George Carlin once asked, “If you’re going to have a rain dance, wouldn’t you have to have rain dance practice? And what I’m wondering is, does it rain during practice? Because if it doesn’t, how do you know if you have it right? And if it does, why bother with the dance in the first place. Need a little water? Call practice!”

The great state of Georgia is facing a drought. Clearly this is God’s punishment for our wasteful ways. The solution is obvious: Ask God nicely to knock it off.

Gov. Sonny Perdue wasn’t the least bit discouraged Tuesday after his hourlong state Capitol prayer vigil for rain ended with the sun shining through what had been a somewhat cloudy morning.

“God can make it rain tomorrow, he can make it rain next week or next month,” Perdue told reporters who asked him if a miracle was on the way.

More than 250 faithful Georgians joined Perdue outside the Capitol to ask for divine intervention to end the historic drought.

“We come here very reverently and respectfully to pray up a storm,” Perdue told those in attendance.

Gosh, I wonder if the fact that the weather forecast for Atlanta calls for thunderstorms in the next day or two had any effect on the timing.

My only comment on this is to point out, once again, that the version of religion addressed by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the kind where people believe in a real God who really is influenced by the requests of common folks, who can be usefully encouraged to end a drought when a lot of people ask him to, is the kind most people practice. The other kind, the one beloved of philosophers and theologians, where everything is metaphorical and complicated and subtle? That’s the caricature.


  1. #1 Moopheus
    November 14, 2007

    And how many days of rain does Ha-shem need to provide to avert a complete disaster in Atlanta?

  2. #2 Cuttlefish
    November 14, 2007

    What if God listens to some other voice?
    What if God thinks we are jerks?
    What if God, given unlimited choice,
    Decides to do some other works?

    What if the faithful were not gathered here?
    What if the faithful were mute?
    What if the faithful, though truly sincere,
    Have given these bastards the boot?

    What if the clouds simply didn’t respond?
    What if the clouds didn’t care?
    What if the clouds saw completely beyond
    The pretense of a self-serving prayer?

    What if there isn’t a God there at all?
    What if it’s all up to us?
    What if the truth is, we stand or we fall
    By ourselves, and it’s always been thus?

    What if humanity finally sees?
    What if we finally act?
    What if starvation, drought, and disease
    Were addressed, instead of attacked?

    What if we finally act on our own?
    What if we do what we can?
    What if, because we now know we’re alone,
    We achieve the potential of Man?

  3. #3 Anne-Marie
    November 14, 2007

    I live in Alabama, and there have been calls for participation in official prayer days on the local news here as well. Conveniently, that idea came up as soon as the weather forecast showed a chance of showers for tomorrow…maybe they didn’t want to hedge their bets on and risk no success.

  4. #4 Mark P
    November 14, 2007

    I guess god was busy doing other things while the Southeast suffered without rain for more than a year. Good thing those prayin’ fools brought it to his attention. Poor god. Constant omnipotence can be really tiring.

    Oh, there are more practical things they could do. For example, there was a story on the Atlanta news about a residential customer in Cobb County, just north of Atlanta, who used 440,000 gallons of water in October. Now he has cut down dramatically to just 121,000 gallons, at a rate of about 2000 gallons per day. If the state could just get more people to be that responsible, maybe we can get through this drought.

  5. #5 Traces
    November 14, 2007

    To paraphrase Mencken, Jason doesn’t make Georgia the butt of his jokes, we Georgians make ourselves the butt of his jokes.


  6. #6 carey
    November 14, 2007

    I think they have it wrong. The drought IS the miracle. Is it not the work of the Almighty? How can we value the words of priests over the reality of the manifest creation?

  7. #7 Doug
    November 14, 2007

    I live in Georgia. I apologize to the civilized world.

    Sonny’s an idiot (translation: his future’s bright in GOP politics).

  8. #9 Kevin
    November 15, 2007

    sorry for the length but it is as sent to the editor of my paper:

    Lately it seems the Advance has had a brainectomy and is mindlessly repeating the drivel found on the AP wire or from rabid right-wing nuts. Bush leads by lying and you print it as fact. Just today you printed he called Congress “teenagers with a new credit card” as if Bush has not followed exactly in Reagan’s footsteps and racked up $3 trillion in debt, and a banking crises as well.

    Yesterday you printed the funny story about the drought in Georgia (not that global climate change or overuse of resources is funny) and that the governor was praying for rain. The best part was the quote of Ray Van Neste, a professor of Christian studies at Union University in Jackson, Tenn: “Christianity has more of a place in the culture here than in some other region.” Followed of course by today’s report that one of these cultured christians used electric dog shock collars on his daughters so he could rape them. Seriously. No wonder that Tennessee was ranked 2nd in divorces, 6th in out of wedlock births, 7th in murders, 3rd in violent crime and in aggravated assault, and 4th in Burglary. Happily it’s forcible rape rank did drop to 20 which was better than in previous years. Must be some kind of religious awakening.

    Perhaps we Staten Islanders would be better served by less pandering to Bush propaganda and promotion of crazy religious ideas and more investigation of the corruption, malfeasance and ineptitude of this administration and details of how the Democrats just can’t get the job done against the Republican dead-enders in Congress. Maybe some details on alternatives to rate hikes and some review of just how crazy Elliot Spitzer has become. Maybe a writeup about our next Congressman Stephen Harrision would be nice too.

  9. #10 Kevin
    November 16, 2007

    what no comments?


  10. #11 Crudely Wrott
    November 16, 2007

    “God can make it rain tomorrow, he can make it rain next week or next month,” Perdue told reporters who asked him if a miracle was on the way.

    But they were praying for rain NOW! Or at least pretty soon. Weren’t they?

  11. #12 Brendan Booyse
    November 26, 2007

    I am realy sorry for you all, but remember, God can make it rain whenever he wants to, but it is not the only way God can punish his people so it is highly impropable that God would punish innocent people to, because, according to the Bible, God is mercifull.

    God is very powerfull. In fact, he is so powerfull that He made you, your neighbours and all of their neigbours. He also made the heaven and the waters, the birds and the plants. What makes you think that he cannot send rain. If it is part of his master plan to make you suffer to grow, then so be it. It can take a fire in the forest to kill the bad things to make the good grow faster

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