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Georgia Governor's Magical Rain Prayer Almost Sorta Works!

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Apparently if you ask God to make it rain, he'll give you a quarter inch of rain! Neato!

Wow, God exists, and He does care, just not a whole lot!

This is pretty encouraging news, but I don't think the Governor should give up on other kinds of magic just yet. For instance, I think a genie wish could clear up this drought, but he'll have to be really specific with his wording lest he sink the entire state of Georgia, or it starts raining poison arrow frogs or something. You have to watch out for that.

If you turn to a higher power that needs to be told what's going on and what He needs to do, you're going to get shoddy results like this. If I was Governor I'd get some children to write some sternly-worded letters to God right about now.

Has Sonny Perdue's Rain Prayer Been Answered?
Examining Georgia's Faith-Based Approach to Weather

Gov. Sonny Perdue lobbies a higher power. (AP)
In the immortal words of Al Michaels, "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" He was talking about a hockey game, but for Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, the words apply to the weather.

Perdue gathered 250 faithful and desperate citizens of his state on Tuesday in an effort to literally pray for rain. The Peach State is in the midst of a historic drought, with no relief in sight. But like a politician working a room, Perdue asked and pleaded for individuals to spare whatever prayers they could to ask God to spare some water.

And as faith, nature and/or God would have it, Georgia did indeed get some rain. Since church and state held their intervention, a quarter of an inch to an inch of rain have fallen across northern portions of the state, according to the National Weather Service. And while it is impossible to estimate how many people have actually been praying, given a constant rate of precipitation per prayer, they will all need to speak with God a lot more if Georgia is to make up its rain deficit (precipitation is 16 inches below normal for this time of year).

Despite such clear results, there are skeptics of this faith-based approach to weather. Some 20 demonstrators from the Atlanta Freethought Society actually staged a protest against Perdue's state-sanctioned religious strategy. And then there are the meteorologists, one of whom told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the rainfall "will come nowhere close to breaking the drought. The ground is so dry, it will absorb everything that falls on it."

But do these so-called scientists question the data out of skepticism or fear? Doubters point to data and talk about causality and coincidence. Maybe they have a point. At the same time, however, most meteorologists will tell you that long-term weather prognostication is akin to fortune-telling. They know when summer is scheduled, sure, as well as winter, but ask them for more specific information and you might as well break out the crystal ball.

Whatever the effect of Perdue and his divine calls for precipitation, let us all pray, to God or to the data, that Georgia gets more rain. But maybe we shouldn't pray too hard: Don't want to bring on a flood.