Be care­ful what you pray for

The Covington News - - OPINION -

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.

Six years later, it is still rain­ing in Ge­or­gia.

Base­ments have flooded, rivers and streams have over­flowed their banks, bridges have washed away, ducks 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 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 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

josh­ing 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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