Manipulating God & Men

Led by the Bishop of San Angelo, there will be a day of prayer across West Texas to combat that region's severe and persistent drought. Convinced that their God monitors and controls every aspect of their lives, from supernova explosions to weather patterns to high school football scores, this plan suggests that he/she is also a whimsical being, condoning hardship and suffering until appeased by prayer and sacrifice.

Of course, should their efforts prove to be successful, the event will be a splendid marketing tool for a Church that continues to struggle with past scandals and an ongoing loss of parishioners. What better way to stem this tide than to deliver heavy rains to a parched landscape, a scenario right out of the Bible.

Whether the call to prayer is intended to manipulate God or potential believers, either target should be offended by the implications. In the first case, God is framed as sadistic and petty while, in the latter, humans are judged to be ignorant and gullible.