Time to Pray Away the Hurricane

NOAA Hurricane Hunters flying through Hurricane Irma.jpg
By NOAA - Public Domain, Link

Admittedly, I've made some fun of the Christians who have been claiming that their preferred god sends hurricanes to punish us for assorted "sins" like voting for someone they didn't like, maintaining reproductive rights for women over their objections, criticizing President Trump, or being too accepting of those who have "teh gay." And yes, I've made even more fun of the few Christians who have claimed that they can control the weather through the magic of their Jesus psychosis. But I do have to give them one concession: as silly as they are, it isn't like science has done much better for us when it comes to ending these storms.

Sure, science has made it possible for us to track hurricanes, measure many of their important features, and predict their course with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Science has helped to improve how we construct buildings in hurricane-prone areas, informed effective methods of evacuation, and helped improve emergency responses. These things are all important, and they have saved lives. In these ways and more, science has accomplished a hell of a lot more than prayer.

But as we look at Hurricane Irma approaching Florida after seeing what it has already done elsewhere, we must acknowledge that science has not yet provided us with any way to repel or weaken a hurricane. We've learned a great deal about how these storms work, but this has not translated into effective measures for preventing them or turning them away. And so, we can do little more than watch as this potential catastrophe bears down on Florida. If the Christians finally figure out a way to pray these things away, I'm all for it.