Last Updated:October 24 @ 11:32 am

Atheists Rip Ag Secretary for Praying for Rain

By GOPUSA Staff

Many parts of America are currently experiencing severe drought. It has gotten so bad that crops are withering away. And so when Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack gave a briefing to reporters, he mentioned that he has been praying for rain. This, of course, has thrown the atheists into a tailspin.

As reported by Buzzfeed.com, Vilsack was briefing reporters on the current weather conditions and said "that he is praying for rain to end the drought parching 61 percent of the United States."

"I get on my knees every day," he said on July 18. "And I'm saying an extra prayer now. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it."

That's when the Council for Secular Humanism went into an uproar.

In a statement, Tom Flynn, the executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, said Vilsack's mention of prayer "sends the wrong message to distraught farmers."

"[Praying] for rain? That's not just government entangling itself with religion, that's government publicly practicing it, and wallowing in superstition," he said.

The press release issued by the Council for Secular Humanism goes on to say that Vilsack's statement "sends the wrong message."

"It sends the wrong message to distraught farmers when the Agriculture Secretary suggests that the best response is to pray," said Flynn. "For a Cabinet official to recommend prayer as a solution or call attention to his own devotions may violate the Constitution's prohibition against establishment of religion. Most important, though, is that prayer doesn't work. But if you want to test the power of prayer yourself, consider this. Apparently Secretary Vilsack's been praying for rain every day; how's that working out?"

This is just outrageous! How many times have Americans turned to prayer in times of need? It is part of who we are, both as individuals and as a country.

As a side note, Politico.com reports that "Oddly, just hours after Vilsack's prayer, Washington D.C. and New York City were inundated by severe thunderstorms and heavy rain."

Hey... Tom Flynn... how's that working out for you?

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88 Comments

  1. cxComment by genesal
    July 19, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    “It sends the wrong message to distraught farmers when the Agriculture Secretary suggests that the best response is to pray,”

    What other message is there? It IS the best response, it is the only alternative, there is nothing else that can be done.

    There is NOTHING in our Constitution banning prayer from within or from without, government, no limitations, no bans, nothing, nada. In fact I encourage atheists to pray to their nothing for rain!

    Hiring a few Indians to do rain dances might not hurt also.

    As for me and my family, we’ll pray for rain to our most benevolent and loving God.

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    • FlaJimComment by FlaJim
      July 19, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

      Hey, if Vilsack wants to do a rain dance, I’d think he was a little nuttier than I already consider him but I wouldn’t get my shorts in a knot.

      Odd how the atheists always center their wrath on Christians. Anyone else notice that? All the false religions seem to get a pass from the career atheists.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      July 19, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

      Jim, that’s because only Christianity poses a threat to the atheists. The false religions get a pass because they had no part in the founding of this nation. A lot of the cults and sects we see today weren’t even in existence then.

      Have you ever noticed how atheists pick their fights? They don’t ever go to Washington and demand that ALL religious phrases be removed from all government buildings or insist that all U.S. currency be changed because they know they would be run out of town.

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    • commonsenseneededComment by commonsenseneeded
      July 19, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

      Farmers have prayed for rain since the beginning of time! I don’t know if the prayers helped, or if the weather patterns finally changed and brought the much needed relief. But,the point is, prayer hurts nothing, and if it helps in any way, even if it only makes the farmers feel like help could come from a higher being, then what the heck is the harm? And for all of you who are athiests, I say this; mind your own darned business. If you don’t want to watch or hear someone pray, move away! Did it ever occur to you, that the things about others that you find objectionable, may be nothing compared to what THEY find objectionable or even offensive about YOU! Last I heard, this IS still a free country, and please, feel free to leave the source of whatever it is that is irritating you!

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    • mcrankComment by mcrank
      July 19, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

      Do these people just have nothing constructive to do? Nobody is telling them that THEY have to pray

      FYI, Mr Flynn, you have a very obvious lack of knowledge concerning God and how prayer works. Prayer is a petition to God—God decides whether or not to send the rain. It isn’t a push-button for auto-response. By the way—what are YOU doing that’s working so well??

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    • mfinityComment by mfinity
      July 20, 2012 @ 1:59 am

      Wow, and what of Gen. Washington’s prayer at Valley Forge? Did he not petition some form of Divine Intervention on behalf of the “Colonies”??? Should Gen Washington have just surrendered the “rebellious colonies” back to their “Mother England”???

      Mr. Flynn likely wishes we were still the “Expanded American Colonies of Greater Britain”. FYI- the Americans won that war, and came to the Americas in the first place, for Religious FREEDOM (among other reasons).

