Wishing for water from an unheeding sky

I've been ignoring this rain prayer nonsense from Georgia lately, despite the fact that every day I'm getting email about it. It was just too ridiculous to believe—no one, especially not the governor of an American state in the 21st century, could be that loony.

And then I watched this video.

Good grief. I watched that blithering idiot babbling about god listening to their prayers to relieve the drought, and I heard the onlookers muttering "Yeah!" and "Amen!" and all I could think was …

Demented fuckwits.

I keep hearing about the sophistication of faith, and how we arrogant atheists underestimate the measure of reason in modern religion, and then Sonny Perdue and his voters show up and expose themselves for the patent, credulous fools they are. Christians, you should be embarrassed. There's the face of your belief: a stupid old man begging an invisible cosmic muffin to grant him a wish, with a surrounding mob chanting their approval of their shared inanity.

Please don't try to tell me how cultured and civilized and refined christianity is. At its core, it's crude, ignorant comedy, promulgated by the most blindly deluded members of society.

(via Sandwalk, who says "It's the sort of thing you might expect from a tribe of hunter-gathers about 50,000 years ago.")


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This truly is no better than the Mayans, et. al. who would also pray (albeit sometimes alongside a sacrifice) for rain. And yet they're looked upon as stupid and primitive by the holier-than-thou Christians who do the same.

Well we're descended "from a tribe of hunter-gathers about 50,000 years ago", so why should it surprise anyone that MOST of us have at least a residue of superstitious irrational behaviour in their makeup?

One of the factors in my realizing there is no god was my interest in cultural anthropology as a young teenager. I'd read about these different cultures, and found almost all had some sort of religion, as a way to explain a world they didn't understand. Suddenly, one day, during mass, I thought - hey, wait a minute!

cosmic muffin

If you're referencing "Deteriorata", I'm pretty sure 'Hairy Thunderer' is more the sort of god these types go in for.

By DiscGrace (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

Not going to watch the video as I don't have any extra brains I can afford to lose.

Christians -
Pray for rain. It rains. "God loves us."
Pray for rain. It doesn't rain. "God is testing us."

Atheists -
Don't pray. It rains. (get wet or go inside)
Don't pray. It doesn't rain. (stay outside)

Somewhere in the woods, it rains or doesn't rain without any intervention whatsoever.

as if it wouldn't be bad enough, this stuff gets more media coverage then the the martial law in Georgia (the country, sadly)
Maybe they did not specify what should rain down where
and God mixed those two Georgias up
and water with tear gas

This truly is no better than the Mayans, et. al. who would also pray (albeit sometimes alongside a sacrifice) for rain. And yet they're looked upon as stupid and primitive by the holier-than-thou Christians who do the same.

It's actually worse than the Mayans... they had mathematics, astronomy, awesome temples, and more drugs than Timothy Leary. The demented fuckwits have none of that.

Just the other day I had to listen to a condescending lecture from a liberal Christian on how "prayer is not a petition to God, it's a strengthening of ourselves" and I thought yeah, sure. But if you get rain do you then not bother to "thank" God?

Hey, this is simple. It's BOTH a superstitious petition AND an attempt towards an inner acceptance of whatever happens. Those are just variations of each other, see? One way is magical bronze age thinking; the other way is the reasonable sort of thing an atheist might do, calming down and gaining perspective and steeling resolve. Here's the real miracle: they're flip sides, equivalent, both more or less the same thing. That's why it's so sophisticated and that's the part atheists just don't get, shallow one-dimensional thinkers that we are.

Yeah. Right.

They have less faith than Linus in the pumpkin patch.

You want to show God your faith? Get up on those capitol steps, douse yourself with gasoline, and light a match. With that kind of show of faith, surely God must be moved to intervene and send down buckets of rain to extinguish the flames.

Or sacrifice your first-born; God always intervenes just at the last moment, so don't hold back, or He'll know!

Any sacrifice must be better than imposing water restrictions on an ongoing basis as a preventative measure....

Ancestral and present cultures are always 'trapped' in their times. Only present-day demented theists seek cultural time travel.

Not very Christian of them to pray for their god to take rain away from other places where it is needed more.

Why didn't they get out and pray for rain to stop the California fires? Where were they when others needed help? Just for that, I won't pray for them.

