Christianity Admin on 19 Dec 2006 06:15 am
This story comes from Australia:
Australia is experiencing a huge drought — the worst drought in “more than 200 years,” according to the article. It’s a bad situation: “With crops failing, farmers are struggling to meet interest repayments. Falling rural land prices and rising grain prices have driven many farmers to bankruptcy.” Entire farming communities in eastern Australia are coming unraveled.
So what are churches doing? They could actually do something useful to help the farmers. Instead, they are praying. They organized a “National Day of Prayer”. According to the article:
“We invite all Australians to express their solidarity with those who are suffering by taking a few moments to pray or to join a local worship service,” said Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, head of the Anglican Church of Australia during one set of rain prayersâ€¦
In a joint statement, church leaders have urged Australians to remember the human cost of the drought beyond its economic consequences. “We should remember the many people on farms and in small businesses who are suffering, often in a deeply personal way,” said Roman Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson.
As rational people, it is time for us to recognize is that these prayer sessions are a total waste of time. Resorting to a superstitious activity like prayer is no different that organizing a rain dance or sacrificing a virgin to the rain gods — it is a completely useless activity. As described in this video, prayer is nothing but an illusion.
What these farmers need are rational solutions to their problems. They need grants or no-interest loans that help them ride out the drought without going bankrupt. Or they need citizens to organize large-scale donation programs like Farm Aid did in America. Or they need money to install new technology, such as that used in Israel to cope with limited water resources (see this article for a quick discussion). Or they need government help to develop new sources of fresh water (deep wells, desalination plants, etc.) that are immune to drought. Or they need programs that help them transition to new careers without becoming homeless. What these farmers do not need is large numbers of people sitting around in churches and “feeling good” as they talk to their imaginary gods. Prayer is completely useless.
How can intelligent, rational people help society to make the transition from superstition and irrationality to rationality? We need to Join Together and Speak Up. We need to state, clearly and without apology, that God is imaginary, that the Bible is repulsive and that prayer is complete superstition. We also need to call for and support rational rather than irrational solutions to problems like those faced by farmers in Australia.
In other words, when people face problems, we need to actually do something rational to solve the problems. Prayer accomplishes nothing.