Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue was picked by Pres. Trump to lead the Department of Agriculture. Immediately, the Left went on the attack. Why? because Perdue called on the people of Georgia to pray for rain during a severe drought.
“In November 2007, farmers were struggling. They were relying on irrigation water, and the restrictions put in place earlier in the year weren’t working to conserve enough water. So Perdue tried something different.
“The former governor, standing at Georgia’s state capitol, encouraged people to pray to God for rain.
“’I’m here today to appeal to you and to all Georgians and all people who believe in the power of prayer to ask God to shower our state, our region, our nation with the blessings of water,’ he said.”
As is typical of so much of today’s media, they don’t believe in God and anyone who does believe in a provident God is not capable of being a civil official. “The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney and John Wagner led their report about Perdue by noting that he ‘drew national headlines for holding a public vigil to pray for rain in 2007 amidst a crippling drought.”” (The Blaze)
Gov. Perdue did not view prayer as a substitute for a sound water conservation strategy, which had already been implemented, but as the only action mere mortals could take when all else had failed. He called on the people of Georgia to appeal to God for divine help.
As usual, the atheists came out to protest Perdue’s call for prayer. Here’s what the numbskulls at the Atlanta Free Thought Society had to say:
“The governor can pray when he wants to. What he can’t do is lead prayers in the name of the people of Georgia.”
Yes, he can. The Preamble to Georgia’s Constitution states the following:
“To perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen and of the family, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, we the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
If “we the people” of Georgia are “relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God,” then we can certainly pray to Him as a state for protection from drought conditions.
By the way, the rain did come and the drought was averted, as the following chart shows (H/T: Jon Passantino).
The issue is can a governor call for prayer? History says yes, and the Constitution does as well.
Our nation has a history of civil officials calling on the nation to fast and pray. Here are a few examples (notice how expressly Christian they are):
On March 16, 1776, “by order of Congress” a “day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer” where people of the nation were called on to “acknowledge the over ruling providence of God” and bewail their “manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness” (see here).
Congress set aside December 18, 1777 as a day of thanksgiving so the American people “may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor” and on which they might “join the penitent confession of their manifold sins . . . that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance.” Congress also recommended that Americans petition God “to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consists in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” (see here).
When John Hancock was Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he issued “A Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving” in 1791:
“In consideration of the many undeserved Blessings conferred upon us by GOD, the Father of all Mercies; it becomes us not only in our private and usual devotion, to express our obligations to Him, as well as our dependence upon Him; but also specially to set a part a Day to be employed for this great and important Purpose. . . . And above all, not only to continue to us the enjoyment of our civil Rights and Liberties; but the great and most important Blessing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ: And together with our cordial acknowledgments, I do earnestly recommend, that we may join the penitent confession of our Sins, and implore the further continuance of the Divine Protection, and Blessings of Heaven upon this People; especially that He would be graciously pleased to direct, and prosper the Administration of the Federal Government, and of this, and the other States in the Union — to afford Him further Smiles on our Agriculture and Fisheries, Commerce and Manufactures — To prosper our University and all Seminaries of Learning — To bless the virtuously struggling for the Rights of Men—so that universal Happiness may be Allies of the United States, and to afford his Almighty Aid to all People, who are established in the World; that all may bow to the Scepter of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the whole Earth be filled with his Glory.” (Wall Builders)
Notice that the Proclamation was done by a governor in the year the Constitution with its attached Bill of Rights that included the First Amendment was ratified.
Consider George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation issued at the request of Congress on October 3, 1789:
“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:'”
Take a look at the first line: “it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”