What part of omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent didn't they understand?

By JohnnieCanuck, FCD (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

What kills me is how the "faithful" will look down their noses at the "heathens" when they do a rain dance... Yet there they were... Oh, the delicious irony of it all...

How soon does it have to rain so that they can attribute the rain to the prayers?

Is our plan for global warming going to be to pray really hard? Like- really scrunch up our eyes and be extra solemn?

By Christianjb (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

Some of my labmates noticed on Monday that the prayer was conveniently scheduled for the day before NOAA was forecasting showers... what a coincidence!

Back in April, Australia's prime minister urged prayers for rain. Then, a couple of weeks later, there were floods (not in the drought areas though).

He never claimed the credit for that.

By John Morales (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

You see, if we add a bunch of CO2 and methane and water vapor into the atmosphere, and then cut down rain forests, that doesn't cause any problems; but if we pray, that solves all our problems.

Makes total sense.

It's all God's will.

DFWITS, indeed.

Actually, I sort of hope it doesn't rain down there. The trees give a strange fruit. A strange bloody fruit.

What is there bad about America that didn't crawl out of the South? I can't think of a thing.

There are a few of us down here who revel in pointing out that this is the best idea Perdue has come up with yet. It's not like he's doing anything else to solve the problem.

Personally I've never understood the point in praying to an allegedly omniscient god.

#10 -

Why is it always a rain of small animals? I mean, I could really go for a rain of cattle.. or, perhaps more appropriately, Water Buffalo! After all, if it's supposed to be a disaster of biblical proportions why not use something that can cause some real damage! :)

Hasn't this joker requested rain once before only to have nothing happen. These assholes want to have their cake and eat it too; they'll ignore all the things that don't happen then crow endlessly as if their magical thinking had some real effect on anything when there's a happy coincidence.

What we're doing wrong is obviously the lack of human sacrifices. Everything was better when we had human sacrifices. Just hang a few guys in an ash tree and Odin will send Thor out right away to bring rain.

"It's not like he's doing anything else to solve the problem." Huh??? Exaclty what steps should a governor take to alleviate a drought? Other than useless platitudes to a non-existent sky-daddy that is.

That reminds me of Flanders & Swan's comic song "Don't Eat People." A young rebel in the tribe refuses the evening meal (roast leg of insurance salesman) with the slogan, "I won't let another man pass my lips." He explains that he thinks cannibalism is wrong. The others are mystified: "If the Ju-ju didn't want people to eat people, he wouldn't have made us of meat." Someone else realizes that's the thin edge of the wedge and before you know it, you'd have people saying, "Don't kill people!" Everyone falls about laughing at the absurdity.

"How soon does it have to rain so that they can attribute the rain to the prayers?"

Oh, any time within the next 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 weeks or so.

By RamblinDude (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

Sadly (?) it did rain last night up here about two hours from Atlanta, and there are supposed to be thunderstorms tonight. As Lydia pointed out (#18), seems like the prayer was scheduled after the forecast was already known. Nothing like biasing the outcome a bit...

and how we arrogant atheists underestimate the measure of reason in modern religion


By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

So if the prayer doesn't work, what next? Sacrifice a goat? A cow? A heretic?

By Marc Connor (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

"no one, especially not the governor of an American state in the 21st century, could be that loony"

I agree. That couldn't have been a governor. It was a preacher. He looked like a preacher. He talked like a preacher. He had to be a preacher. Nobody that stupid could be elected governor. Right?

@ Stark #26:

Well, for starters they could work on fixing the law to hold the water wasters (like that guy who is using hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per day regardless of the extra fines) actually liable. I suppose it is more efficient to just stand outside with umbrellas being wildly optimistic than waste paper writing a law and enforcing it.

Ray S #22:

Personally I've never understood the point in praying to an allegedly omniscient god.

Me too. At a young age I figured omniscience implied god knew all that you (and everyone and everything) would do/think even before he decided to make a creation. I had an inchoate inkling of the problem this causes for the concept of free will, and also why would such an entity bother actually doing the creation (already knowing its course and outcome)*?

It was one of the first of the contradictions in the religion I was taught that I became aware of.

*Maybe he knew that he'd do that, so he had no choice?

