Thursday, 12 June 2008


Some weeks ago I hit on a website where it was said that the US Governor of Georgia prayed publicly for rain to end a severe drought in his state.

At first I couldn't believe what I was reading. Sure, I know many people pray when in deep trouble but praying for rain, today, makes me think of our Middle Ages, a world full of demons, devils and sorcerers. To pray to your god for a little help seemed the reasonable thing to do, at that time.

When you pray for rain, plenty of it - much more than what you need to wet the flower pots - it means this: gimme the stuff, right now and LET THE OTHER ONE HAVE THE DROUGHT, because I need it more than everybody else, everywhere!

But praying for rain means something else, too. It means: we have cut off all trees, for years and years, we have watered our fields by draining our rivers, we don't preserve nature and we don't respect it. Everything that is not invoiced is free and we take it. And now we are facing the end of this happy time and don't like it.

So what we do? We don't say we have abused for dozens of years and now we pay the price. We don't replant the trees and make hedgerows around our fields. Oh no, that's too expensive. We don't invite everybody to make amends for our stupidity and take action.

We take the short road and pray: that's not expensive and if granted would enable us to go on living as before. And when we have some money to spare, could be we decide to replant some trees. Could be.

That's it what it means to pray for rain in a Western country, at the beginning of the 21st Century.


  1. praying for rain absolves you from personal responsibility. religion is an amazing crutch for that. it's in god's hands so- i don't have to think or act in a responsible manner- he's in charge. i can pass the buck- so to speak. believing in something or someone has become a cop out.

    as for the environmental impacts of arrogance, greed and selfish human behaviours- yep. we are harvesting what we have sown. folks talk about 'tipping points' for the world- and we hit them probably 20 or 30 years ago- but we didn't know and/or didn't care. the western way of life is not sustainable. it isn't. and we don't want to admit that- so we pray to nonentities for miracles. it's easier.

  2. Yes, Georg,

    In the middle ages, in some parts of the world even now, people prayed for rain in simple faith, for just that amount which would meet their very limited requirements. Now, as you have rightly observed. it means gimme all of it right here and now, let everyone else go to hell!

    Now we use everything with unlimited greed and arrogance... it is the job of somebody else to worry or do something about the effects. Someday the Accountant will come calling with the bills!And we will not be able to pay.

  3. The USA is a medieval country. With the only exception that there are several religious flavors.

  4. It seems that the prayer did work - just not as intended: the rain came down in Iowa.

  5. ", makes me think of our Middle Ages, a world full of demons, devils and sorcerers"......... well sir then u should visit rural India then ;-)...... it is a common practice here to pray for rain and stuff....

  6. I don't see it that way; praying for rain is an outward manifestation of a mind that chooses to believe in a power that he/she acknowledges as being stronger and more potent than him. It is also a tribute to nature as being almighty; any change in which is beyond man's domain.

  7. Back again and thanks everybody for your comments:

    Betmo: I like your squirrel making provisions. What about purchasing a 10 gallon-jerrycan, just to maintain our lifestyle a little bit longer.
    "Nonentity": good name for Mister X.

    Hallo Tilman: hope you are not right. But it seems in Georgia - according to the blog of Cpt. Fogg - they employ even the services of a shaman.

    Apart from Georgia, there was plenty of rain coming down a little bit everywhere. Even here we three times as much as we need.

    Hi Sachin: as to the rain in India:
    ok, they pray in the villages for rain. Does it help sufficiently?
    No need to built reservoirs?

    Id it is: well, it seems we differ somehow. Anyway, I don't think God, any god, is another word for nature. And nature is not almighty, just bigger than we are, very much so. Think of a lorry and Micky Mouse. It seems for the moment that we are crossing the road at the wrong moment. Praying will not help us here.

    Vinod, my blogger friend: you are right as always. My only hope is the moment of reckoning comes as late as possible.

    Cheers to all of you.


  8. girl on the run20 June 2008 at 16:01

    Maybe climate change isn't to be blamed on selfish humans for 100%. What if it's just the proces of developement of the earthly conditions, just as it has been millions of years before the climate became optimal for humans?

    Maybe our role is not so big as we think?

  9. And I don't think even prayer will help. Human greed and abuse has surpassed beyond any measure, that if there is a rain god she will only lash in torrents..

  10. Hallo Georg,
    Prayer! I guess I can understand certain types of it (specifically the type said to soothe one's own suffering) and not the other (the ones that demand that god get such and such things done).

    O well, at least this governor wasn't as explicit as a prayer that that nut Jerry Falwell said publicly once, asking god to change the path of the tornado heading to his town (I bet the inhabitants of the surrounding towns weren't amused). I supposed it just didn't cross his mind that if he could be sure of having god's ear, he might as well have asked for the tornado to just disappear altogether rather than just changing direction... :oP

    I'm inclined to laugh about this stuff... But then today we have news that Ronald Rumsfeld, the former secretary of defense under Bush 43, had biblical scriptures on his memos regarding the Iraq invasion and occupation. :o( Apparently we had a theocracy here for 8 yrs and many still don't realize it.