      In fine, Mr. Flynn:: If YOU don’t have a BETTER idea, SHUT YER PIE HOLE!

      ~M~

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    • canada3dayerComment by canada3dayer
      July 21, 2012 @ 12:07 am

      Flynn can’t even get it straight – nowhere did Sec Vilsack say anything at all about encouraging others to pray, or that the gov’t was praying for rain – he simply said HE was praying. too bad there’s nowhere on their site for comments…

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  2. billwvComment by billwv
    July 19, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    Secretary Vilsack has as much right to pray as the atheists have not to. “If I send famine ….. If my people will humble themselves and pray….
    Keep on praying; asking, seeking, knocking.

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  3. hollygirlComment by hollygirl
    July 19, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

    I’m pretty positive the farmers themselves are praying for rain!
    And I am very happy, but surprised to hear, that a Democrat appointee of Obama is praying for ANYTHING instead of just looking to the Great One (Obama) to supply the need.

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    • mfinityComment by mfinity
      July 20, 2012 @ 2:05 am

      They don’t want us to pray to any form of Deity other than the Great One – Are we suddenly back to living in Ancient Egypt???
      Is PotUS as much a GOD as was Pharaoh???
      (of course that last part IS true:: Pharaoh WAS just a MAN)
      When did we Appoint PotUS the same privileges as had Pharaoh of old?
      ~M~

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  4. galexComment by galex
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    Sure glad to see we have a government official that recognizes the source of all that his department oversees. Agriculture is solely dependent upon weather and God who contols it.

    I wonder what exactly Tom Flynn is doing about the lack of rain?………..que the crickets.

    Keep praying Sec. Vilsack, I’m with ya on this one.

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  5. jdb121Comment by jdb121
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

    What the atheists and the Council for Secular Humanism have proved is that anybody is entitled to his opinion and can exercise his first Amendment right to freedom of speech. Why don’t they recognize prayer as an exercise of the freedom of speech. We will leave it up to the atheists and the council to decide whether, if as a result of the exercise of freedom of speech, it should happen to rain, it is the result of the power of opinion or the power of prayer.

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  6. ttopeComment by ttope
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    Mr. Tom Flynn

    I personally am very pleased that our Agriculture Secretary is praying for rain. I will join him with his thoughtfulness.

    If you don’t like it, learn to get over it.

    If you’re the constitutional expert that you protray yourself to be, “We have a freedom of religion” not from. The separation between church and state means that the government can’t mandate what church you should go to and how much you should tithe.

    I’ll say a prayer for you too.

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    • MaryComment by Mary
      July 19, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

      If the so-called atheists don’t like the way we do things here, let them move to a communist country where they don’t have any freedom of religion, or any free speech.

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  7. Kenneth P. JacobusComment by Kenneth P. Jacobus
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    Prayer certainly can’t hurt and might even help. What are you atheists doing to help relieve the drought? Nothing. All you are doing is trying to force your views on others.

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    • Allen SComment by Allen S
      July 19, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

      Interesting that Atheist want to force their lack of belief in God on us when we don’t force our belief in God on them — even though they think we do. There have been anti-God people since the beginning of time and always will be just like there has been God loving people from the beginnng of time. It just looks like towards the end of time we have the anti-God people speaking out more than ever since Satan if frantically trying to gain more people on his side.

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  8. Sani MustaphaComment by Sani Mustapha
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    There is certainly prayer but it is bitter.

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    • julianna1Comment by julianna1
      July 19, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

      I’m afraid that comment escapes me. What do you mean “bitter?” It’s not likely the person praying is bitter, so it must be you.

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  9. BishopComment by Jamie Krasnoo
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    Those Atheists, can sit and spin.

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  10. Norma Jean BuhleComment by Norma Jean Buhle
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    Beyond understanding, and common sense why atheists object to prayer, when they say they do not acknowledge, or believe GOD exists. ??

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    • BishopComment by Jamie Krasnoo
      July 19, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

      Their objection was not to Vilsack praying but that he had publicly as an official admitted to and condoned praying.

      To which the Fascists at Council for Secular Humanism are wrongly applying the First Amendment to this, and are wrongly applying the words “separation of church and state” which does not appear in the Constitution at all. Vilsack in this case is merely affirming and stating his beliefs, not making law and definitely not prohibiting the free exercise of Atheists to not believe in God. I view this as an attempt to silence the Secretary since extremists like the Council for Secular Humanism don’t want to hear about God AT ALL, as they feel that it is an affront to them to have to hear it since they don’t believe in it.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      July 19, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

      Then if they believe there was no God (which their definitely is) they would have nothing to complain about. Either way their complaining about something they claim doesn’t exist. I see no logic in this. That’s like me complaining about lasioeoijadfslj, which doesn’t exist!