By John Morales (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink


I once got in trouble during sunday school was for saying just that.

Actually, it was really roughly a weekly occurence that the sunday school teacher wanted to "have a talk" with my parents. The rents never caught on though, and still somehow managed to be shocked beyond words when, about ten years later, I decided I didn't believe in any of that stuff.

Clearly Georgia has incurred the wrath of the Supreme Being, who is punishing them. Perhaps they were too gay, just like New Orleans. In any case, if God wants to take it out on you, I sure as hell wouldn't want to challenge Him on it -- a little drought is nothing next to flaming hail and plagues of frogs. Don't piss Him off more and make Him go all Old Testament on your cracker asses.

Oh lord thank you for sending this rain to stop the drought that you also sent!


It's win/win for the Governor.

It rains, he gets to credit prayer. It doesn't, he has bonded with the majority of his constituents (who are like-minded idiots).

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

PZ said, ". . . and then Sonny Perdue and his voters show up and expose themselves for the patent, credulous fools they are . . ." And he's right.

It's just so damned embarrassing. Not to mention the infuriating part.

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

No it makes perfect sense. If it rains, the gov can credit his faith in his god. If it doesn't, he can blame the freethinkers who protested the show.

In one of his monologues George Carlin how foolish it is to pray for something. God has a divine plan for everything and any schmuck with a $2 prayer book can mess it up. That doesn't pass the smell test.

Isn't it sad to live in a country where people in power are behaving like this? Wasn't USA supposed to be "the greatest country in the world"?

C'mon, PZ, how do you really feel?

I think that Georgia obviously has disappointed God. Wait, that's odd...Georgia is a very Christian state.

Now Portland, OR, that place is falling apart...er, wait, it's kind of nice. They must be very religious over there, right?

Hmmm..im confused.

"Wasn't USA supposed to be "the greatest country in the world"?"

At least America is the greatest insane asylum in the world.

Hey now, hey now, this is a great idea for a new "Faith-Based Disaster Relief" alternative option for religious communities who don't want to rely on heathen, secular resources. I say we encourage them to do what makes them happy.

Michael D. over at Balloon Juice rather capped this little gubernatorial exercise off well, I think: he gave the following timeline for Sonny Perdue's prayer-o-rama.

  1. Georgia is in severe drought
  2. Governor Perdue decides to pray for rain on Tuesday
  3. Forecast called for rain Tuesday
  4. Prayer service goes ahead as planned
  5. Skies completely clear up immediately following prayer service
  6. No rain

A friend of mine once journeyed to the shore;
His prayers were answered there, he says with pride;
He prayed for hours--maybe five or more,
For God to--pretty please!--send in the tide.

I've heard it said that the only thing worse than raining cats and dogs is hailing taxicabs.

"For God to--pretty please!--send in the tide."


By RamblinDude (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

How's this for a convoluted explanation of prayer?

Dr. Keith Boyd of Trinity Baptist Church in New York City, says prayer is a way to converse with God, but that not all prayers are answered the way we want or expect. The person must ask God what's on his or her heart, but that the bottom line is that God's will, must be done. Now how do you know what God's will is? We don't. But we know God's law and God's love. And God's law is not just a set of arbitrary rules and regulations, but a description of who God is, His very character. So aligning yourself with God's law can at least put you in the same ballpark of understanding his will. But it still doesn't assure us of getting what we asked for. After all, God is not a genie. He is not a fairy godmother, sent to give us everything we asked for.


Courtesy of the Fox News religion reporter, Lauren Green. Thanks, Lauren, for spreading ignorance across the land.

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

And God's law is not just a set of arbitrary rules and regulations, but a description of who God is, His very character.

From the book of Leviticus, I conclude that God was horribly abused by a shrimp as a child-deity.

Betcha didn't know:

"Houses had thatched roofs -- thick straw -- piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof -- hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

From weird history"

By RamblinDude (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

"After all, God is not a genie. He is not a fairy godmother, sent to give us everything we asked for."

Well then ... they'd better stop praying to this God and start pleasing the fairies. Genies and fairies seem to be more generous with us (says the expert, Dr. Boyd). I'm betting on the invisible pink unicorn, he really loves me, plus he answers ALL my prayers.

