Connecticut Governor: Go pray!

Connecticut Governor Dannel Molloy this morning advised his state’s residents to prepare for Hurricane Sandy and then go “pray.”  What exactly would those prayers look like? 

“Dear God: Even though you’ve sent this hurricane (because nothing happens on earth that is contrary to the Will of the Omnipotent One), do you think you could maybe mitigate its effects just a little bit?  (Such a last minute modification in the predestined unfurling of your simultaneous, omnipresent Will would be theologically problematic, but at this point, who’s counting?)  Just to remind you, human beings don’t like getting mowed down with natural disasters.  Of course, you were content to allow thousands to be wiped out in the big publicity items—the Japanese and Indonesian tsunamis, say—as well as in the unnoticed fires, tree branch fallings, electrocutions, slip and falls, and incurable diseases that take human beings down every day.  But those victims maybe weren’t as deserving as us, who knows, it’s a real puzzle, or maybe they didn’t get a chance to pray before they were killed.  We, however, are still very much alive, and here we are with a VERY big prayer and a VERY big claim on your attention, cuz’ we know WE’RE deserving as all get out. 

We also can’t help observing that it would have been a whole lot easier had you simply averted Hurricane Sandy in the first place, rather than allowing it to proceed, and THEN fiddling with its course—would’ve saved us a whole lot of trouble preparing and would not have disrupted commerce and millions of lives.  But maybe you were distracted with other things, and forgot how inconvenient a hurricane can be.  So we won’t hold it against you, but now that we’ve brought this problem to your attention, do you think that you could maybe call back the winds? 

Rest assured, however, that if you decide not to call the whole thing off and lives are lost, we will still troop to church and thank you for your Divine Mercy  and will pray for you to take care of the still living victims, even though dozens or hundreds of other human beings didn’t get your Mercy BEFORE they lost their lives.  (Though we’re sure that now that they’re dead, you are laying a whole lot of Mercy on them, and we thank you for that.)

In the meantime, however, thousands of selfless emergency workers are preparing to help their fellow humans survive this hurricane, putting their own well-being at risk.  And we are grateful for the millions of engineering geniuses whose labors on behalf of humanity mean that we will weather your storm a million times better than those less fortunate people who lived hundreds of years earlier.  But of course, in working to better their fellow humans, these emergency workers, scientists, entrepreneurs, tinkerers, and builders are merely reflecting YOUR Divine Love, and it is to you, ultimately, that we owe our greatest thanks.

P.S. Could you please make sure that [Obama] [Romney] wins the election?”



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10 Responses to Connecticut Governor: Go pray!

  1. I wonder how many of those emergency workers are motivated by religious conviction to do what they are doing? Just a thought.

  2. Steve Cardon says:

    Job 42:1–6

    1 Then Job answered the Lord and said,

    2 “I know that You can do all things,
    And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

    3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
    “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
    Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

    4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
    I will ask You, and You instruct me.’

    5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
    But now my eye sees You;

    6 Therefore I retract,
    And I repent in dust and ashes.”

    “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness’; and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.'” 1 Corinthians 3:19-20

    Heather, I sense within you great anger and feelings of abandonment. You have become lost in this world and Satan has sought to confuse you with the clever snares and traps of philosophy. He has done this out of resentment because he envies you your birthright which is the joy of salvation.

    If you will but set aside your pride, and read his holy word, all will be explained to you in the fullness of time. Those good people are praying for gods reassurance that everything serves a purpose. They pray for god to strengthen their faith. Prayer is the answer… I will pray for you.;-)

  3. Snippet says:

    >>> I wonder how many of those emergency workers are motivated by religious conviction to do what they are doing? Just a thought. <<< Religious conviction may very well be motivating some of these good folks, but the existance of religious conviction does not prove the existence of God. In fact, the eagerness to give God credit for what mere mortals have accomplished seems like precisely the sort of thing you would find in a world where there was no God populated with inhabitants who wish otherwise.

  4. Marco says:

    Connecticut resident here. We’ve been lucky here both at my house and where I work, but the state has been hit fairly hard. I don’t dispute the point of the post. Asking an omnipotent god for special intercession and special favors when he’s just doing his all powerful routine isn’t all that logical, and it’s simpler to believe that he just isn’t out there.

