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Why isn’t this an example of the falsification of the power of prayer?

Texas has had several extremely high profile, prominent prayer events led by that braying ninny, Rick Perry, all in the name of ending the drought that afflicts the state. He even made it official, making a government proclamations calling on God to fix the weather.

WHEREAS, throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on those days for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.

That was back in April. God has had 4 months to respond to those desperate entreaties. Here is the result.

Isn’t that amazing? It’s like Texas is getting blasted almost specifically — with a bit of collateral damage to Oklahoma, but then, God has always had lousy aim.

But shouldn’t this be a good strong datum that prayer doesn’t work?

Comments

  1. Cuttlefish says

    Nah–it only means that Texans who pray aloud are outnumbered by non-Texans who pray silently.

  2. and-u-say says

    Aw, PZ. you know that god has three possible answers to prayer: yes, no, wait. Apparently the “wait” can mean “a really long time” and “so long that the destruction has taken place and it really doesn’t matter anymore”. Or perhaps that is a “no”?

  3. SaintStephen says

    This post was hilarious, but when it was followed immediately by an ad for “Grace Prayer“, it done busted my irony meter.

  4. Trebuchet says

    And don’t think for a minute Perry and his wingnut preacher buddies wouldn’t be claiming credit if it HAD rained.

  5. says

    The best theist explanation for the continuing drought in Texas is that God hates Texans. Or, at least, that he hates Rick Perry and wants that idiot to stop bothering him.

  6. Tabby Lavalamp says

    Or perhaps Allah is really pissed off that they’re praying incorrectly. Though my money is on Tāwhirimātea, but that doesn’t mean we should rule out Negafook.

  7. Tom Clark says

    Depends. What did it look like before April?

    Also, it could only be used to falsify the specific techniques that were used to pray.

    (I am not a theist, just a pedant pointing out that unsupported hypotheses can be hard to disprove).

  8. Randomfactor says

    There’s a tropical storm in the gulf right now that looks like it’s missing Texas.

    Even a storm named Lee wouldn’t piss on Texas, even now that it’s on fire…

  9. says

    I’m an atheist in east Texas, and I’ve gotten a little rain, recently. Maybe the Philosopher God is trying to demonstrate his approval of my skepticism while punishing the sin of faith in the Texans not in my vicinity.

    (Of course, I’m ignoring the not-as-insane big cities that probably have much higher proportions of atheists.)

  10. says

    God’s been too busy trying to get politicians to pay attention to him by sending earthquakes and hurricanes to Washington DC. And even there his aim has been pretty lousy

  11. says

    No wait… Perry was just getting warmed up. Now he’s ready to really show us! Which he can do by getting into a motorboat and heading off into the Atlantic to pray the next hurricane away.

  12. says

    Oh, oh! I just noticed the little logos in the corner of the U.S. Drought Monitor map: USDA, NOAA, Commerce Dept. These are government agencies! They’re part of the international global warming conspiracy!

    If Rick Perry can deny global warming by calling it a scam, he should apply the same remedy to the drought. Pretend it away!

  13. Jonathan says

    As an Oklahoman, I can assure you that, although our politicians have received less attention for it than Texas has, our politicians have also been passing bills and proclamations praying for rain. It just that none of our pols are running for national office.

  14. Robotocracy says

    This would be comic if it weren’t so tragic. Rick Perry, the governor who doesn’t believe in global warming, refuses to do anything at all about the fossil fuels Texas is pumping out, instead resorting to magic rain rituals. Reality is truly beyond parody.

  15. ckitching says

    But God moves in Mysterious Ways. Give him a couple or ten more years before writing Him off. I’m sure there’ll be flood conditions in Texas eventually. Then who’ll be laughing?

  16. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    Looking at the map, I see a little hook of drought extending towards Morris, Minnesota. Just sayin’.

  17. says

    To the religious mind, when God answers your prayer, that means he loves you. When he doesn’t, that means he’s testing you…thus it’s an infinite loop that they can stay locked into indefinitely.