The problem is, all the purveyors of water tanks, water saving taps/showerheads and plumbers to install those afore-mentioned things are all praying that it doesn't rain. And we all know God likes the tradesmen better than the politicians - Jesus was a carpenter, after all.

Cuttlefish, your creations are always brilliant, but that small piece is a true gem!

What is there bad about America that didn't crawl out of the South? I can't think of a thing.

This is idiotic. As if racism were an invention of the American South.

I'm not claiming we've got got nothing to be ashamed of down here - we've got quite a bit, as people like you are so quick to remind - but the rest of this country is just as fucked up. You guys just hide it better.

By Fishbone McGonigle (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

#39 made me lol. But #29, raises a good point, because, apparently, it did rain, a little. Not nearly enough to affect the drought, but it did rain.

So, from this evidence, I conclude that not only did god answer the prayers for rain, but, because he still didn't end the drought, that he is really a giant cock-tease, as well.

Why anyone would worship someone you have to literally BEG before he uses his all-power to help needy people is beyond me.

I was more proactive than Gov. Sonny. I went out back this afternoon and sacrificed a goat. It's raining right now.

Just when did that lot start praying for rain? It's been raining more or less every day for a couple of weeks. Here that is, on the NorthWet coast of the continent.

Did they use any GPS co-ordinates in their prayers? If they weren't specific or got a little confused, that could explain everything. God answered their prayers, He just delivered the rain to the wrong address.

So is he a cynical politico just manipulating the voters, or is he drinking the koolaid too?

By JohnnieCanuck, FCD (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

I hate that my first post is comprised of the following, but here goes:

Not everyone in Georgia is an imbecile. It just seems that the idiots, as usual, are much louder than the sane among us. I'm not saying there's a majority of reasonable people -- only that there are more of us than one would think from the kind of news coverage my state gets.

And thanks for your great blog, PZ. I regret that I don't post more but I'm usually so far behind that I feel like I'm jumping into an already-deceased conversation.

From what I've read, Georgia rejected water rationing last year, gambling that it would rain enough they wouldn't need it by this year. Gambled and lost.

From what I've read, Atlanta has encouraged development despite projections that the city could outgrow its water supply. Water projects have been delayed by "budget cutters" who just don't want to raise the taxes to do what is necessary to do to provide water for the population numbers planned.

There was a time when a prayer, or petition, to put another name to it, would have been effective if presented to the proper authorities.

But now?

Prayer to a god is particularly damaging when it gives people a false sense of assurance that things will "work out," or when it gives people a sense that they need not take action on critical needs, now.

Why didn't Georgia and Atlanta act much sooner? Will they act now to prevent future droughts?

Their prayers have already been unanswered.

OK, I live here in Georgia. Athens is a few weeks away from having no water. Yes, you
read that correctly. The last official figures I heard was that Bear Creek Reservoir had
about 5 weeks of water left in it - that was about 3 weeks ago. Apparently the authorities have permission to drraw more water from local rivers, but the projections are that without substantial rainfall, we'll run dry sometime early in the new year.

The state climatologist warned officials that this was very likely to happen way back in the spring (or earlier) - this prediction was quite strong because of the deepening La Nina. They did nothing. In 2000-2002 we also had a drought here, not as
severe as this one, but a multiyear drought that affected everyone. One would think, given that history, that when warned of another impending drought, that those in power would have taken measures then. But no. There are no adults in power here, only pathetic creatures (that's a little too severe, there are some very capable people here, but they do not have the ultimate power to take appropriate steps).

I keep being told that the US is the most powerful, technologically advanced nation this world has ever seen. And then I watch idiots like this govenor. The sooner people here realize that Perdue is a self-interested, craven moron whose abilities would be stretched by being the social secretary of the Macon amateur pecan growers association the better.

Having said all that, it's just started to rain here. It'll probably only be enough to wet the ground, but it's the first rainfall (of any kind) for about 3 weeks.

By Adrian Burd (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

The problem isn't the governor of Georgia, it's the believers. George Bush basically said that god told him to start a war and no one (in the mainstream media) blinked an eye. As long as so many people share the god delusion they'll be willing to go along with government-sponsored absurdity, as long as it doesn't cross too many constitutional barriers. The problem is that the theists tell people that they will continue after death. We tell them they won't. That's our one and only "framing" issue.

