Wingnuts on the Power of Prayer

Wingnuts on the Power of Prayer May 21, 2012

Rick Scarborough was on David Barton’s radio show making the idiotic claim that Gov. Rick Perry’s public prayers for rain were answered and God solved the drought in Texas because of it. Get a load of this exchange of stupidity:

Scarborough: Our Governor here in the state of Texas called for a day of prayer and fasting last May. We were at the height of a drought that meteorologists were telling us was part of a cycle that would last perhaps for a number of years and that it would take us years to get our lake levels back up and so forth. It occurs to me that, not immediately, but after that prayer event that thirty thousand people participated in, we started getting rain and in less than a year, our lakes are full, our fields are brimming. A lot of people seem not to connect the dots on that, but we’ve got a fresh illustration of how God honors prayer.

Barton: Yeah, that’s one of those many things that historians will looks back upon and say ‘look at the correlation.’ But I look back over the last few years at Sonny Perdue of Georgia who called, in the middle of their drought – that was an unprecedented century drought that they had there – he called for prayer and within three days they had rain falling in Georgia again. They’re back in good condition.

I recall what happened with the oil spill in the Gulf, how all the Gulf governors except for Charlie Crist of Florida got together and called for a time of prayer that God would mitigate the damage of that and cause that thing to be sealed. And guess what? All the expected damage along the shorelines to all the wildlife, it didn’t happen.

And now a word from reality. As of May 16th, the Texas lakes and reservoirs are not “full,” they are at 75.67% capacity. Perry’s prayer rally was from April 22-April 24, 2011. At that time, 17% of Texas was classified as undergoing “exceptional drought.” By August, when Perry held yet another prayer rally in Houston, those conditions had spread to 70% of the state. The first real rain didn’t come until Oct. 11. Texas did have an unusually wet winter, but that’s hardly a shock. Texas goes in and out of droughts routinely. They were having prayers for rain in 2006 too; the weather seems to go on its merry way without regard to such prayers.

And those prayers in Georgia don’t seem to have done much either. Yes, northern Georgia did get a rainstorm shortly after the prayers. That storm damaged a Baptist church, sending three little girls to the hospital with injuries from broken glass. And it did little to help the drought. And here we are 5 years later, and Georgia is still in a serious drought, with water levels “at historic lows.”

As for Barton’s claim that prayer prevented the BP oil spill from damaging wildlife and the shoreline…wow. One really has to wonder what planet he lives on.

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