Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Perry prays


""I happened to spend several weeks in Texas earlier this year, while the Lone Star State lay under the pitiless glare of an unremitting drought. After a protracted arid interval, the state's immodest governor, Rick Perry, announced that he was using the authority vested in him to call for prayers for rain. These incantations and beseechments, carrying the imprimatur of government, were duly offered to the heavens. The heavens responded by remaining, along with the parched lands below, obstinately dry.

Perry did not, of course, suffer politically for making an idiot of himself in this way. Not even the true believers really expect that prayers for precipitation will be answered, or believe that a failed rainmaker is a false prophet. And, had Perry's entreaties actually been followed by a moistening of the clouds and the coming of the healing showers, it is unlikely that anybody would really have claimed a connection between post hoc and propter hoc. No, religion in politics is more like an insurance policy than a true act of faith. Professing allegiance to it seldom does you any harm, at least in Republican primary season, and can do you some good. It's a question of prudence."""

We don't condone HitchensSpeak though his writing entertains at times, unlike that of most cynical hack pundits--and does serve to point out ...issues, in a somewhat Humean-lite fashion (perhaps obvious to some, but not to all)--such as the status of prayer. Millions of Americans pray to "God" regularly, but does prayer anything? Alas, we tend to agree with the corpulent Scotsman (Hume, not Hitch.) and ....say nyet.

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