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Atheism, Christianity, Politics

Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer: Reflections

Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s “Day of Prayer” has come and gone.  Pundits the world over are opining, and both sides are claiming both moral and empirical victories.  For Fundamentalist Christians, the event marks the potential ascension of yet another evangelical Texan to the White House.  For non-believers and religious accommodationists, it is an unthinkable intrusion of faith into the public sphere.

There were troubling omens.  Perry has apparently fully embraced the American Family Association, which is fast becoming America’s most powerful hate group.  The AFA donated over $1 million to the event.

MegaPastor John Hagee took the opportunity to compare the current political climate to the Civil War.  “We pray for our governor Rick Perry who has had the courage today to call this time of fasting and prayer just as Abraham Lincoln did in the darkest days of the civil war.”  (LINK)

On the other hand, there were signs that the support base for this kind of religious pandering may not be as broad as the governor hopes.  Despite being held in the nation’s fourth largest city, in the heart of the Fundamentalist South, the event managed to fill less than half of Reliant Stadium.  Between a lawsuit, protests outside the stadium, and planes flying atheist banners in the vicinity, there was substantial resistance.  Many church groups registered their objections as well.  (Thanks so much, Moderate Christians, for finally doing something visible to oppose these tyrants!)

Throughout the leadup to this event, the lion’s share of criticism has been geared towards the violation of church and state.  And this issue is surely important — critical, if we are to preserve the very foundation of America’s birth pangs.  However, there’s an element to this that ought to hit home for everyone, regardless of political party, and regardless of religious belief:

Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer and Fasting represents an empirical claim about the nature of the universe.  Gov. Perry believes, or pretends to believe, that by gathering several thousand people together, leading them in prayer, and encouraging them while they dance in the aisles and enter quasi-hypnotic trances, the nation’s economic woes will be magically fixed, and that the clouds will open forth.  This should be very disturbing to a lot of people.

In the history of economic depressions, there are a number of things that have proven effective at alleviating suffering.  Among them:

  • Changing the interest rate.
  • Economic stimulus packages
  • Job creation plans.
  • Changes to the tax structure.

Droughts are a bit trickier.  So far, the most effective method for producing rain has been cloud seeding.

The thing is, for either recession or drought, there is one thing that has never proven any more effective than wishful thinking, and that is prayer.  Recall that Governor Perry has tried the whole “rain dance” route before.  In April of this year, he called for not one but three days of prayer and fasting to try to call down some moisture from heaven.  To date, Texas is still in the midst of the worst dry spell since 1895.

Let’s put this in plain language:  Rick Perry has demonstrated his approach to governing.  He has spent millions — literally, millions of dollars — to organize a bunch of people whispering magic words.  That’s his answer to economic crisis.  Where presidents like Franklin Roosevelt took drastic fiscal and social measures to alleviate suffering, this… clown… is organizing prayer meetings.  And not only that, he’s organizing prayer meetings after the same technique failed miserably!

And he’s one of the leading hopefuls for the 2012 presidential election.  And we wonder why we have an economic crisis.



18 thoughts on “Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer: Reflections

  1. You are in great form today my friend. I shall tweet and retweet your incisive article.

    Posted by Richard Collins | August 7, 2011, 7:05 pm
  2. One of my biggest pet peeves, and things that I hate the absolute most, is thinking you’re doing something useful but you’re not. Then when, it’s shown to NOT work….you keep doing it.

    America has a bad habit of doing this. Instead of helping the economy, they’re harming it. Instead of decreasing terrorism, they’re increasing it.

    They’re not helping science, they’re stopping it.

    Posted by Alison | August 7, 2011, 8:13 pm
  3. Posted by Alison | August 7, 2011, 8:18 pm
  4. Perry’s college transcripts were released… lots of Cs and Ds. So he’s a perfect fit for the Republican party. For right-wingers, the dumber the better.

    Posted by Ben Hoffman | August 8, 2011, 1:07 am
  5. Wow, I fail at HTML

    Posted by Alison | August 8, 2011, 6:29 pm
  6. I couldn’t even find the code you tried to use. So I couldn’t help. Sorry.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | August 9, 2011, 3:36 am
  7. Ben, I noticed he was particularly bad at economics. Go figure.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | August 9, 2011, 3:39 am
  8. I was trying to embed this image

    (Embedded. — HD)

    Here’s the code, minus the brackets: img src=”” alt=”” /

    Posted by Alison | August 9, 2011, 7:17 pm
  9. You mean like THIS???

    You know how to imbed videos, so why does an image trip you up…?

    The code:

    <img src=’’ />

    Posted by CB | August 9, 2011, 11:13 pm
  10. Hmm, didn’t work. Bummer.

    Posted by CB | August 9, 2011, 11:13 pm
  11. Wow, I fail at HTML

    Nope. This blog software apparently suppresses the <img> tag.

    Posted by CB | August 9, 2011, 11:16 pm
  12. You mean like THIS???

    You know how to imbed videos, so why does an image trip you up…?

    The code:

    Posted by Alison | August 9, 2011, 11:33 pm
  13. Alison, did you intend to post camel toes for America?

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | August 10, 2011, 1:33 pm
  14. Alison, did you intend to post camel toes for America?

    No, when I look at girls, I tend not to stare at their crotch.

    Funny thing is, I tested it on MY blog before I posted it, and it embedded there.

    I should have gone with this one

    Posted by Alison | August 10, 2011, 6:07 pm
  15. Posted by Alison | August 10, 2011, 6:08 pm
  16. Yep. Should have gone with that one 🙂

    It wasn’t her crotch that drew my attention first. It was the mommy pants. Really terrible choice of pants that aren’t flattering and make her look like a reject from Charlie’s Angels. (The 70s TV show, not the Cameron Diaz movie.) From there… well, it was inevitable that I was going to notice the camel toe.

    Then again, I don’t find Katie Perry particularly attractive, and I already know that, so that may have something to do with it, too. I’m just not that interested in looking at her face.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | August 11, 2011, 11:35 am
  17. A lot of people find Katy [no relation to Rick] attractive. Hell, even I find her attractive.

    Posted by Alison | August 11, 2011, 7:56 pm
  18. I dunno. Something about her face just doesn’t do it for me.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | August 11, 2011, 10:20 pm

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