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Texas Town Prays For Rain
Status: Superstition
It's been a hot summer, and a lot of areas really need some rain. The town of Lubbock, Texas is taking a pro-active approach by organizing everyone in the town to pray for rain. Mayor David Miller says:
"Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help."
If the City Council approves the rain-prayer resolution, residents of the town will be asked to pray and fast for rain this Sunday.

Sounds like quite a plan. But Lubbock would do well to take heed of San Diego's troubled history with government-sponsored rain-making projects. Back in 1915 San Diego hired Charles Hatfield, who promoted himself as a "moisture accelerator," to brew up some rain for the city. Hatfield set up his equipment in December 1915, and in January 1916 it began to rain. But it rained so hard that it produced one of the biggest floods San Diego has ever seen, causing millions of dollars of property damage.

So if Lubbock goes ahead with its plan it should take some precautions in case God responds with a flood of Biblical proportions.
Categories: Religion
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 26, 2006
Comments (27)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
It hasn't worked for Australia, so it isn't going to work there.
Posted by Soldant  in  Brisbane Australia  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  02:50 AM
"Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do" ...but despite that, we're going to TRY to tell the Almighty what to do.

OK, someone explain to me where religion ends and superstition begins, if you can. Personally, I don't think there IS a dividing line.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  03:46 AM
Soldant said:

"It hasn't worked for Australia, so it isn't going to work there."

Maybe God just doesn't like you Aussies. Ever thought of that?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  03:48 AM
It's nice to see that in a world of science that idiots believe in something which has absolutely no proof.
Posted by Darren De'Vil  in  Hot as hell  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  05:01 AM
I saw a similar thing where people were trying to test the effect of prayer on the recovery of hospital patients (and sometimes the outcome of their operations).
http://www.parkridgecenter.org/Page177.html
http://p4h.humanists.net/prayeraid.html-(2)/prayeraid.htm
The argument here was that, even if you do believe in God, prayer isn't something you can make work by making more people do it.
Posted by Owen  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  05:26 AM
The "no proof" argument is a bad one. Spirituality is just that, spiritual, so trying to use science to study it makes no sense. Science is the study of the physical world, it would be like declaring there is no such thing as a wooden nickel because a metal detector didn't detect it. I've heard about other "studies" that show prayer did work for patients but the results were consistant across all faiths.
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  05:58 AM
"Maybe God just doesn't like you Aussies. Ever thought of that?"

No, I lean more towards the "does not exist" bracket and blame screwed up weather patterns, plus the fact idiots are in control of dam placement in South East Queensland.
Posted by Soldant  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  07:08 AM
I remember a similar story from distant childhood. Something on the lines of a government minister inviting people from a tribe to do a raindance. The "result" was flooding in Britain. My parents once talked about this when I was a child, but don't hold me to any facts.
Posted by Pixie  in  Germany  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  09:14 AM
"Maybe God just doesn't like you Aussies. Ever thought of that?"


It's probably just too damned hot here for him to bother visiting!
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  09:21 AM
"Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do"

And yet, that's exactly what they're doing.

I've never understood how prayer is supposed to work. If it isn't an attempt to influence God, then what is it? If God does as He wills, then isn't prayer meaningless?
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  09:48 AM
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/news/15100334.htm

Or maybe San Diego's history of endorsing religion is not a good model.
Posted by buba  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  09:57 AM
>>Or maybe San Diego's history of endorsing religion is not a good model.<<

Don't get me started on the San Diego cross controversy, which I consider to be a total farce. First the pro-cross advocates say that the cross should stay because it's merely a secular symbol. But then, when it's suggested that the cross be modified to make it acceptable to everyone by adding two more perpendicular arms to it, the pro-cross people say 'No, that would be sacrilege.' No sense or irony when they say that either.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  11:02 AM
I don't want to hear anyone complain about hot. When the Devil was given the Choice between El Paso, Tx and Hell, he took Hell because the summers were milder.
Posted by Lounge Lizard  in  El Paso, Tx  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  11:52 AM
Gah, I hate that damn cross controversy. It feels like it's been going on for like 10 years.