If anyone has a shred of sanity left after watching that bilge, destroy it by clicking the "creepy gas station" link-- add a little secular woo to your religious crap and you'll be screaming at mice with your shirt off and dancing the Charleston on the roof in an insane stupor in no time!

Seeing that Georgia a few hundred years back was Native American territory, maybe they should be doing a rain dance instead.

"After all, God is not a genie. He is not a fairy godmother, sent to give us everything we asked for."

You sure? I'm positive Christ says otherwise, I seem to recall something about moving mountains if you just ask. "Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you" (John 16:23-24). Gotta love Xians who can't even get their own book right.

Maybe this isn't the appropriate post but I would like a response to my basic objection. Theists, of whatever stripe, have the basic claim that you continue to exist after death. We atheist claim you do not. That's tough to sell. Any opinions on the matter?

ACK!! Just when I thought us Georgians had managed to duck under the dumbass radar... For the record, I didn't vote for the idiot...

It worked! It's raining buckets! But then, I'm in the northeast, so I guess God's aim is a bit off.

Hmm... 20% chance of rain on the day of the Prayer vigil, the day after, and the day after that. Oh, but I guess that the fact it rained last night for like 3 hours is because of his little appeal to god.

Those of us out there protesting weren't even get within range of the event... we couldn't see the vigil and the vigil couldn't see us. We had to stay just down the road and around the corner.

By Humanistic Jones (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

i thought jesus said that praying out loud in front of tv cameras makes you a flaming d-bag. yes, yes he did. it's right here in Denise 3:12, "and woe be to him, who speaketh to the lord (my dad) amplified by microphones. he shall be cast into the infernal depths, turned into a bygone feminine hygiene product and set ablaze."

that's my quiet prayer for the day anyway. will you all please join me in recitation of Denise 3:12...

By cereal breath (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

I'm guessing the people who went out of their way to pray in a gaggle are the same type of people I heard on the radio the other day, talking about how they have started to conserve water - "my kids used to take 2 or 3 showers a day, but now they take only 1." Or, "we now turn off the water when we brush our teeth." I couldn't believe people did those things to begin with. No wonder we have a water shortage.

And isn't a governor-sponsored prayer vigil a violation of separation of church an state?

life after death (some one asked)
once humans evolved to the point that they were aware of their own existance they also became aware that they will die. That's fearful to most. Everyone needed to find the "Fountain of Youth:, "Everlasting Life", That's the only way they can cope with dying. That makes them easy targets for superstition. The fact that every living creature dies escapes them. It is easvy to get that old lady to give me momeny for my rich lifestyle and that's the sad part.

By richCares (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

Yeah, that's what I wondered. Were State funds used to organize and perform this prayer vigil?
That's what would piss me off if I lived in Georgia.
But, politically, it is a no-brainer. Prayer can't possibly have any bad effect (since it can't have any effect at all) and so you get the appearence of 'doing something' while doing nothing at all.

By gravitybear (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

It's a shame that the bible thumper's don't read their own bible

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Matthew 6:5
"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Matthew 6:6
"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:7
"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
Matthew 6:8
"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

What is there bad about America that didn't crawl out of the South?

George W. Bush is from Connecticut.

I love how the AP writer tried to rationalize this as "politically expediant" and cites Washington and Truman to give this legitimacy.

Jefferson is mentioned as an 'exception'.
So....does this mean we can't say that America is supposed to be secular, anymore?

By Ryan F Stello (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

Wow. I finally watched it. I thought it would be a little prayer, but that was a full-fledged sermon! Cadence was spot-on and all. Beyond creepy.

Maybe their god would like them to have a little more of that faith they keep going on and on about.

I live not far from Atlanta in Alabama, and the drought is just as severe here. What's driving me nuts is that I lived in the SF Bay Area during that multi-year drought in the late 80s/early 90s, where we were collecting shower water to flush toilets, wearing dirty clothes, and pretty much gave up on the concept of lawns and landscaping (xeroscaping was the hot topic). None of that is happening here, not even being discussed as far as I know (certainly not where I live), and they are a lot closer to being out of water in some areas. I have no idea what these people think "conserving water" means.