  18. says

    Tom Clark: Depends. What did it look like before April?

    The difference is stark. I’ve posted a side-by-side comparison of the April 5 drought map with the current August 30 map. Perry prayed and the weather in Texas got set to “Sahara.”

  19. says

    No, because “God works in mysterious ways.”

    Which is exactly the defense I’m going to use at any upcoming trials. If “mysterious ways” can get God off the hook for drought, plague, famine, genocide, negligence, and everything else, it should get me off for a murder or two.

  20. Sili says

    Isn’t that amazing? It’s like Texas is getting blasted almost specifically

    No, no, no. This is ample proof that prayer does work.

    The good Lord God Almighty is punishing Perry for so flouting the Constitution of the United States to egregiously.

  21. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I notice Dah YooPee is under a mild drought. Hope the Seney Wildlife Refuge doesn’t catch on fire again. It’s a swampy area, and if it dries out, the peat can burn if ignited by lightning.

  22. says

    There’s a tropical storm in the gulf right now that looks like it’s missing Texas.

    Not so much in the Gulf anymore as in my backyard, but for those of us in slightly less drought stricken Louisiana, we can use the rain. Although having had it spread out over a longer period of time instead of dumped on us in three days would have been nice.

  23. otrame says

    SaintStephen:

    They are having a huge Labor Day sale at Best Buy on irony meters. I suggest you stock up. By the time the campaigns get started for real, the price is going to go through the roof.

  24. teawithbertrand says

    I’d like to see someone ask Perry about this. No doubt his response would be all about that tired old “mysterious ways” nonsense.

  25. otrame says

    And by the way, the huge high pressure dome sitting on top of Texas right now, pushing all the rain either north or south of us,is normal for the summer. The real drought was the failure of both the fall and spring rainy seasons. In terms of rainfall, at least here in South Texas, it’s been only a little low for the summer, but without the rains last fall and last spring even native trees are showing real stress. You can drive around the neighborhoods and tell which houses are still empty by the dying non-native trees in the yards.

    To as insult to injury, this is by far the hottest summer we’ve had in the 22 years I’ve lived here, and I think pretty much ever. We’ve been above 100 almost every day for at least 2 months, and up into the >105 range (which is rare around here) at least 20-30 days so far this year. It looks like we’ll be down into the upper 90s this next week. Hurray for fall!!!111!!!

    I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t stand watching the news, so I don’t know, but has anyone caught any actual mention in the media of the failure of Ricky’s big prayerfest?

  26. cleagubs says

    Perhaps Perry is praying to the wrong God, he should pray to the Native American Gods and offer at least a dance. It would be cool to see Perry wearing a traditional custom and dance.

  27. TX_secular says

    We are 12″ below normal rainfall here in Central Texas. Even some of the native trees are looking stressed. I’m still waiting for the positive prayer-fest results…eventually it will rain and the credit will go to those who prayed. It’s insanity!

  28. Rey Fox says

    I don’t ever want to hear the phrase “mysterious ways” again unless it’s being sung by Bono.

  29. muskiet says

    What I don’t understand is that Christians are so insanely blind to what looks like proof that God clearly doesn’t approve of Christians and prayer.

  30. Tucker says

    The only thing missing from the diagram is somewhere there should be a cross. That would really confuse them.

  31. Aquaria says

    Depends. What did it look like before April?

    You can take a look at the drought locations over the past 4 – 52 weeks at that site:

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/dmimg_archive.htm

    Take your pick, wait for all the graphics to load, and have at it.

    I was looking at this site just this morning. it’s funny, in a macabre way, just how much worse the drought gets after Perry opened his stupid mouth.

  32. Hemogoblin says

    God’s been too busy trying to get politicians to pay attention to him by sending earthquakes and hurricanes to Washington DC. And even there his aim has been pretty lousy

    To quote the Ironic Times:

    Pat Robertson: God Purposely Cracked Washington Monument
    Accidentally bumped into National Cathedral.

