Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is using her bully pulpit to call Oklahomans to prayforrain.
More than 40 percent of Oklahoma is experiencing an exceptional drought, the most severe category measured by climatologists.

Currently, 58 percent of Oklahoma is facing either an extreme or an exceptional drought. Meanwhile, a record-setting heat wave continues throughout the state with no end in sight.

Oklahoma needs rain. So does Texas.

Seventy percent of Texas is in the category of exceptional drought.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a call for prayer in April, but those prayers have not been answered. In fact, the drought in Texas is much worse now than when Perry issued his call for prayer.

Both Fallin and Perry are among the prominent politicians who are skeptical about the scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change.

Perry sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to block EPA efforts to regulate carbon emissions, a major source of greenhouse pollution.

Fallin says climate legislation is “entirely unnecessary” and has threatened legal action against the EPA’s attempts to reign in greenhouse gases from Oklahoma’s coal-fired power plants.

Perry and Fallin are both among the prominent politicians who trot out their faith to lend an aura of legitimacy to their policies and to curry favor with the Christian nationalist segment of the American public.

Fallin, a darling of the Religious Right, campaigned under the banner of “Faith, Family and Freedom” and asserts that her faith, as well as her understanding of the Constitution, has led her to embrace the role of religion in the public sphere.”

Perry, being encouraged to run for president by a coterie of Religious Right leaders, has recently called for a large public prayer rally this August. Whether Perry’s prayer rally brings rain or not, it is certain to launch a political campaign that will affect national elections in 2012.

I’m all for prayer, but I don’t think God cares in the least for insincere praying. I think God expects humility when we pray.

God is not the mascot of right-wing politicians, and he’s not going to perform tricks on demand for them to further their political ambitions.

I believe Americans need to repent as much or even more than the Religious Right believes. I just differ from the right on the list of sins for which we must repent.

Prominent on my list is the need to turn away from the sins that are producing the crisis of climate change.

Politicians in Texas and Oklahoma lead the nation in rejecting the biblical command that we be intelligent and faithful stewards of God’s creation.

Until our leaders acquire a humble and contrite heart and listen to the message that God has been sending them in this drought, I fear that we are going to continue to reap what we have sown.

Bruce Prescott is executive director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists, president of the Norman, Okla., chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and host of “Religious Talk” on KREF radio. He blogs at Mainstream Baptist.

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