Well, the governor invoked Genesis, and as it will rain eventually, I'm sure the good people of Georgia will take that as a sign of intelligent design. *eye-roll*

Well, let me say that, at least those hunter-gathers from about 50,000 years ago also railed against their gods, whereas modern humans today are exhorted only to "love" their deity no matter what.

Believe in god if you want, but at lease be honest and admit that your god is both good and evil, then. Use this metaphor to become a whole person and to honestly express real emotions, rather than let pent up hatred and resentment of this god be directed against other human beings (like atheists).

RamblinDude: Betcha didn't know:

I bet you didn't know that gullible isn't in the dictionary.

George W. Bush is from Connecticut.

Yes, yes, he was born there - but his family moved to Texas when he two years old, and he was raised there. He returned to New England for secondary school and college, then settled back in Texas. In most respects he is a Southerner.

The South is the southeastern part of the US, from Georgia to Louisiana. Texas is considered in the southwest. We don't claim Texas, never have. Different culture.

As for bashing the South, just don't. Not all of us are freaks/racist/Christian/Republican. A sizable minority of us aren't, in fact. Stereotypes and prejudice suck just as bad when aimed at people who happen to have been born in the southern US. Just go find some other group to kick, the mentally disabled or something. They still seem to be fair game.

See?? SEE???? Science is just another religion. They pray to God to give them rain, we enact sensible water rationing regulations, continue research into meteorology, seed clouds with chemicals designed to increase condensation, look into the deeper causes of the problem (global warming), develop technology for transporting water to areas without on a huge scale, from trucks to trains to aquifers.

SEE???? Exactly the same.

What astounds me is the equivocal nature of the logic combined with the refusal to accept the alternative position. Who says god brought the rain, yet didn't bring the drought? It's all nonsense and I feel embarrassed for such people.

RamblinDude: Betcha didn't know:

I bet you didn't know that gullible isn't in the dictionary.

LOL! Hey, I didn't say it was true! Okay, don't care for that explanation, eh? How about this one from The Phrase Finder

"In a form more like the current version it appears in Jonathan Swift's A Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation in 1738:

"I know Sir John will go, though he was sure it would rain cats and dogs".

"More likely than any of the versions given above is that this is just a nice descriptive turn of phrase, which doesn't relate to any particular event or practise."

(Now, to research your claim...)

By RamblinDude (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

but his family moved to Texas

Yes, but then he went to Yale. He was a preppy boy.

As for bashing the South, just don't.

Yeah, really, give it a rest, people, okay? I assure you that they do science in Georgia, too. And everyone knows that Southern cooking is the best.

I've never been to Georgia, but I trust there are sane people there too.

One commenter on another blog indicated the reason an omniscient deity requires prayer is because, "Sometimes he wants his children to ask for things"

I was laughing too hard to post a response, and then thought better of even bothering.

It gets worse.

When I saw this reported on the local TV here, following the segment (including interviews with multiple credulous people about how it was bound to work) they cut back to the news anchor who said (paraphrasing, but this is about right) "well, we're now showing a 60% chance of rain in that area, so it looks like it worked!".

By Brain Hertz (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

Cuttle, you make my day so much better when you post a poem. <3 You rock!

LOL! Hey, I didn't say it was true!


Actually, it's called "raining cats and dogs" because people kept stepping in poodles, and in warm weather it would be very moggy afterward.

What is there bad about America that didn't crawl out of the South?

Reagan, Guiliani, Steve Forbes, Antonin Scalia, the Rockefeller drug laws, all the folks who talked to the Skyfather in upstate New York in the 19th century, Bruce Willis, Mitt Romney, Ted Nugent, L. Ron Hubbard, the club of fawning admirers that surrounded Ayn Rand...

I say this as a proud son of NJ (and proud resident of NY).

By Rob Coover (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

Don't forget Fred Phelps.

And Gwen Stefani.

Offered without comment:
Storms slam Southeast, injuring kids.

ATLANTA (Nov. 15) - A storm crashed through the Southeast and brought up to an inch of rain in parts of drought-stricken Georgia, but forecasters said the storm likely did little to ease the state's historic drought.

"The ground probably sucked it all up," said Vaughn Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. "The ground is so dry, I seriously doubt if any of the lakes rose any."

