De Lille to host inter-faith prayer for rain on Table Mountain

That’s the headline from iol this morning, and the article underneath it goes on to say that:

The City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille will host an inter-faith gathering of various religious leaders to pray for rain on Thursday at 2pm.

Who’ll be there? Well, various religious leaders including:

representatives from various churches, the Muslim Judicial Council, the Western Cape Christian Ministers’ Association, the Western Cape Traditional Leaders and Cultural Council, the Khoisan Griqua Royal House, the Bahaí Community of South Africa, the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre, and the Hindu and Jewish communities.

Inter-faith indeed. All the major food groups listed there. No atheists, which is a bit awkward in our supposedly secular society, but I guess it might have been awkwarder still (I know) were we represented…

De Lille says:

“The residents and businesses of Cape Town have made great efforts to save water but we have to do more and we especially need the rains to come.”

Right. A few issues here. And I’m not going to spend too long on going through these. I’m too irritated to elaborate on stuff. It’ll involve swearing. Even this condensed version may involve swearing. Seriously, I’m literally just about to write it, and it really feels like it will involve some swearing right now.

1. Prayers don’t work. Evidence for this includes the repeated praying for no more terrorist attacks in Europe.

2. Also that whole Angus Buchan thing on Freedom Day.

3. And the annual SA Police Service prayer day for no more crime.

4. If prayers do actually work, then why didn’t you pray for rain earlier?

5. Oh wait. You did. And it didn’t work.

6. Look, I do realise that just because you’re spending your time doing this, it’s not that more practical solutions aren’t being organised: dams being dredged, other water sources being investigated and the like. But…

7. My rates – including my (understandably) inflated water tariff – are paying for you to attend this crap. And that’s annoying, because no matter what you were doing instead of sitting on the bloody mountain with your friends chatting to their various sky fairies this afternoon, it would offer me and the rest of the city’s ratepayers a far better return for our hard earned money.

8. If, when it rains tomorrow, as it is forecast to do (and as it has been forecast to do all week), and you or your god-bothering mates then claim that your Table Mountain meeting has yielded positive, tangible results, I may just go flipping postal. In a very reserved, British way, obviously.

Very restrained on the language there, well done me.

Look, I know you’re not going to read this, Patricia.
I know you’re not going to read it because you never read my towing an iceberg from Antarctica and dumping it in Franschhoek solution to the current water crisis; a solution which I have implored you to respond to on several occasions; a solution which I made up merely for comedic value, and which – although mathematically sound – is laughably far-fetched, but which would still be a better way of addressing the drought than you wasting everyone’s time and money on shouting at the clouds this afternoon.

What a disgrace.

Still not raining

Look, we’ve covered this before.

We noted the city’s request for prayers here:

Why haven’t our religious leaders been praying for rain already? And if they have, where’s the evidence? Who’s withholding the damn rain anyway, and why?

And we added a touch of sarcasm here:

Tamboerskloof vicar Rev. Denise Woodhouse stated that she had been instructed by her senior clergy to hold off any specific reference to rain in her Sunday prayers “until April or May”.
When it was pointed out to her that this was rather convenient timing, given that that’s when the seasonal rains usually begin anyway, she replied, “Yes, isn’t God amazing?” and hurried off to help with pouring the tea at the Women’s Auxiliary meeting.

But the weird thing is that with just n days of water left, people are still genuinely suggesting that prayer is the answer to the current water crisis:

Exactly what do these people think is responsible for this crisis? The underlying cause of the lack of water is simply a lack of rain.

Given that we are advised to “put our faith in God as He is the only one who can save us from the catastrophe” (as He did just after that day of prayer about 30 years ago), I’m left wondering why He hasn’t done something about this already.

Is He really sitting up there in heaven, omnipotent, but waiting for us all to worship a bit harder before He sends any precipitation to Cape Town? Are the recent floods in Gauteng a sign that they prayed harder or better than we did, or is He just trolling?

Behold what I am capable of, just up the N1! Enough rain to fill their dams (and sweep innocent schoolchildren to their deaths), but no: you’re not having any until you get yourselves to church and beg for it. And, if you’ve already been to church and begged for it, then go again and beg a bit harder.

