A soggy reminder, be careful what you pray for

Published 8:27am Friday, August 16, 2013

You may have read that the United States Supreme Court is going to hear a case about whether or not prayer can be uttered in town councils across America. Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that such a nefarious deed violated the First Amendment’s ban on an “establishment of religion.”

If such a ban were to be upheld, I predict it wouldn’t be long before prayer would be banned before daily sessions of Congress. Even with prayer, these geniuses can’t manage a two-car funeral without blowing a few billion of our tax dollars. Can you imagine what would happen to us if God turned His back on them? Shudder.

This is where I must admit some culpability along with former Gov. George E. Perdue for interjecting prayer into the affairs of state.  You may recall that Georgia was in the midst of a severe drought in 2007. Gov. Perdue decided to take drastic action and ask for divine intervention since nothing else seemed to be working. He invited Dr. Gil Watson, the World’s Greatest Preacher, to come to the Capitol and — in the governor’s words — “pray up a storm.”  Why Dr. Gil?

Given that I was Gov. Perdue’s very favorite newspaper columnist — it is only rumor that he once tried to chain me to an anchor and see if I could swim across one of his concrete fish ponds — I am sure he had read of my praise for Dr. Gil’s untiring but seemingly futile efforts to save my sorry soul.

The governor had to believe that if the World’s Greatest Preacher could abide the theological challenge of trying to convert a modest and much-beloved columnist who seems to have half the universe upset with his smart-alecky comments — although not always the same half every week — into something warm and fuzzy, surely he could manage a mere trifle like a severe drought.

You know the rest of the story. Dr. Gil Watson came onto parched government property and asked God to let it rain. Because God likes Dr. Gil a lot, He made it rain almost immediately and six years later, it is still raining in Georgia. Basements have flooded, rivers and streams have overflowed their banks, bridges have washed away, decks are mildewed and a lot of atheists are slogging around in hip waders and cursing whatever atheists curse when they get mad.

The moral of this story is to be careful what you pray for. Your prayers just might be answered.

If Dr. Gil Watson, the World’s Greatest Preacher, could convince God to make it rain for six years, imagine what the two of them could do with Congress and the Georgia Legislature and assorted local fiefdoms. It boggles the mind. I suspect it would be no time before a contrite state legislator would hold a press conference and announce solemnly, “I know I’ve told you that letting lizard-loafered lobbyists to take me to Sea Island to play golf and sipping an occasional adult beverage in a private box at a Braves game in no way influences the way I vote on an issue of importance to them and their bosses. Of course it does. I was just joshing with you. But, hey, you keep reelecting me and I enjoy free-loading and your view of politics can’t get any lower than it already is, so who cares? Gosh, I feel so much better getting that off my conscience. Now, if you will excuse me I have a tee time.”

The flip side is that I worry that the godless may one day discover that prayer really works and I might never again hear from elitists who sniff at the notion that God made the duckbilled platypus to show us He had a sense of humor and then, in case we didn’t get the point, He tossed in some armadillos for good measure. To not be lectured by atheists would break my heart. God bless them one and all.

I’m not sure how the Supreme Court will rule on the matter, but I do hope that Gov. Nathan Deal doesn’t find himself ankle-deep in water at the Governor’s Mansion one day and order Dr. Gil Watson to come to the Capitol and ask God to make it quit raining so much. I am not anxious to see Georgia turn into the Mojave Desert and have to share a cactus with godless barbarians who think Walt Disney created the duckbilled platypus. Can I get an Amen?

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.

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