  33. abusedbypenguins says

    30 years ago the republican mantra was “Better dead than red”. They have become what they feared most and they want us to join them. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

  34. says

    Yes. It’s a set of data — a very large, hot set of data — that show prayer doesn’t work.

    But Perry probably knew that to beat the drought, he’d have to spend some time working on water policy (a crying need in Texas with a booming population) and sensible conservation measures.

    So, while Texas wheat and corn farmers suffer $2 billion in losses due to the drought, Perry offered prayer, but not even a disaster declaration. Thousands of Texas farmers are going broke, and out of the business. Job destruction.

    Where is Rick Perry?

    Ranchers need help feeding and watering their cattle. About $1 billion has been lost due to starving, thirsty steers.

    Where is Rick Perry?

    More ranchers are selling off their herds prematurely, taking the losses to save the animals. About $1 billion in losses — many of these ranchers are lifers, some inheriting their herds and land from great-grandfathers. About a third of Texas’s beef industry has been completely wiped out, never to return. Job losses.

    Where is Rick Perry?

    Somebody get the bloodhounds. Texas jobs and the Texas economy is hemorrhaging, and we can’t find Rick Perry to get him to do anything. Do nothing Governor, fiddling while his state crashes.

    Where is Rick Perry?

  35. Andy the ex cable guy. says

    Perry is such an idiot! There is a solution to the drought problem Texas is having. If Perry just had the intelligence to call upon the experts for help instead of his worthless imaginary sky daddy he could be hailed a hero. The simply solution, that I won’t mentioning here, could forever end Texas’ drought problem. For only a small investment of government funds to build the solution, the long term benefits would pay dividends for centuries to come. Not only for Texas but the surrounding states and even the world.

    Benefits such as; Eventually converting Texas’ deserts into very productive farm land and forests, Reduction of greenhouse gasses, Lower our rising sea levels, Provide tens of thousands of jobs, Bring increased revenues to the state, Reduce the severity of hurricanes and severe storms in the region, and more.

    The problem is politicians like Perry just continue to live in their delusional world where their god will protect them, rather than looking for a real solution. It so disgust me. Dog help us if any of these crackpots win the presidency in 2012.

  36. says

    I could be wrong, but I think that the major reason that this cannot be used as an example of the falsification of the power of prayer or a strong datum that prayer doesn’t work is that the people who would take Rick Perry’s claims seriously are, in general, people who don’t know the words ‘falsification’ or ‘datum.’

    Fundamentalist Christians and science-literate atheists do not – and I think I mean this literally- speak the same language. We may sound like we are saying some of the same words, but we often do not mean the same thing by them, and an enormous amount of vocabulary is not shared by the two languages.

  37. Inflection says

    Tropical Storm Lee is scraping Louisiana… and then tracking East. So first the hurricane hits the Eastern Seaboard, and then Lee misses too.

    We should ask the Texans to pray for the rain to hit Mexico, maybe then the sights would have adjusted far enough. But then, any Texan Republican crazy enough to think that praying for rain works would rather be caught dead than pray for anything good to happen to Mexico.

  38. SAWells says

    Matthew chapter 6 verses 5 to 8 indicate quite clearly that Christians are explicitly forbidden to pray in public, or to ask for anything when praying that isn’t in the Lord’s Prayer (verses 9 to 13). Curiously, the vast majority of Christians don’t seem to know this.

    If anyone manages to go into a fundy megachurch and read that particular text out in the middle of a prayer meeting, I will award you +5000 internets and contribute generously to the costs of your funeral.

  39. colluvial says

    Not only isn’t the drought getting better but it’s gotten much worse since April, when only a tiny portion of the state was in the exceptional category.

    You would have thought after all these centuries of practice, they would have either perfected their prayer technique or dropped it. I guess that’s the difference between science and religion. And the fact that they’re still trying what doesn’t work is the old definition of insanity.

  40. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    Occam’s Blunt Instrument #35

    Who made the drought in the first place? god.
    Why pray to him to undo his own drought?

