Liberals, please don’t say that the Texas drought reflects badly on Rick Perry’s influence with God. It may sound like the easy retort, but here’s why you don’t want to go there.
Logically, what do you have to presume before you make that argument?
- God exists. If He didn’t, He couldn’t grant prayers. But that sends atheists and some others out of your tent.
- God grants the prayers of all worthy petitioners. If the fact that Perry’s prayers were not granted means he was not worthy, then God must grant the prayers of all the worthy. Now you have alienated the mainstream theists who believe that God has His own agenda first and foremost. God works in mysterious ways and all that, and we mere mortals can never know why God does what he does. Instead of the Great Creator, you have made God a servant carrying out prayers.
- God never grants the prayers of unworthy petitioners. If not getting what he prays for proves Perry’s unworthiness, then everyone who doesn’t get what they pray for must be unworthy. That means the sick who have prayed for a cure, parents of terminally ill children, soldiers praying to live or to die. If they didn’t get what they prayed for, they are not worthy. Really? Is that your position?
- It’s all about Rick Perry. Do you think anyone besides Rick Perry is praying for rain in Texas? Is God judging them unworthy as well? Or is God making an example of Rick Perry? There is no good answer to that.
Do you see the problem here?
We haven’t even touched the internal logic problems. What happens when worthy people pray for conflicting things? What happens when unworthy people pray for the same things as worthy people?
More than that, this argument feeds into the conservative agenda. Extremists already argue that wealth evinces favor by God. By equating disfavor with bad results, you make it easy to argue that good results must indicate favor.
Then you have Rick Perry’s cohorts who claim that God talks to Rick Perry, or at least to his close associates. By claiming that Rick Perry alone is the cause of the Texas drought, you give him much more importance and much more weight with God than he deserves. In effect, you are arguing that Rick Perry has a direct line to God, but God turned down his request. This time. Which sets him up to return in triumph when circumstances go his way.
So please stop saying that the Texas drought is a message from God to Rick Perry. There are so many good, solid, important reasons to criticize Perry—his extremist cohorts, his theocratic beliefs, his record in Texas—that there is no need to strain for arguments not worth making.