (and sadistic) deity would be well-aware of the effect of the drought, since he by definition caused it!

Awareness and liability are not synonymous.

Flashback to July when it was Americans United that had a problem with Alabamians praying for rain. Here is what I said about the situation then and believe is applicable to FFRF’s misguided reaction to Georgia’s crisis:

Alabama is state of desperation. Much harm has already been done before the proclamation was issued. This is similar, only on a smaller scale, to saying Bush violated the establishment clause when he urged Americans to pray after the losses of 9/11. But it wasn’t politically correct for AU to criticize that “violation.” But, in Alabama’s current predicament which is far less significant on AU’s “Politically Correct Ranking System,” this is a perfectly acceptable violation to expose.

Final note from FFRF’s letter:

“The problem is not that they are praying for rain, it’s they are doing it in our name,” said Ed Buckner of the Atlanta Freethought Society. Among the picket signs Buckner suggested: “Sonny — Pray on your own time and on your own dime!”

Gov. Perdue is a Christian. Everything a he does, he does in your name. Therefore, by Mr. Buckner’s logic, Gov. Perdue, by being governor, is a Christian on his dime and time, and consequently in violation of the separation clause. Following Mr. Buckner’s logic to the next step, no person of any religion, can occupy any elected office. That sounds just like the country the Founders established.

Whether or not all or a majority of the Founders were evangelical Christians is certainly debatable, but what is indisputable is that none of the Founders were atheists, as humanist groups like FFRF would like us to believe.

I came across this atheist’s blog and his reaction to Perdue’s prayer:

The main issue I have is that Christians like Sonny Perdue want it both ways. They want to be viewed as both rational and godly. These individuals do things like pray for rain and maintain the world was magically created in six days, 6,000 years ago then demand that we take their opinions seriously on important issues like evolution, civil liberties, national security, healthcare, family values, etc. Well, I personally cannot take your positions very seriously because by having such unfounded, ridiculous religious beliefs your credibility has been seriously erroded (sic) right off the bat. If you believe things like praying for rain to your supernatural deity will actually result in rain, not only are you not a rationalist but you have a short circuit in the logic center of your brain. As a result, I can’t trust what you are telling me and must always question your reasoning, or lack thereof, and the sources of that bastardized reasoning.

One question and one question only for Mr. Alexander the “Atheist”: What “source” then do you base your “rational” level of thinking on? And you are unable to use “man’s” or “humankind” because source implies a place from which something can be obtained and cannot, by definition, include the end user. Oh, and one piece of advice . . . it would bode well for you to remember that insulting your opponent only reflects on yourself and your own “rational” argument.

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