Cross is a secular symbol my ass.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  01:15 PM
this isnt the first time something like this has been done in lubbock about 3 yrs ago they had a contest with prize money for the person or group who could make it rain
Posted by angelbear  in  north carlonia  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  06:09 PM
The Charles Hatfield episode exemplifies the common mistake of praying for rain, but failing to specify the amount.
hmmm
Posted by Big Gary  in  Rains County, Texas  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  06:46 PM
What about all the people in the town that are not religious? Will they be asked to pray? What if they like the hot weather? Maybe they are willing to cut back on water consumption?
Where I live, we are in a constant state of draught, even though the ocean is right next to us! (Water, water, everywhere....)
Nobody would even think to do anything like that around here, I'd bet.
Posted by thephrog  on  Wed Jul 26, 2006  at  06:53 PM
Lonewatchman said:

"The "no proof" argument is a bad one. Spirituality is just that, spiritual, so trying to use science to study it makes no sense. Science is the study of the physical world, it would be like declaring there is no such thing as a wooden nickel because a metal detector didn't detect it. I've heard about other "studies" that show prayer did work for patients but the results were consistant across all faiths."

First off, the rain would happen in the PHYSICAL world, wouldn't it, so why could it not be studied? They aren't praying for SPIRITUAL rain, right?

As for the "studies" you THINK you heard about, uh, I don't think you did. There WAS a study recently that said that prayer DIDN'T make a difference in the recovery of patients. Perhaps THAT is what you're misremembering?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jul 27, 2006  at  04:13 AM
Soldant said:

"No, I lean more towards the "does not exist" bracket and blame screwed up weather patterns, plus the fact idiots are in control of dam placement in South East Queensland."

I don't know about "dam placement in Queensland," but I'm completely with you on the other two points.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jul 27, 2006  at  04:15 AM
Alex said:

"Don't get me started on the San Diego cross controversy, which I consider to be a total farce."

Once upon a time (early 90's), I worked at XTRA, The Mighty 690 in San Diego, doing morning drive. The program director thought it would be good for me and the guy I was working with to get involved in the Cross Controversy. My partner took the "pro cross" position I took the "anti cross" position.

My partner wasn't all that bright or articulate, really and didn't actually care about the damn cross one way or another, so I would just take him apart in our on-air "debates."

The owner of the station at the time was a VERY devout Catholic (he has since tried TWICE to start a Catholic radio network) and he ordered the program director to tell me to "change my opinion." Although the P.D. was a convert to Catholicism, to his credit he told the boss that he didn't know how to order someone to change their opinion (or at least he CLAIMED that he told the boss that). Ultimately, we just moved on to some other bit and let the cross thing die.

I've always suspected that my "anti-crossism" was at least part of the reason I got canned at XTRA.

Hey, San Diego, let the friggin' cross thing go, will ya?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jul 27, 2006  at  04:21 AM
"I've never understood how prayer is supposed to work. If it isn't an attempt to influence God, then what is it? If God does as He wills, then isn't prayer meaningless?"

The idea, if I understand correctly, is that God has made some things contingent on whether or not someone asks for them.
Posted by Dano  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  01:32 AM
Dano said:

"The idea, if I understand correctly, is that God has made some things contingent on whether or not someone asks for them."

What idea? Whose idea?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  04:22 AM
This coming Sunday, September 17, will be declared a day of prayer and thanksgiving for all the rain in Lubbock. And my goodness, why not. On July 25th local leaders including Mayor David Miller called for a time of fasting and prayer for rain. Every day since then it has rained somewhere in West Texas. In Lubbock, we have received officially at the airport 5.68 inches of rain since that day of prayer. That
Posted by T Lytle  on  Tue Sep 19, 2006  at  01:20 AM
T Lytle said:

"On July 25th local leaders including Mayor David Miller called for a time of fasting and prayer for rain. Every day since then it has rained somewhere in West Texas. In Lubbock, we have received officially at the airport 5.68 inches of rain since that day of prayer. That
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Sep 19, 2006  at  02:58 AM
It seems to me that their prayers were answered. Amazingly, they got more than half their rainfall for the calendar year. No, you can't TELL God what to do like someone said that they were doing - they ASKED God to bless them with rain.

Wichita Falls may, or may not be filled with heathens, but as far as I know, they have not made a day of prayer (and repentance) for rain.
Posted by The Wonder of it All  on  Sat Sep 30, 2006  at  02:18 AM
The Wonder Of It All said:

"It seems to me that their prayers were answered. Amazingly, they got more than half their rainfall for the calendar year. No, you can't TELL God what to do like someone said that they were doing - they ASKED God to bless them with rain."

So, if you pray, you may or may NOT get the answer you want--just like would happen if you didn't pray at all. Yup, it's a miracle, all right.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sat Sep 30, 2006  at  02:54 AM
I really like the sentence "Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help." I also Pray For Rain. Thanks so much. wink
Posted by Abraham Jason  in  Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, YO26 5SY, UK  on  Wed Oct 27, 2010  at  08:16 AM
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