Would it be wrong to pray for rain?

One of the worst parts of my old local radio job at WGHN was playing, multiple times each day, the whacko nutjob commentary segment “Focus on the Family” hosted by Dr. James Dobson.  While I’m all in favor of families and focus on mine quite a bit, as you can tell from reading this blog, I’m not in favor of anybody who thinks that their way is the only possible correct path to much of anything.  And I don’t think that Spongebob Squarepants is gay.

What I didn’t know until recently is that one of the whacko nutjob producers from the “Focus on the Family” group, a whacko nutjob person named Stuart Shepard, also produces some sort of video segment called “Stoplight” where he attempts a humorous approach on the same sort of whacko nutjob material that is so popular amongst the whacko nutjob fans of “Focus on the Family.”

In one of his recent efforts, which the group has since tried to erase from the web, he calls on the whacko nutjobs fundamentalist, evangelical, “right thinking,” anti-abortion, functionally delusion to “pray for rain” during Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.  Take a look for yourself.


Now personally, I have never understood the concept of praying for God to do harm to anybody.  If God wanted harm, or damage, or even “rain of biblical proportion” to happen I pretty much figure that he would just make it happen.  I wouldn’t think that God needed me to pray for Him to do harm to anybody.  But apparently the “Focus on the Family” cultists think that this would be a good thing.

I don’t have any way to measure, or even guesstimate how many of those people did in fact pray to their deity for enough rain to prevent the network TV cameras from carrying Obama’s acceptance speech.  That would pretty much be between them and their deity.  If they prayed for an anti-abortion, anti-environment, pretty hot token female to be their Veep, then that prayer at least was answered in the form of Sarah Palin.  But when it comes to rain of “biblical proportion” during Obama’s speech it seems to me that they have two choices:

a) their deity didn’t think that their prayers were worth answering, or 

b) their deity has some pretty poor aim and timing.

The God that I believe in is infallible, so if the answer is “b” then they don’t pray to the same being that I do.  That makes me feel good.  And Tropical Storm Gustav would indeed prove that their deity has some pretty poor aim – hitting New Orleans – as well as poor timing – hitting during the GOP convention.

If the answer is “a” that makes me feel good also.  Praying for bad things to happen to people just seems, at least to me, to be a pretty whacko thing for a nutjob to do.

If you want to follow-up on what Gustav is doing, without any theological overtones, check out Dr. Jeff Masters here.  If you want to pray for bad things to happen to people, I guess you can check out the “Focus on the Family” cult, but don’t ask me to provide a link.

Me, I’m going to watch candidate John McCain closely as he does, or in the fashion of the current office-holder – doesn’t, handle the situation.  Oh, and I’ll be hoping for the best for all of those in the Gustav’s path.


3 comments on “Would it be wrong to pray for rain?

  1. Jamie Holts says:

    I discovered your homepage by coincidence.
    Very interesting posts and well written.
    I will put your site on my blogroll.

  2. Yahweh says:

    God has punished Stuart Shepard for his violation of the commandments and wishing harm upon his neighbor, and thus Hurricaine Gustav rained down, not on the DNC, but the RNC.

    For shame on people like this, FOR SHAME!

  3. Chris says:

    Let’s try some logic on. Either there is a God or there isn’t. The God that you believe in is infallible. So is mine. Hurricane Gustav proved nothing except that we live in a broken world where tragedy results from natural forces due to man breaking with God. Shepard said in his original video that it would be ‘ok’ if God didn’t send rain, but that it would be great if he did. That little point seems to have escaped your witty, urbane, humanistic analysis.

    Now, ‘harm’? ‘Harm’ means being rained on? Really?! Why, I guess I’ve never been so injured then, as the population of the Pacific Northwest. The insult those people endure! Nevertheless, your point about if God wanted it to happen, he wouldn’t need us to pray for it, is actually astute (yes, this is actually a considered opinion, as opposed to yours). Of course, God doesn’t need us to pray for something that he’s going to make happen anyway. As to answer ‘b’ above, that is not the same deity I pray to (aren’t you brilliant!)

    “Oh, and I’ll be hoping for the best for all of those in the Gustav’s path.”

    Well, then, why did you vote for Obama?

    God Bless You

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