The Louisiana State Senate passed a resolution (SR 145) to recognize and declare Sunday, June 20, 2010, as a Statewide Day of Prayer for Louisiana and the population and region surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. The two-page resolution declared that in times of great distress and need, the people of this land have always turned to private, public, and corporate prayer, as well as urged the citizens to pray for a solution to this crisis each according to his or her own faith. The resolution was passed unanimously at the urging of the Republican member of the Louisiana Senate, Robert Adley.
So now we have solutions to our problems. Senator Adley should have consulted Pat Robertson, who could have helped us to clear our misunderstanding with God and eliminated the root cause of the problem. It is not only Senator Adley who has called on God’s help. Even President Obama, for his part, invoked God several times in his address to the nation on the oil spill.
BP’s oil crisis is created by humans and could have been easily avoided. Interestingly, Senator Adley’s Republican friend Louisiana Governor Jindal, who is viewed very positively for all the relief efforts, wants the moratorium on off shore drilling to end. On one hand, Louisiana law makers pray for a miracle in the Gulf to stop oil leakage. On the other hand, the same law makers want to continue off shore drilling. God Almighty can hopefully understand the double standards here.
Whether God will stop this crisis or not, disasters like this can, and will, happen again. According to the EPA, there have been over 42,000 oil spill incidents involving over 300 million gallons of oil in the last 20 years alone. Unfortunately, we Americans only pay attention when it hits our coast.
Nigeria has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for the past 50 years. During this period, as much as 546 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Niger Delta. According to a New York Times article, perhaps no place on earth has been as battered by oil as Nigeria. Citizens of Bodo, Nigeria are surprised at the attention paid to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as they wonder why no one seemed to take note of the Royal Dutch oil spill that continued to gush for more than two months. That disaster alone eliminated Bodo’s entire mangroves and their habitants – crabs, shrimp, and hundreds of bird species.
Maybe a little prayer is in order for the Nigerians too. Now that we are sending prayers to save us from the oil spill, why not also pray for increased literacy levels of Americans, jobs that pay more for less work and obesity prevention?
If God can grant our wishes then we have an easy fix. We wouldn’t need to take any more personal responsibility for the disasters we have been creating. Religious practices and prayers are matters of personal choice. Politicians can pray in private for whatever they want, but taking time to pass a resolution to pray is simply an insult to people who elected them.