November 10, 2007

And Thunder Is the Bowling of Angels

Back in June of this year, the Southeastern USA was in a terrible drought. Taking a boldly useless approach to the problem, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue held a pray-in on June 11 in order to petition the sky-god he fantasizes about to make rain fall on his state.

Surprisingly enough, it didn't work. The drought continues and the situation worsens. Some bold and decisive action is needed! Governor Perdue has once again stepped up to the plate! Next week, he'll be hosting a prayer service on Tuesday to get true-believers together to pray for rain, because it worked so well the last time!

Georgia Turns to Prayer to Ease Drought

ATLANTA (AP) — What to do when the rain won't come? If you're Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, you pray.

The governor will host a prayer service next week to ask for relief from the drought gripping the Southeast.

"The only solution is rain, and the only place we get that is from a higher power," Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley said on Wednesday.

Perdue's office has sent out invitations to leaders from several faiths for the service, set for Tuesday...

Perdue, a Baptist, has enjoyed strong support from Georgia's Christian conservatives...
Albert Einstein once said that insanity was repeating the same actions time and again but expecting a different outcome. By this definition, I am of the firm opinion that Perdue is a raving loon. Assuming that he really believes in his favorite mythology, he would be praying for rain on his own all the time. So would the many other Georgians who share in these beliefs. They've already tried this en masse at least once, and now Perdue is going to pull in a bunch of other believers in similar mythologies in the apparent belief that somehow the sky-king in whom he believes is more likely to accede to the supplications of 20 people than he is to the begging of just one. Is there some reason to believe this to be the case? Or is it that the people he's gathering have been proclaimed "leaders of several faiths" and so have more pull with Big Daddy Rainmaker than some lowly farmer outside of Climax, GA?

No matter. The whole thing is both nutty and futile. When one believes that rain comes from a deity, I'm sure one feels a lessened desire to insure that one's beliefs are in line with the rest of reality.

None of this is to say that all Georgians are religiously-motivated nutters who pray to invisible spirits to clean up their messes, like the governor. The Atlanta Freethought Society is taking a much more sober and dim view of Perdue's nonsense:
Group to Protest Ga. Rain Prayer

A secular group said Friday it would protest Gov. Sonny Perdue's planned prayer service intended to ask for relief from the Southeastern drought, saying the rally violates the principle of separation of church and state...

"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, which seeks to educate the public about the separation of church and state. "We didn't elect that guy as a preacher. He has no right to make a religious statement on behalf of Georgians."
I agree generally with Buckner's sentiment here, but I think the basal problem is deeper than this one action. Ultimately, the fault lies with an electorate that keeps turning over the keys to power to people like Perdue, people who call in a team of witch-doctors and mumbling incantations to giants in the firmament and thinking that those giants are going to reply by changing our world to conform to their whims. People who hear celestial voices needed medication, not re-election.

Clearly, the rain-god Hiro is punishing Georgians for not eating the hearts of the enemies they should be slaying in battle. Unless Perdue wakes up and realizes the might of Hiro, he and all Georgians will find themselves in Rarohenga after they die.

Why would this be any less valid than praying to an ancient Near Eastern deity to make it rain in Georgia?

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