The Wednesday storm packed lashing rain and powerful gusts, injuring at least nine in Tennessee.

The roof of a Baptist church in Tennessee's Marion County was heavily damaged, said Jeremy Heidt of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Three children were hurt by flying glass and were taken to hospitals, said Heidt.

well said PZ Myers

By robotaholic (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

Have you seen the Faux News? The fuckwits are claiming that their prayers were answered ... I'm disgusted beyond belief.

I would like for the human race to wise up, but there is no chance ... most will remain until the end and die as fuckwits.

Gwen is from California. And I like her damn it.

Creed is from the south. Was anyway.

This strike me as the gumball model of god.

Put a penny in=pray.

Out comes a gumball=rain.

Which makes god a vending machine for odds and ends.

The New England slave market, Kansas Territory way back then, Cincinnati racism then and now, Texas (we still aren't claiming them), neighborhood "blocking," tieing gay men to fences in snowstorms, neo-Nazis and skinheads -- that sort of crawled out of California, didn't it? Warren Jeffs. And Mormons in general. The New Age movement. Western diamondbacks. Okay, they're actually kind of cool from a safe distance, unlike Wisconsin's own Jeffrey Dahmer, or New York's Son of Sam, or LA's Hillside Stranglers. But I'm pretty sure that the whole entire list throughout American history of yucky stuff that didn't crawl out of the South.

"Gwen is from California."

My point. I was following up that rude New Jerseyan's post. ;)

I'm betting on the invisible pink unicorn, he really loves me, plus he answers ALL my prayers.

Blasphemer! The Invisible Pink Unicorn is a she, desecrated be Her Holy Hooves by the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

Demented fuckwits, succinctly put Mr Myers.

Don't you find it amusing that (thus far) there have been no God-botherers commenting on this thread?

It couldn't be that they're all too ashamed to show their ASCIIs, could it?

Nah...course not! ;-)

By Jane Pietran (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

The best proof that prayer don't work is that we still have more hospitals than praydomes.

By Pyroclast (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink

Good point, Jane! Of course, we know how it would go.

"Why is it that when Alabama's governor prayed for rain, it stormed in Tennessee, destroying a Baptist church and injuring children?"

"God works in mysterious ways."

Update: Seems like it might have worked a bit too well? That god dude has a wicked sense of humour.
ATLANTA - A storm crashed through the Southeast and brought up to an inch of rain in parts of drought-stricken Georgia, but forecasters said the storm likely did little to ease the state's historic drought.
and of course my favourite bits...
The roof of a Baptist church in Tennessee's Marion County was heavily damaged...City Hall across the street from the church suffered minor damage...and an ambulance business next to it had heavy damage.
God, isn't god a shit?

Kristine - yes.

The good governor of Georgia was perhaps not quite aware, that he followed the example of the the imam of the Hacibayram Veli mosque in Ankara, Turkey:
(AFP Story of August 10, 2007, shown at URL
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Turks_pray_for_rain_in_waterless_ca_081020… ):
" Hundreds of Ankara residents flocked to mosques Friday to pray for rain, as severe water shortages in the city of four million frayed nerves and triggered calls for the mayor's resignation.
"A llah, bring down life-giving rains from the heavens upon us," the imam of the historic Hacibayram Veli mosque pleaded, after parts of the capital suffered several days without water."
But it seems Turkey is on its way to a secular society, as the story ends:
" Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek blamed the water shortage on months of exceptionally dry weather and minimal snowfall in winter, but critics say he has failed to invest in diversifying the capital's water sources during his 13-year tenure.
Several people have demonstrated in front of his office, banging on empty water containers and calling for his resignation....."

These demonstrators must be the dreaded god-less, who - instead of praying to A llah - ask for the local government to do something about the water supply.

One couldn't imagine this happening in the U.S., could one?
(I don't know if A llah repaired the Ankara water supply, or the municipal government did, or a sudden rain storm engulfed the city).

and how we arrogant atheists underestimate the measure of reason in modern religion


By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 14 Nov 2007 #permalink

I'm betting on the invisible pink unicorn, he really loves me, plus he answers ALL my prayers.

Blasphemer! The Invisible Pink Unicorn is a she, desecrated be Her Holy Hooves by the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 15 Nov 2007 #permalink