President Bush has declared September 16 a national day of prayer for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Leaving aside my usual objection to the president of the country making theological declarations from the White House, my question is, "Why?"
Are there any religious people in the country who aren't already praying for the hurricane victims? Are there any churches that, this past Sunday, didn't encourage their members to pray? More to the point, is God waiting for a certain threshold of prayers to be received before he will take pity on the victims or allow those already deceased into Heaven?
It's the problem I always have with prayer. God is omniscient, he knows what's going on. He knows exactly who is where and what they need. It's all part of his plan! So there is absolutely no need to tell him to do anything. If he's going to help people get through this, he'll do it whether they ask him to or not. And if he doesn't, he's a collossal douche bag. Do the religious really think that God is hanging around, biding his time, letting people suffer, and won't lift an omnipotent finger to help anybody in need unless they beg for it?