I’m just back from a driving trip around this god infested country (the U.S. if that isn’t obvious). While driving on I-95 in Georgia, I saw a church with a large sign outside saying, ‘Thank God for the rain.’ Georgia and much of the southeastern U.S. had been in a pretty severe drought until just before the start of our trip.
We were glad for the rain too as we were heading to the Okefenokee Swamp with the intent of paddling our canoe there. However, the idea of thanking a supreme being for rain after a drought, even if one were to believe in a supreme being, seemed exceedingly hypocritical.
How is thanking God for rain hypocritical?
Well, either God is responsible for rain or s/he isn’t.
It is just a guess on my part. However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that it is highly unlikely that any church in any region affected by the drought had a sign that said any variation on ‘Blame/Curse/Deride God for the drought.’ If anyone living in that region actually has seen such a sign on a church, please feel free to correct me. I’d love to hear about it.
A drought is a lack of rain. If God makes it rain, then s/he is also responsible when it fails to do so. Was God busy doing other stuff and forgot to make it rain for the many weeks before? Does anyone believe that when Georgians prayed, God reacted by saying something like, ‘Holy shit!! My bad folks. I forgot you needed rain. Thanks for the reminder. Here you go. Sorry about that, but I do have more than just the Virgo super cluster of galaxies to worry about. Sometimes, I just completely forget about the Milky Way altogether.’
My larger point is that people are forever thanking some deity for the good in their life while very few ever think to blame, curse, or even question that same deity for the bad in their lives. This is monumentally hypocritical. Either god is in control or not. I claim not, of course.
For those who believe in God, please at least consider that in your daily or weekly prayers, you might want to include cursing God for all of the following:
9/11/2001 (an obvious one to blame on God), Katrina, wildfires, earthquakes, the Iraq War, AIDS, global warming, and anything else you find to be imperfect in our tiny and insignificant little corner of the universe.
A last little tidbit that is seriously offensive and a true violation of the separation of church and state, just to throw some politics into the discussion, the Governor of Georgia actually told the people of his state to pray for the rain, yecch. Worse, this is apparently a quite common thing to do, and not only in this god infested country.
Perhaps the religious among us might pray for an age of reason when people will stop killing each other over the correct way to worship God, recognize that we’re all the same and are not getting any help from above, and begin to solve our own problems. I doubt that would be any more hypocritical than thanking God for rain without blaming God for drought.