Obama’s Use of Prayer to Solve the BP Oil Spill Disaster June 18, 2010

Obama’s Use of Prayer to Solve the BP Oil Spill Disaster

The other night, President Obama gave his address about the BP oil disaster in the Oval Office.

(Personally, Rachel Maddow‘s version is way better)

Obama mentioned God and prayer way more than the “obligatory” amount:

Somehow this became an important topic for the FOX News Channel hosts and Newt Gingrich:

Brian Kilmeade: Alright, Mr. Speaker, what do you think of that?

Gingrich: Well, I hope he means it. […] I’m sad that it took a crisis of this scale, but I’m delighted that the president has recognized that we in fact all are subordinate to a larger God and that we need to seek guidance from that God.

Gretchen Carlson: But Mr. Speaker, did you find it at all disingenuous, because some people are analyzing that this morning as saying it was disingenuous from a president who does not go to church on a regular basis?

Gingrich: […] If he’s prepared to publicly recognize God, maybe we should encourage him to do it more often.

As the saying goes, hands that help are better than lips that pray.

But why so many religious references?

Jon Stewart had an idea about that one (around the 4:00 mark):

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Day 58 – The Strife Aquatic
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Now, it all makes sense.

(Thanks to everyone for the links!)


Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ex Partiot

    Who ever thinks prayer is going to clean up the mess BP made are sorely mistaken, Even if there was a god he diedn’t make this mess in the gulf, man made it namely BP oil

  • you know i find it weird over here in the uk a very large amount of people seem to all of a sudden dispise Obama still over using BPs old name a little bit back, quite odd that, normaly we’re quite apathetic over here lol truth of the matter is though this is what happens when you try to save money at the expense of saftey, in the EU at least any off shore oil extration such as that (using pipes along the bed) has to have stop valves every few 100 yards, least i think its every few 100 yards but im not sure aaaanyway obviously they add to expense but means if theres a leak you can shut it off within a few minuites and people say we’re over the top of health and saftey? :S ahh well

  • Grimalkin

    That was nice. Obama just sold out all the non-monotheists in the country, and those monotheists see it as “disingenuous.”

    He alienated people like me.
    The people he was trying to suck up to won’t have it.
    The oil spill is still there.

    Looks like success all ’round, hum?

  • Luther

    Nothing fails like prayer, it seems that it was BP’s safety strategy all along – pray that it doesn’t leak and pray pay that no honest inspector shows up.

  • Bill

    Aaaah, Fox is just amazing! Laugh/cry repeat

  • Ryan

    You know, after reading about this and seeing stuff about this, I have to say, Obama has officially become desperate. Think about it. He can’t get help from ANYBODY and so the only way he can even have a chance of receiving help is to appeal to their beliefs (hence the reference to prayer). Considering that a huge chunk of Americans believe prayer works, Obama may be doing all he can to get them on his side, and this may just be the first step. Of course I could just be rambling, but this is how I see it.

  • benjdm

    I give up. In 2012, I’m writing in someone without an imaginary friend.

  • Andrew Morgan

    Ah, this is nice. It’s rare that, as a Republican atheist, the two things I dislike — liberals and religion — are so united and then subsequently so universally despised by everyone else.

    I feel so wanted now!

  • an atheist republican? well until now i thought that was an oximoron buut then i cant tell if ur being sarcastic ^^ but then perhaps our view over here of said party has been somwhat skewed in the past oh.. i dunno 20 years 😛 lol

  • Maliknant

    Based on how things are going in the Gulf of Mexico so far, I’d say those prayers aren’t working. Maybe someone ought to teach those people how to pray correctly.

  • Neon Genesis

    Only Fox News would waste a whole morning analyzing a prayer.

  • Daniel

    Bonus hypocrisy for those catholics in Fox’s employ. My brother (a “liberal” Catholic) points out that the gospel that morning was:

    “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
    who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
    so that others may see them.
    Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
    But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
    and pray to your Father in secret.
    And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

    Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

    Whoops!

  • Am I the only one who thought Obama was trying not to be *too* religious? It sounded to me like he was avoiding saying god. I mean, yes, the word prayer does necessarily imply something to pray to, and the mention of a ‘guiding hand’ was a little woo for my tastes, but it seemed to me like he was making a point not to pray TO god, and to leave it open semantically to the possibility that he wasn’t talking about the Christian god.

    Then, maybe I’m being too optimistic. But I just don’t think this was anything more than a political move.

  • bigjohn756

    But, Rachel, we have no more idea of how to get off of oil than we do of how to stop the oil spill.

