Alabama Atheists have made the accusation that “Governor Bob Riley’s official proclamation and press release beseeching the citizens of Alabama to pray for rain was a waste of tax-payer’s time and money, and probably violated the Alabama State Constitution.”
According to an American Chronicle Article, the Alabama Atheists issued a statement:
Blair Scott, the Alabama State Director for American Atheists said, “Does the Governor of Alabama have nothing better to do with our tax-payer’s money than to issue official press releases and proclamations for our citizens to grovel to a non-existent deity?” Blair continued, “Instead of praying for rain, perhaps Gov. Riley should be working on resolving the issues caused by the drought or making preparations for an extended drought or another drought in the future.”
“Gov. Riley needs to be taking care of water management and perhaps looking at new irrigation policies as well as water rationing or making it temporarily illegal to wash cars or water lawns. These are legitimate ways to help in a drought,” stated Teri Muniz, an atheist in Huntsville.
Gov. Riley’s proclamation and press release, which contains specific references to the Bible and personal beseeching to the Christian God, probably violates Article 1, Section III of the Alabama State Constitution, which states in part, “…no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship.”
“Elected officials in the state of Alabama need to be personally taking care of the state’s problems and not begging a non-existent deity to solve those problems,” said Blair Scott. “Gov. Riley’s proclamation amounts to nothing more than vote pandering because prayer does not work and will not end the drought. We need to consult a meteorologist and climatologist, not invisible rain-makers in the sky. Obviously, if there was a god, it knows of the drought and has chosen to ignore it.”