    God is a narcissistic, sadistic megalomaniac. He does nasty shit so people will give him blow jobs pray to him for an ego boost. If he’s happy with the blow job ego stroking then he’ll undo the nasty shit. If he didn’t cum hard enough feel happy with the stroking then the nasty shit continues until his attention drifts to something else. Besides being a selfish bully, he also has the emotional maturity and attention span of a spoiled six year old.

  41. skeptical scientist says

    I could be wrong, but I think that the major reason that this cannot be used as an example of the falsification of the power of prayer or a strong datum

    See, the major reason I think this cannot be used as an example of the falsification of the power of prayer or a strong datum is that it’s an anecdote, and anecdotes do not constitute data.

    With a sample size of one and no control group, it’s equally plausible that god just thinks Rick Perry is a pompous windbag and decided to reverse all of his prayers.

  42. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    it’s equally plausible that god just thinks Rick Perry is a pompous windbag and decided to reverse all of his prayers.

    But Perry put out an official proclamation with whereas and the authority vested in me and formal shit like that. You can’t think that god would ignore a fucking official proclamation! That’s unamerican! God had better not set foot in Texas or the authorities* will be all over him like stink on shit.

    *That’s the Texas fucking Rangers. Ever see Chuck Norris as a Texas fucking Ranger? We’re talking serious shit here.

  43. says

    I hate to say it so crudely, but the reason that this isn’t an example of the falsification of the power of prayer is because people that pray for things like this are too fucking stupid to notice… They have such mental dissonance in their heads that it impedes every other mental process they try to undertake. It’s as if they have a mental dampening field about them, and a strong one at that.

  44. says

    It is sad that Texas will continue to suffer.

    But not as sad as we all will be when Perry is crowned #45. As much ridicule as we heap on him, and the rest of the theocracy advocates, Obama and the Dems will be gift-wrapping it for Ricky.

    Obama takes a vacation and the press is all over him for not doing something about the economy.

    Rick Perry has bailed on Texas, in the midst of a drought, and has left behind a 27 billion deficit.

    And the outrage?

    http://www.themindisaterriblething.com/2011/09/rick-perry-will-be-45.html

  45. David Marjanović, OM says

    Even a storm named Lee wouldn’t piss on Texas, even now that it’s on fire…

    Week saved.

    No, no, no. This is ample proof that prayer does work.

    The good Lord God Almighty is punishing Perry for so flouting the Constitution of the United States to egregiously.

    Rāmen.

    Who made the drought in the first place? god.
    Why pray to him to undo his own drought?

    Indeed. You should listen to what my dad says when he can’t find stuff.

  46. IslandBrewer says

    I think the obvious conclusion is that Perry and the praying folk picked the wrong religion. They need to scratch Christianity off the (ridiculously long) list and pick something else, probably some non-Abrahamic religion altogether, like Zoroastrianism or Hinduism. Maybe they should start worshipping … um … Anansi the spider (no relation to Boris).

    I really think that’s the only way Perry can be certain whether prayers work. Otherwise the evil atheists may be right!

  47. bananacat says

    The thing about prayer is that it set up to be non-falsifiable. They can easily claim that if they hadn’t prayed, the drought would be even worse than it is now, or they can claim that they’re still waiting for the rain because they didn’t give a specific time limit, or as a last resort they can claim that God has some special plan and is giving them a drought for some unknown reason that will work out better in the long run. They’ll always have an excuse and no amount of data will ever convince them.

  48. Tim DeLaney says

    Scenario: Rick Perry is nominated and runs against Obama. Obama, in a campaign speech, calls attention to the fact that Perry’s government sponsored prayers have had, if anything, a negative effect on rainfall in Texas, and suggests that Perry spend his time and effort in more substantive efforts to improve the plight of Texas. The effect of this campaign speech:

    1. Perry is made to look like an ineffectual, god-soaked fool and is soundly defeated.

    OR

    2. In a religious backlash, Perry is swept into office on a grass-roots tide of piety.

    Which is more likely?