  • well Thomas id say judging by the way he does most of his speeches that ive observed he does seem very smart in the way he speaks in that he uses many little verbal tricks such as that (ok thats not a fair way of calling them but i dont name them! lol) but basicly its a political tactic of appealing to the most people you can without being able to comftibly be put into group A or group B if you get me, i mean that works well with the fact when he speaks he often does it in a way thats purposely being almost dramatic best examples of that in other people are look at the way both Kennady and Hitler spoke, brilliant polititions (shame the latter a bit on the psychotic side with many of his ideals heh)

  • raisedbybadgers

    Obama was probably just trying to make up for having allowed all (two of) those atheists to be invited to that interfaith conference.

  • Manksteve

    I would agree with Thomas. He did seems to avoid using the word God and you can could see the use of the word pry for hope.

  • lilymarlane

    President Obama said, “somthing better awaits us, if we summon the courage to reach for it” – sounds very humanistic to me…… I agree with Thomas and Jenny Bliss, I thought he was ‘walking the political line’ to appeal to the most people….. President Obama never said the word(s) ‘god’ or ‘pray to god’ – and I agree with Manksteve that it is reasonable to substute the word ‘hope’ for the word ‘pray’. I think it is very possible that the President is a closet atheist (at least it is wishful thinking on my part). At least he is not overtly religious………

  • jcm

    Speaking of praying, there are some people already doing it but the oil is still with us.

  • Patrick

    Ah, this is nice. It’s rare that, as a Republican atheist, the two things I dislike — liberals and religion — are so united and then subsequently so universally despised by everyone else.

    Right. You hate liberals, therefore everyone hates liberals. (Although I don’t understand, if you dislike religion, how can you like republicans? Or like being around them, if you don’t?)

  • @Maliknant: you misspelled “Gulf of America”. We can’t call it the Gulf of Mexico anymore; we broke it, we bought it.

    (credit to Stephen Colbert)

  • littlejohn

    If Jebus tried to walk on the water in the gulf, he’d slip and fall on his ass.
    BTW, how many ex-wives does “family values” Gingrich have at this point?

  • Joanna

    I loved Jon Stewart’s comment: “What’s with the freaky talk”. So funny. It seems odd for President Obama to end his speech by asking for a ‘Guiding Hand” in any sort of religious sense of the phrase…I would have liked President Obama to bring up the importance of scientific and technological solutions rather than “freaky talk”/prayer. I suppose it was his attempt to comfort us…which I rarely find appealing. Like many others, I want to hear a plan is in action and not that a commission is being formed to plan the plan.

  • Dan W

    I liked his Obama’s speech until the last minute-and-a-half or two minutes. I thought it was good until that point, but the bit involving the fisherman’s prayer and the “Guiding Hand”, and so on kinda weirded me out. Maybe he was just saying those things to reassure the more religious Americans, but in any case those last couple minutes didn’t seem to fit with the rest of his speech to me.

  • Dan W

    And Jon Stewart is awesome. My favorite part was probably when he showed Gretchen Carlson’s comments right after the speech, which were critical of Obama for his mention of prayer (which is odd coming from Fox News), then showed a clip from a few days before when she said he should try praying. Even when they like what Obama says the Fox News commenters still have to criticize him.

    I agree that think the “freaky talk” was unnecessary, and was only an attempt to comfort people. Didn’t comfort me though.

    Also… Republican atheist? How can you support a party that’s so overly religious and doesn’t want to see atheists treated equally to other Americans? As far as I’m concerned, the Republicans care more about getting re-elected than they do about improving the country. Then again, I’m fairly liberal.

  • Alan McGowan

    OH LORD, PLEASE SAVE US FROM THIS GIANT ROCK WHICH ABOUT TO CRUSH US ALL TO DEATH!!! Splat! Oh lord why did you let the rock crush us?! “SIMON DIDN’T SAY”.

  • justmeint

    Folks currently are questioning if God is so good, then why did He cause, or why did He allow the Deepwater Disaster to occur, killing 11 innocent men, and putting the entire eco system of the Gulf of Mexico into a catastrophic decline. And it’s not only the ecosystem but the future health and livelihoods of the Gulf’s inhabitants and possibly those of the entire southern parts of the USA. – Not to mention innocent people elsewhere, which the deadly toxins might affect, as is being postulated currently.

    http://just-me-in-t.blogspot.com/2010/06/courage-to-change.html

  • I loved Maddow’s version! Why couldn’t that have been what Obama said? So sad.

  • Fishtowntom

    I love when douchebags like Newt G. pass judgement on others. Why am I still hearing what this hypocritical A.H. has to say about anything?

    You “hope he means it,” Newt? Did YOU mean it when you recited the vows at your first marriage, Newt? Your second? Your third?

    Piss off, dirtbag!