This Week in God

THIS WEEK IN GOD…. First up from the God Machine this week is the new, faith-based response to the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf: Days of Prayer.

Four Gulf Coast governors are calling on residents to set aside Sunday as a Day of Prayer to pray for a solution to the oil spill and for citizens impacted by the disaster.

Alabama’s Bob Riley, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour and Texas’ Rick Perry all issued proclamations calling on prayer for the spill, which entered its 66th day Thursday.

“Throughout our history, Alabamians have humbly turned to God to ask for His blessings and to hold us steady during times of struggle. This is certainly one of those times,” Riley said in a statement.

Riley’s proclamation reads in part, “Citizens of Alabama are urged to pray for the well-being of our fellow citizens and our State, to pray for all those in other states who are hurt by this disaster, to pray for those who are working to respond to this crisis, and to pray that a solution that stops the oil leak is completed soon.”

Tomorrow’s regional prayer day will, as Kyle at Right Wing Watch reminds us, follow Monday’s prayer vigil in Louisiana for Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), where evangelical “intercessors” laid hands upon him.

Within a few days of Jindal’s vigil, an accident dislodged the containment mechanism from the wellhead, and Tropical Storm Alex started churning in the Caribbean. The timing could have been better.

Also from the God Machine this week:

* More fallout from the devastating scandal surrounding the Roman Catholic church and the sexual abuse of children: “An extraordinary series of raids on the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium provoked sharp criticism from the Vatican on Friday, with the church expressing ‘shock’ a day after Belgian investigators interrupted a bishops’ meeting at the church’s Brussels headquarters, detaining clerics for nine hours, and opened an archbishop’s grave at a cathedral north of the city.”

* Remember, the Fellowship Foundation is a religious organization: “A handful of Members of Congress have accepted more than $100,000 worth of free international travel from the religious organization affiliated with the ‘C Street house,’ a Capitol Hill townhouse linked to recent Congressional sex scandals. While most of the Members have taken a trip or two from the Fellowship Foundation, also known as the International Foundation, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) accepted foreign trips worth more than $50,000 over the past four years.” (thanks to reader D.J. for the tip)

* Interesting controversy in Chicago this week: “The Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of the agency’s first Muslim chaplain, citing only information revealed during a background check. A national Muslim advocacy group this week blamed the move on Islamophobia.”