Dispatches from the Creation Wars

This one from South Dakota’s governor, Michael Rounds. He issued an executive proclamation declaring July 24-30 as a week to pray for rain. A press release accompanying the proclamation said, “We are a strong people and all can provide help in many ways, whether actually fighting the fires, providing assistance to the crews, or joining together in the power of prayer.” Well okay, but the ones fighting the fires are the ones actually doing something. I’m reminded of Doug Stanhope’s bit about Bush’s “national day of prayer” following 9/11:

“You think you’re doing something? You’re not. You could throw salt over your shoulder and yell jinx too, it does as much good. You wanna pray, pray on your own time. If you wanna help, grab a shovel, pinwheel, because it looks like your god takes Tuesdays off.”

Comments

  1. #1 Ted
    August 31, 2006

    This must be in response to the heatwave article in the Right-Wing NYT.

    Under the Kofi Annan Story.

  2. #2 Ginger Yellow
    August 31, 2006

    Well, I wake up in the morning,
    Fold my hands and pray for rain.
    I got a head full of ideas
    That are drivin’ me insane.

    I know you’re not as strict on this as me, Ed, but how is this not government endorsement of religion?

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    August 31, 2006

    Ginger Yellow wrote:

    I know you’re not as strict on this as me, Ed, but how is this not government endorsement of religion?

    Oh, it clearly is, and I would prohibit it. I agree with Madison and Jefferson on this subject. I’ve merely pointed out in the past that others among the founders, including non-Christians like Washington and Adams, took the accomodationist position. They would say that such a proclamation is just fine as long as it’s not coercive. No one is actually being forced to pray for rain, it’s just an advisory proclamation. So they would see no violation, and they each issued many such proclamations. That’s an acceptable position for many reasons, but I don’t think it’s the proper way to view things. I think it reflected a far different, much less diverse society. The times have clearly supported Madison’s position.

  4. #4 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    August 31, 2006

    Well it worked. Problem is, God could hit the side of the Matterhorn with a wiener snitzle. It’s raining its ass off here in Charleston not in the high plains.

    Thanks alot South Dakota. I blame Ernesto on you.

  5. #5 Fastlane
    August 31, 2006

    So does the good governor sat which god to pray to?

    I’m thinking your best bet might be Thor? Zues?? Poseidon? Aren’t they all known for thier love of storms?

    Cheers.

  6. #6 SMC
    August 31, 2006

    Let me see if I understan this now. There’s an omnipotent, omnicient, all-benevolent diety who must already

    • Have the power to cause rain at will
    • Knows whether or not they deserve any and whether or not he’s going to give it to them
    • Wants whatever is best for them and therefore presumably already made a firm decision based on this whether to rain on them

    …and bothering him will change his mind? Does this mean he DIDN’T know whether they deserved it or not, or hadn’t been able to decide whether to rain on them? Or hasn’t been able to until now for some reason? Or hasn’t cared about them?…

    Something’s not right here… :-)

  7. #7 Greco
    August 31, 2006

    I’m thinking your best bet might be Thor? Zues?? Poseidon? Aren’t they all known for thier love of storms?

    Not to mention they are way cooler than the boring Christian deity.

  8. #8 Ed Brayton
    August 31, 2006

    Personally, I prefer Bacchus. If you’re gonna have a god, why not have one who celebrates wine and food?

  9. #9 kehrsam
    August 31, 2006

    Bacchus. Wine and food. Check. Aren’t we leaving out the main draw here? Perhaps they already have enough sex in South Dakota.

  10. #10 Greco
    August 31, 2006

    I wonder whether praying to Bacchus would make it rain Chianti and chocolate…

  11. #11 Alan B.
    August 31, 2006

    In the 31 days or so since Lubbock tried the prayer route, their rainfall has been a little over 60% of normal.

  12. #12 Ginger Yellow
    August 31, 2006

    SMC, like I always say, it makes perfect sense if God is a narcissistic sociopath.

  13. #13 Ted
    August 31, 2006

    SMC, like I always say, it makes perfect sense if God is a narcissistic sociopath.

    Well, there could be other possibilities.

    He could be the God that open theists have discovered. That One that gets sidetracked in the quantum multiverse and needs our prayers to guide His attention back here.

  14. #14 dogmeatIB
    August 31, 2006

    I still ask these questions:

    1) You claim that God is all powerful and can do ANYTHING, right?

    2) Can God create a boulder that God cannot lift?

  15. #15 Ginger Yellow
    August 31, 2006

    “SMC, like I always say, it makes perfect sense if God is a narcissistic sociopath.

    Well, there could be other possibilities.”

    Parsimony is your friend.

  16. #16 mark
    September 1, 2006

    The current lack of rain is God’s punishment on South Dakota for its recent anti-abortion tactics.
    I hope the governor also calls on his citizens to stand around and beat on drums, kettles, and garbage cans to evoke rainstorms.

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