Atheists: Obama Administration Out Of Line To Pray For Rain

The Council for Secular Humanism attacks Obama official for saying he is praying for rain to end nation’s draught.

VINCENNES, IN - JULY 18: Corn plants struggle to survive in a drought-stricken farm field on July 18, 2012 near Vincennes, Indiana. The corn and soybean belt in the middle of the nation is experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than five decades. Indiana was the nation’s fourth largest corn producer in 2011. Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Council for Secular Humanism is attacking the Obama administration for Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack saying he prays for rain to end the nationwide draught.

“I get on my knees every day,” Vilsack said at the White House press briefing on Wednesday. “And I’m saying an extra prayer now. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it.”

In a statement, Tom Flynn, the executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, said Vilsack’s mention of prayer “sends the wrong message to distraught farmers.”

“[Praying] for rain? That’s not just government entangling itself with religion, that’s government publicly practicing it, and wallowing in superstition,” he said.

The full release is below:

Agriculture Secretary Out of Line to Pray for Rain, Says Council for Secular Humanism

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told reporters at the White House that he is praying for rain to end the drought parching 61 percent of the United States. “I get on my knees every day,” he said on July 18. “And I’m saying an extra prayer now. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it.”

“The Obama Administration has been criticized by secular humanists for backpedaling on then-candidate Obama’s campaign pledge to reverse Bush-era policies that provide federal funding to religious charities that discriminate in hiring,” said Tom Flynn, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism and editor of its journal Free Inquiry. “But praying for rain? That’s not just government entangling itself with religion, that’s government publicly practicing it, and wallowing in superstition.”

This summer’s prolonged drought, the worst in a quarter-century, is devastating crops and parching livestock. It may bring sharply higher food prices later this year.

“It sends the wrong message to distraught farmers when the Agriculture Secretary suggests that the best response is to pray,” said Flynn. “For a Cabinet official to recommend prayer as a solution or call attention to his own devotions may violate the Constitution’s prohibition against establishment of religion. Most important, though, is that prayer doesn’t work. But if you want to test the power of prayer yourself, consider this. Apparently Secretary Vilsack’s been praying for rain every day; how’s that working out?”

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Facebook Conversations
          
    Hot Buzz

    Teenager Says “F#@k Her Right In The P#$&y” In Front Of Whole School, B...

    viral

    What Are Some Of Canada’s Truly Hidden Gems?

    collection
    Now Buzzing