And then, when it does eventually rain, you will praise me for granting you watery salvation, conveniently overlooking all the times I ignored your repeated and increasingly desperate prayers over the past few months.

But that’s exactly what Ilze Müller and her kind will do: drowning (pun intended) in religious confirmation bias, defending the indefensible, brainwashed and blinkered.

Still, if I can get an afternoon off work on the strength of pretending to participate in their ludicrous charade, I’m obviously all for it.

Rain Prayers planned “soon”

Religious leaders in Cape Town have said that they will get round to praying for rain soon.
The city is currently in the throes of its worst drought for decades, and Mayor Patricia de Lille had appealed to senior figures from across the religious spectrum to pray for precipitation as dam levels continued to fall. However, with no significant rainfall in several weeks, there are some individuals who are beginning to doubt that the praying was having any effect.

But now there has been widespread shock as a Cape Town newspaper investigation has revealed that most local religious leaders haven’t actually been praying for rain at all.

Tamboerskloof vicar Rev. Denise Woodhouse stated that she had been instructed by her senior clergy to hold off any specific reference to rain in her Sunday prayers “until April or May”.
When it was pointed out to her that this was rather convenient timing, given that that’s when the seasonal rains usually begin anyway, she replied, “Yes, isn’t God amazing?” and hurried off to help with pouring the tea at the Women’s Auxiliary meeting.

In Rondebosch, Minister Peter Mulhearn echoed Rev Woodhouse’s words: “Apparently, God’s got a lot of stuff on His plate right now,” he said. “There are wars all over the place, there’s the ongoing plight of the rhino, and this whole Donald Trump thing is probably taking up an awful lot of His time. I think we need to give Him a break on these very local matters until at least mid-Autumn time. Then we’ll put forward Cape Town’s case for rain. And you just watch – He will surely deliver.”

And it was much the same story from Wynberg Imam Iqbal Sadiq, who told us: “Now is not the time for panic. We are aware of the Mayor’s request, and have scheduled a Salat Al-Istisqa’ (prayer for rain) for early winter. We are sure that Allah will provide.”

When questioned about the apparent delay in prayers for rainfall, a city spokesperson stated: “Obviously, we can only ask. It’s in the hands of religious leaders as to if and when they choose to pray for rain. And it’s only one of the many sensible strategies that the city has put in place to deal with the water crisis. We’re hopeful that the our unicorn-powered pumping station in Kraaifontein will pick up the shortfall in the meantime.”

Could you please pray a bit harder?

Last week’s plea from the City of Cape Town to religious leaders to pray for rain already appears to be paying damp dividends. A quick check on my Weatherbomb widget suggests that we’re in for some precipitation tomorrow, just a few (or a couple) of days after religious gatherings across the region:

Just look at that purple mound over Tues. Wetness! Moisture! But – couldn’t we do a bit better? Because a cross check with Windguru indicates that Cape Town should expect a grand total of [big drum roll]…

1.4mm of rain tomorrow!

[sad trombone]

Of course, there will be local variations. Newlands will get more than 1.4mm, Durbanville probably won’t get any rain whatsoever. But overall, it’s simply not good enough, religious leaders. Please pray harder.

But then, beagle-eyed readers will be already pointing to next week’s forecast: a week away to next Sunday into Monday – look at the veritable mountain of violet. JUST LOOK AT IT!
It’s early days, but it’s still rain! However, looking at Windguru, it seems that we can expect a monstrous 4.2mm of precipitation on that occasion.

Every little helps, I know. But… but really?

I hope I’m not alone in my simultaneous gratitude and chastisement of our local religious leaders. Right now, I’m happy that we’re going to have a cooler, damper day tomorrow. And I’m delighted that there are seven hours of next week which look even more moist.

But can we organise more volume and greater frequency, please? Up the ante a little? Because 5.6mm over 7 days isn’t going make a jot of difference in reality. Please – no floods or anything (I don’t have an ark), just a few days (not forty) of decent, wetting rain so that the plants don’t all die off completely and so that we can still have a bath come April?

Get it together, guys. Honestly.