Thursday, 1 September 2011

In praise of rain

I can hardly believe it!  My Portuguese friend and colleague LMJ is learning at last to appreciate English weather.

You might wonder why I find that surprising, but you should have seen her response the last time I popped my head round the door on a rainy day and said that the weather was lovely!

Rain Comments

Picture courtesy of Rain Comments

Admittedly, I partly said that for the reaction that I knew I would get . . . but I do know that the summer rain is what keeps England green and beautiful.  It's nice to sit indoors with the window open, listening tot he gentle swish of the rain falling on the leaves.  When we have dry sunny summers England is more like a desert by the end of August, and let's face it, the last thing we want is to have a country that looks as dry and parched as Texas this year.

Dry weather like that has a tendency to encourage the religious, or at least the loud and 'publicly religious', to make themselves look ridiculous beseeching an invisible sky-being to send rain, as recently happened when Texan Governor Rick Perry offered up public prayer for the end of the drought.  Christopher Hitchens displayed his usual literary skill in an article about the event in (or should that be 'on'?) the Slate website - pointing out that:

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.  Read On

Speaking of Rick Perry, I strongly recommend reading Paula Kirby's excellent recent article on the topic of Rick Perry and the scandal of prayer.

There is no magic friend. There is only us. We are not perfect, we are not all-powerful, we are not infallible; but we are all we have. No amount of wailing to an empty sky (to borrow a friend’s expression) is going to solve a thing. And the very least we have the right to demand of our would-be leaders is that they proceed on the basis of reason and intellect, and that they don’t simply sacrifice our futures to the imagined whims of fictional ghosts and goblins, myths and magic, spells and potions, demons and deities. It is time to grow up, Rick Perry. If you lack rational proposals for the solution of America’s problems, what makes you think you’re fit to be its leader?   Read On

If there is one thing that I might be tempted to pray for (even though I'm sure it would make no difference) it is for divine intervention in the US Presidential Race.  Let's just say that I would feel much happier if someone wiser and more rational than Perry was elected!  Obama is bad enough with his 'national day of prayer' but if I had a vote it would go to him instead of Perry.


Hilary said...

Well I'm not familiar with whether Rick Perry prayed for rain or not, and I certainly don't agree with any dishonesty or lack of integrity in politics, (though as I don't know Rick Perry's motive I wouldn't like to be quick to judge whether he is genuine or not) but I am familiar with prayer and the effects of what happens when people pray. Here's an interesting link you may like to peruse.
The Welsh revival changed Wales and then changed many parts of the world. The effects are still here. It was a sovereign move of the Holy Spirit.
I have witnessed many many answers to my prayers over the course of my life, but these answers have been born out of my being related to God in prayer and praying in the Spirit.
The God whom I serve is not a 'magic friend', nor is He 'an invisible sky-being'. He is Holy, Awesome, Majestic, Gracious, Merciful, Loving etc etc...
I realise that any mention of faith and belief tends to trigger a scornful and mocking response from many atheists - it is interesting for me to read such comments as I look back and remember when I too had that same mindset :)

Hilary said...

...oh and by the way, I love the piccy of the rain...very refreshing...and yes, I remember flying back from California several years ago and seeing the green of the British Isles after so much of the dry and thirsty land of Mexico and California and I remember thinking that I would never complain about the rain here in the UK again, and I actually haven't, as those dry lands are engrained in my memory. Good ol' Britain eh :)

Plasma Engineer said...

The point about Rick Perry is that in USA their First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. Rick Perry is behaving in a way that stretches this to the absolute limit. This behaviour has already been challenged legally. This guy could be elected president and that matters a LOT!

I'm not going to mock your faith, or scorn it. I don't actually share it (as you might have guessed) and I do wish for the whole of Europe to have secular government - which would be good for all of us.

I might slightly question whether you were a real atheist who had actually thought through the issues, or just being a bit of a teenage rebel. :)

Hilary said...

Ah point taken about the First ammendment...didn't know that...

and...does this make you not a real atheist either just an adult rebel hahaha :)

Little Miss Joey said...

Hehe... I concur. With the beauty of the green :)

John Chapman said...

After spending 3½ years in Canada where every day in summer was a sunny blue sky, I longed for a drizzly day in England. (We didn't get a drop of rain for three weeks when we did come back).