Wednesday, 9 April 2008

When atheists begin to pray, things must be really bad

sant roma de sau
This is the church ruin of Sant Romà de Sau near Barcelona. Normally, it is flooded by the water reservoir of Lake Sau to the level of the steeple's roof. This year, the drought has been so bad that not only the ruin but a wide range of its surroundings are dry. Catalan minister of environmental affairs, Francesc Baltasar, has begun to pray to the saint Virgin of Montserrat for rain. Sounds not so surprising in Catholic Spain. But: Baltasar is a self-declared atheist.

This reminds me of other irrational reactions of despair I have come across. I have heard an adult person around me call for mama in a situation of pain and illness, and notabene mama has passed away years ago. I remember myself yelling to objects that did not behave as I wanted them to behave. And some Italian lovers are said to call for "mamma" when coming. Oh, oh, oh, we humans are not always very rational beings.

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