    On the other hand, I don’t blame Malloy (for whom I did not vote) for doing what politicians do, making the sort of soothing noises that their constituents expect. In general, we still expect politicians in executive positions to act like high priests on occasion.

  5. Polichinello says:

    Heather Mac in Tub Thumping XLVII: A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall.

  6. Hmmm, my computer appears to have devoured my comment, I’ll try again and keep my fingers crossed against a double posting…

    Heather, I sense within you great anger and feelings of abandonment…

    And why not? Though some claim to be exempt from this particular predilection, most English-speakers of my acquaintance are programmed to believe in a Heavenly Father of some sort who knows all, loves all and is all-powerful. Whether this programming is chiefly inculcated or inborn is besides the point, what matters is that people feel quite strongly that this is (or ought to be) the case and then when this anthropomorphized deity spectacularly fails to deliver they can feel quite crushed. – Let me rephrase that, the honest ones feel quite crushed, the dishonest never took the catechisms seriously enough in the first place to be surprised by their refutations.

    This isn’t to say that I think that Heather secretly believes in God but is angry at Him. It’s to say that much of what she writes about God and prayer can be misunderstood in the manner that you (kiddingly) demonstrated because while she plainly does not believe that any popular sort of God is likely to exist she’s probably willing to express the point of view that if He did exist (and in the general manner that he’s popularly described) she’d be rather pissed off with Him for his wanton wickedness or apathy.

    And that until that time she’s willing to be pissed off at his forever-confident self-contradicting apologists and self-appointed representatives.

    Approaching the subject of God from the ‘human to human’ perspective that most people approach the subject and finding that God either wanting, cruel, capricious or non-existent is at least as fair as approaching the subject genially with multi-syllabic philosophical terms and sterile laboratory gloves. And it’s inarguably more relevant.

    P.S. I was advised yesterday by a happy customer who bought my CD series because of a link he saw here on Secular Right to keep up the practice. I appreciate the advice and am endeavoring to follow it 🙂 > super discount for SecRighters:

  7. Richard says:

    Just to add to what Steve pointed out, I wish Heather wouldn’t act like the objections she’s raising are new, or that no one has ever tried to come up with an answer before.

  8. Steve Cardon says:

    Rabbi Moshe – Ahhh Rabbi, by the way I genuinely appreciate that a lot of Rabbi’s can engage philosophically rather than simply insisting on hammering home dogma as many Christian clergymen do.

    I am sympathetic with, and share Heather’s ongoing frustration with politicians who insist on injecting religion into their public discourse (I hope you read my response to your comment on the “Richard Mourdok” thread).

    In having a little fun with Heather, I was also poking fun at myself. It is easy for we Atheists to fall into patterns of reiterating our frustrations, and “Preaching to the choir”(that ironic metaphor never gets old) as it were. I have read some fantastic commentary on this blog, but like many other blogs it can also function as a safe space to vent, and some pretty good humor sometimes emerges as well. I also believe Heather is creating opportunity for discussion which may take different turns then previous similar threads.

    BTW Rabbi, I hate doing a lot of direct typing into a reply box only to have something seize up and force me to start over. What works well is composing the entire thing in Word Perfect, then cutting and pasting it over.

  9. Too often, local atheists complain about Heather’s strident lashing out against the Peasants’ God, annoyed as they are that she’s so often lyrical about beliefs rather than practices. My guess is that these atheists are mainly of the Hume and Bradlaugh sort who never really “knew” God intuitively from the womb (reverse Jeremiah 1:5) in the first place and therefore regard Heather’s vituperations as so much silliness against the non-existence of Spiderman.

    My primary point was that Heather’s continued rage against the missing machine likely speaks to the feelings of a great many secular rightists. Perhaps not too many who read her in *this* sacred space as the comment section here appears to be pretty heavily inhabited by rightists of the “free market” variety who tend not to be those who’ve had prolonged deeply emotional religious sentiments, but SecRightists nonetheless who undoubtedly enjoy having Heather voice their own feelings on the matter.

  10. To be clear, I’m quite confident that Hume and Bradlaugh *themselves* enjoy Heather’s enthusiastic philippics, I refer only to that quality they’ve both mentioned (which Hume reiterating this week of seeming to have been born without the capacity for intuitively confident God Consciousness.

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