  49. madscientist says

    It appears that God Hates Texas – and no one knows why but God, and he ain’t tellin’.

  50. says

    #56

    Remember Obama’s foray with “when things go bad, people stick to God and guns”?

    Didn’t do so well.

    So the only answer is #2,knuckle draggers will vote him in if Obama is really that stupid.

    Obama has no back bone, and his face falls into the cereal bowl every morning, but he is smart enough to eat his cereal dry, and not risk drowning by using milk.

    It is only a matter of time when they stop asking “Who does not believe in evolution” at the Republican debates, and start asking “Who believes in evolution?” at the Democratic ones, and several hands go up.

  51. Dianne says

    Sorry if this is a repeat, but there’s an obvious alternative explanation: God hates Rick Perry and won’t answer his prayers. Clearly, god wants you to vote democratic. Possibly because he’s tired of idiots whining to him every time something goes predictably wrong. And a drought in Texas is not just predictable, it’s practically unavoidable.

  52. claimthehighground says

    Perry: “God, why won’t you end our drought?”

    God: “Because you you really piss me off.”

  53. Fred Wertham Jr says

    They already execute the innocent; maybe they should try ripping their hearts out as well.

  54. Dianne says

    Why not just strike down Perry in his overfilled bathtub or something?

    While he’s wearing a santorum covered dildo and 2 wetsuits. That would be an appropriate way for god to express his displeasure at Perry’s behavior…but all currently documented evidence suggests that god never gets a good revenge going without sacrificing an innocent or 300,000.

  55. Charlie Foxtrot says

    I’m neither an American or a constitutional law-type person…
    but doesn’t this-

    … I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution … do hereby proclaim … Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas.

    make anybody stop and go “Waaah??” anymore?
    Not even a “Hey…ummm…isn’t that…?”

  56. 'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says

    madscientist #57

    It appears that God Hates Texas – and no one knows why but God, and he ain’t tellin’.

    God’s not the only one down on Texas. Phil Sheridan once said:

    If I owned Hell and Texas I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.

  57. amphiox says

    Obviously the Big Guy is punishing Texans for their libertarian leanings.

    Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the New Testament would know that the Jesus of the Gospels was a Communist. (He flat-out instructed his apostles to live in a commune for crying-out-loud)

  58. Roger says

    Sir Francis Galton showed the ineffectiveness of prayer in the nineteenth century. Every Sunday in Britain for a few hundred years millions of people in every church in the UK prayed for the health of the royal family. They lived no longer than anyone else, for all the concern for their health.

    Even if Governer Perry’s prayers are answered he should not relax:
    Many years ago there was a drought in Scotland and a strict Calveinist minister led his congregation in prayer. Their prayers were answered and it rained. It rained for several weeks and the congregation expressed their gratitude, with diminishing enthusiasm, until at last the minister stood in the pulpit and said “Lord, Lord, we prayed for rain and ye sent us rain, and right grateful we are, but for the love of god, could you show a bit of common sense and have a sense of proportion?”

  59. M Groesbeck says

    Maybe the Christian god is going by Matthew 6:5-6 and objects to Perry’s blatant violation of the commands of Yeshua.

    …or maybe sometimes the odds of drought in Texas, when adjusted for global warming, just suck for a population with a higher-than-average population of global-warming denialists.

  60. says

    As I wrote on my site recently, the most ironic part of this story is that, soon after Perry began calling for rain, Tropical Storm Don formed in the Gulf, headed straight for Texas… and then dissipated right on the coastline, without dropping any significant amount of rain. One would think that Perry’s Christian supporters should at least consider the hypothesis that God is punishing him for something.

  61. BCskeptic says

    I think it is overwhelming evidence that that sadistic, genocidal maniac deity of the bible exits. What better way to make it clear that “He” exists, than to make a bunch of praying ninnys fry?

