Yeah, That’ll Take Care Of It

We are officially living in La-La Land.  The governor of Alabama has issued a proclamation declaring June 28 through July 7 as “Days of Prayer for Rain”.

According to the statement: “Throughout our history, Alabamians have turned in prayer to God to humbly ask for His blessings and to hold us steady during times of difficulty. This drought is without question a time of great difficulty for our farmers and for communities across the state,” [Gov.] Riley said.

Yes, it is, and what is our constitutionally secular government doing about it?  Other than passing the buck to God, that is.

13 Responses to “Yeah, That’ll Take Care Of It”

  1. Del says:

    I don’t know what to say. I stalwartly supported Riley throughout his tenure. I even have been known to pontificate about how his attempted tax hike, so unpopular with his own party, represented real application of Christian values

    Is this just pandering to the church-going electorate? Is it a polite way of saying, “People of Alabama, we are well and truly f*cked, and there’s not a damned thing we can do about it?

    Throughout history, Alabamians have turned in prayer to God to humbly ask for all kinds of stuff. Here’s just one list. We could have a Days of Prayer for the Oppressed, for Travelers, for the High School Graduates of 2008…well, I suppose the only way to determine what the Days of Prayer should be for would be to vote for it.

    Damn. Now my head’s exploded too.

  2. Never can California be criticized again. You win.

  3. KathyF says:

    Not even is this a violation of church-state separation, it’s also deriviative: the former governor of Louisiana did that a few years ago.

  4. Del says:

    Foster? Or Roemer? Surely not Edwards.

  5. cvyblazer says:

    I don’t understand why this gets people so upset and how it violates seperation of church and state. If this violates seperation of church and state, wouldn’t an athiest governor’s silence concerning God be a government endorsement of atheism and therefore a violation of church and state? Atheism is a religious belief. Even though Bob Riley is our governor, isn’t he still a citizen? As a citizen, doesn’t he have a right to express his personal faith as guaranteed by the first amendment? Does Riley have to lay down his rights as a citizen because he is a public official?

    Why would someone who is an athiest or does not believe in the same faith as Riley be offended? If you don’t believe this simply ignore it. If you are confident of your beliefs, how is this a threat? Isn’t tolerance about being understanding of other’s beliefs permissive of their practice of those beliefs, even if you don’t agree? There are too many people who claim to be tolerant and liberal but simply act just like their foes on the far right in regards to those differ with them. Just live and let live.

  6. Kathy says:

    cvyblazer, I thnk you need to take a deep breath. The governor is most certainly free to express his personal faith as a citizen of the state. Other citizens of this state are free to pray for rain if they choose to do so. There’s a difference in expressing personal faith and issuing a official proclamation with the weight of the state behind it.

    BTW, not that you asked before making the assumption, I’m not an atheist. However, I believe, like the Baptists of the past, that government endorsement of religion is dangerous — to religion.

  7. cvyblazer says:

    Kathy,
    I did not mean to imply or assume that anyone was of any particular faith or not. I was simply using athiesm as an example. I understand your point of view of Riley making an official proclamation but personally don’t see why it matters. I do agree with you that seperation of church and state are essential. There have been many abuses of the church throughout history when it uses the authority of the goverment to impose something on people. The history of the Catholic church and the Church of England a just a few examples. It was a major factor in the formation of this nation. Nonetheless, faith (granted 99.9% Christian yet diversifying) has played a key role in American government since day one. It seems we disagree on the definition of that principal and where the lines should be drawn. For example, if Riley had attempted to mandate that anyone pray versus simply encouraging it, he would be crossing the line. The first amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Since Riley’s proclamation did not mandate anything, I don’t think that he crossed the line.

  8. Kathy says:

    I don’t really think he crossed any legally actionable line, cvyblazer. However, I still maintain that government saying, or even implying, that prayer will end the drought or solve our long-term water problem, is an endorsement of religion. It’s also a cop-out. Perhaps Riley could issue a proclamation encouraging all the citizens of Alabama to conserve water as much as possible.

  9. Del says:

    Well, I hope next time he proclaims a novena to the Blessed Mother, or better yet to St. Jude. For one thing, that might actually work.

  10. bill says:

    While I don’t have a problem with the Governor on this one, I’m with Del on St. Jude. If ever there was a lost cause, it’s Alabama politics!

  11. cvyblazer says:

    Kathy, I appreciate this the opportunity to share opinions on this forum. Like I said earlier, I think we agree on principal, just disagree on application. I also agree that a proclamation urging water conservation would have been helpful.
    It is funny you mention Baptist and their current political stance on many issues. As a Baptist myself, I am deeply concerned about some of the political stances of Baptists. Up until the last few decades, Baptist have been champions of seperation of church and state. During the beginings of the Baptist denomination in Europe several hundred years ago, a lot of the Baptists were burned at the stake for challenging the Catholic church both politically and theologically. Morally, I probably agree with most people on the religious right as far as what is right and wrong. However, my understanding of the Bible tells me that God gives man free will. If God gives us free will, what right does man have to try to take it away through politics. That is where I distance myself from them politically. We have to determine a moral code that is in the best interest of society and have a goverment that enforces them without mandating adherance to a particular faith. Almost all of our laws can be traced back to Christian morals or the moral values of some faith.

    We just have to be careful in limiting the expression of faith like Riley’s proclamation so that we don’t do the same thing the religious right is doing, only in reverse.

  12. Larry says:

    ….reminds me of a true story that happened in NW Alabama some 50 years ago……(names changed to protect the innocent)Joe, Tom and Jim…three fox hunters wondered, hoplessly lost very late one night…..and the three had been known to drink a bit…..finally….in tears Joe said “Tom sombody is going to have to pray, and since you go to church, it needs to be you”…so…Tom removes his old felt….bows his head and starts praying…”Lord me and Joe and…”( before he could pray another word) Jim said”d**n Tom don’t tell him who we are or we’ll never get out of here”

  13. [...] state falls into the worst of four drought levels, up from 18% last week.  So, Gov. Riley — what’s Plan B? Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the U.S. Drought Monitor, said Alabama is the definite [...]

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