    Where’d they get that notion that the GOB is some personal, loving, omnipotent being, who gives a flying fuck as to whether “I get to make the football team”, or “we make it to Austin safely”? “He’s” showing his true colors.

    Or, you know, it is a 4-sigma event, and a precursor of what’s to come with global warming. Could be that.

  62. Outrage Zombie says

    “Dear Rick,

    I’ve already told you this isn’t going to work out between us. Now for the love of ME, stop calling or I’ll set your ass-hair on fire for a month. I can do that. You know I can do that.

    Don’t force my hand,

    — YOU KNOW DAMN WELL WHO”

  63. TX_secular says

    Excellent post Outrage Zombie. Maybe we have fires due to a miscalculation is ass-hair fire starting.

  64. says

    For those who might be interested in the Texas Fire situation (it’s not pretty):

    Texas Interagency Coordination Center and their current SitRep

    Highlights:

    Year-to-Date fires:
    18,612 Fires
    3,477,685 acres burned

    The (well one) big issue right now is a major fire (16,000 acres, hundreds of homes lost) east of the Austin area.

    Can follow #txfire on twitter.

    NOTE: ANY fire fighters in Central Texas that have fire fighting experience are strongly asked to call 512-978-1187

    Interactive map of Texas fires

    And the bigger Fire picture – National fire SitRep

  65. drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon says

    Baktru @73 Of course the Mormons are right. Trey and Matt said so. QEMFD.

  66. Aquaria says

    The amount of fires hitting us at once is astounding here. I haven’t been able to get through to my mom, and I’m worried. She was in the epicenter of one of the worst-hit counties, Rusk. Her town was literally surrounded by fire. I hope the reason I can’t reach her is because she’s come out of retirement to help the local hospital.

  67. says

    It may be an indication that Texans rely too much on prayer and too little on agricultural science and proper land management.

  68. Arcanyn says

    This is clearly proof that prayer does work. I was praying to Ra the whole time for it to not rain! It clearly worked, and just goes to show how much more powerful the Egyptian gods are than a puny little deity like Yahweh!

  69. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I’m nervous that the forest surrounding my town will catch fire as a result of labor day festivities. We had a 150 hectare fire last night just north of here, and we are lucky to have that contained before it reached the forest. Yet, I predict that the stupid* will bang on, unchecked and unabated. And the “Pray for our Nation” signs will continue to multiply like jackrabbits.

    *The guy across the street was burning leaves earlier this week despite a several-months-long burn ban. WTF is wrong with that guy?

  70. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Rick Perry is powerful, indeed. He has managed to cast a man who believes in the power of holy underwear and an afterlife of planetary godhood as the sane alternative.

  71. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Coyoty: It’s an indication that it hasn’t fucking rained in several months. This is the hottest and driest summer that E. Texas has experienced. It is exceptionally hot and dry. Land management practices may well be ineffective here. I don’t know. But, there is little reason to prepare for conditions that we have little reason to expect.

  72. Gunboat Diplomat says

    While visiting a museum in Berlin a couple of years ago I saw this massive, really impressive statue of the Ancient Sumerian Storm God Adad. I was struck wondering how many people had worshipped this god, begging for help when the weather was bad, thanking him when it was good.

    And here we are five thousand years later and we have meteorology to explain how the weather works and satellites to show us weather systems moving and warn us and help us prepare.

    But thats not good enough for some idiots who clearly haven’t learned a thing in five thousand fucking years and instead pray to the memory of an extinct God from the infancy of our civilisation.

  73. CitizenJoe says

    Sherman once said that if he owned Texas and Hell, he’d prefer to live in Hell, and rent out Texas.
    And that was during a nicer climate.

    Regarding the apparent lack of response to the prayer: have you any idea how long it takes for a message to travel the distance from Texas to Heaven?

    Joe

  74. Flank says

    See, I always think the religious nuts have it all backward, this prayer thing. My take is that Texas is suffering from all this heat and drought because its people are being punished for supporting two of the stupidest people in the world, W and Goodhair, and the policies they endorse.

    Course, I thought the earthquake in DC was simply God aiming in on Congress for its stupidity as well. But since we know he’s not omnipotent, he missed.

    Ah well, things will work out, in a million years or so.

  75. APJ says

    Let’s not forget that then-Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue also famously prayed for rain in November of 2007. Apparently, God is still smarting over that one, too. Two data points means an irrefutable inference: public praying for rain by elected officials is a leading cause of drought in the United States.

  76. says

    I can see two alternative explanations for the drought map — assuming that prayer works:

    (1) The map clearly demonstrates the infacility of Americans with foreign languages. Perry’s prayer is in ‘murikan English, not the language of Mr Deity (whatever it may be — I vote for Hebrew or Arabic, based on the rampant antisemitism in that area). Either Mr Deity does not speak ‘murikan English at all, and was insulted by being prayed to in ‘murikan English… or in Mr Deity’s language the ‘murikan English means something different. “Oh, you faithful need to play more baseball and golf, those sissy sports that cringe at the thought of rain? I can enable that!”

    And after having been stationed in the state that shall not be named and is immediately north of Texas (with local law enforcement who wanted to be Bull Connor if they ever got to work anywhere moderately civilized), I’m not so sure that Mr Deity actually missed by including that state in the drought…

    (2) There were lots of prayers at the time. Many of them related to rainfall. Perry’s just wasn’t as worthy as others’, so the rainfall got distributed toward those who were more worthy. Applying this to the probable results if Perry were to be elected to national office is left as an exercise for the student.

  77. says

    Had it actually rained shortly after their little prayer debacle, we would NEVER have heard the end of it. It would have been incontrovertible evidence (to them) of God’s Own Handjob over Jexas. And the sad thing is, they see Nothing wrong with that (although they might object to my derogatory phrasing).

    I do hope everyone is safe (including Aquaria’s family!) and I thank the efforts of many in government, private industry and citizens for their efforts in help save the thousands of people (and animals) that are finding themselves in need of emergency assistance.

  78. JenellYB says

    Well, I guess it depends on what “power of prayer” we’re talking about….the “power of prayer” as certain politicians’ tool for mobilizing certain segments of the voting base seems to be proven pretty effective.

  79. says

    To as insult to injury, this is by far the hottest summer we’ve had in the 22 years I’ve lived here, and I think pretty much ever. We’ve been above 100 almost every day for at least 2 months, and up into the >105 range (which is rare around here) at least 20-30 days so far this year. It looks like we’ll be down into the upper 90s this next week. Hurray for fall!!!111!!!

    And that proves global warming is REAL! Just like whenever we get a snowstorm, it means global warming is a SCAM!

  80. Prometevsberg says

    One should not overlook the Texas governor´s prescience in creating a fall back position. If the drought continues, one can regress to plan B: the sacrifice of virgins to appease the weather gods.
    And all of a sudden abstinence sex education in Texas schools will make sense…

  81. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says

    Currently on the Beeb:

    Texas fires: Bastrop blaze prompts Rick Perry warning

    Linky. God’s way of saying “STFU!”

    Obviously skydaddy ™ does not want him as president either:

    Texas Governor Rick Perry cut short presidential campaigning…

  82. redrabbit says

    Antiochus Epiphanes: “there is little reason to prepare for conditions that we have little reason to expect.”

    1) The consequences of poor land use should have been one of the biggest lessons of the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, one that Texas has largely failed to learn.

    2) Scientists have been screaming about global warming/climate change for 40 years, including the drying out of western areas including Texas. Texas has done virtually nothing to even acknowledge that it’s happening much less trying to do anything to reverse it.

    3) La Nina is also a known phenomenon and has been for decades. It’s a La Nina year which brings more drying to places like Texas. Guess what, there’s a good chance that next year will be a La Nina year too.

    Sorry but enough of the pieces were in place to predict that this would be an exceptionally desperately dry year and things are going to get worse over the long haul. There is no excuse for anyone to be surprised by this massive drought.