      Why do they claim ‘no God’ but follow Satan?

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    • GordonComment by Gordon
      July 19, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

      Might I add; I don’t see them proposing or performing any alternative. So, whats wrong with praying when they aren’t doing or going to do anything but sit around and complain about those who believe in and pray to the God who promises to hear our prayers.

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  11. Michael HendersonComment by Michael Henderson
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

    Excellent. I sent off an email this AM to s friend of mine just after dawn and in the email I said, “Jesus send the rain” and a few minutes later, praise God, it rained! It rained off and on for about 1 hour. I love the Lord’s answer to Tom Flynn.
    /

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    • MaryComment by Mary
      July 19, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

      I’m right with you there!

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  12. Michael HendersonComment by Michael Henderson
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

    Sorry about the fat Finger in the spelling. May the Lord send more rain!

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  13. rustypatComment by rustypat
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

    Hmmm … is there a trend starting to develop?

    All of Illinois is now officially in a drought, and state officials are looking to the heavens for some intervention.

    As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday asked people to pray for rain, saying it is “serious.”

    “I mentioned the power of prayer. That’s a good thing to do,” Quinn said.

    Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller also emphasized the desperate need for rain.

    “The best thing for us to do is just hope and pray for rain, and hopefully that will turn around, but there’s really a forecast of not much of an end in sight in terms of our drought conditions,” Miller said.

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  14. rustypatComment by rustypat
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

    Of course … if Romney were to pray for rain, and God delivered … he’d be accused of “outsourcing”.

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  15. MaryComment by Mary
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

    Contrary to some popular belief, there is no separation of church and state. The first amendment simply says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Secretary has a perfect right to pray or not to pray. It is his choice.

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    • julianna1Comment by julianna1
      July 19, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

      True, but the thing that is such a joke is that they say it’s “sending the wrong message.” Just what do they suggest would be the alternative? They need to find something productive to do with their time.

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    • cdrcodyComment by cdrcody
      July 21, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

      “sends the wrong message”? I have yet to hear anybody say what the “right” message is. Praying for rain? Go for it. It can’t hurt and might even help?

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  16. thedoveComment by thedove
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    The press conference I’d love to see:

    Reporter (I use the word loosely), “Secretary Vilsack, are you aware that the Council for Secular Humanism is upset over your call for prayer to end the drought?”

    Vilsack, “Yeah, I saw Flynn’s statement.” Chuckle. “Next question?”

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  17. judyg46Comment by judyg46
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    This is just rediculous! Just don’t listen if you don’t want to participate. We have done it that way for decades; it’s called “tolerance”…the true definition of the word. I don’t expect you to participate and sue you if you don’t. Sheesh! I’m curious about what they think of Muslims closing down streets for their call to prayer 5 times daily???

    And, if you say you don’t even believe in God, what do you have to worry about??? It’s okay, you’ll soon find out who is right.

    Get off your litigious mentality and trying to control everything everyone says. Who do you think you are, anyway??? Good grief!

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      July 19, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

      As I said earlier, atheists choose their fights. You have never heard any atheist complain about the Muslims insisting on special treatment in order to pray in public. Is that because they know Muslims would cut their throats and claim they were insulting the prophet?

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  18. robertdavidhummelComment by robertdavidhummel
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

    From one Christian ..to.. one Atheist….
    “God doe”nt choose to send people to hell….
    HE JUST HONORS YOUR CHOICE”.
    May GOD CONTINUE TO.. BLESS… WE …THAT CHOOSE TO SERVE A RISEN SAVIOUR.
    Thank You Secr. Tom Vilsack for your Christ-Like EXAMPLE of a GOOD GOV’T, LEADER.

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  19. pwpmmpComment by pwpmmp
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    I am sick to death of atheists complaining about people of faith. I don’t care if they believe in anything or not. I don’t care if they pray, or go to church, or worship jellybeans or worship nothing at all. I don’t persecute them for their lack of belief. Now leave us alone! Secretary Vilsack has every right to pray, and frankly, I thought his “message” was supportive and empathetic. He has every right to speak about praying in public, and in this current climate of religious persecution, I’m glad he has the guts to mention it. If atheists don’t believe in God, then why do they get their panties in such a bunch when people of faith pray? I think they doth protest too much.

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    • liesmaComment by liesma
      July 20, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

      What is so frustrating to them is precisely that we “don’t” care what they think. I met a young well educated college woman last Christmas who declared she was an atheist…yet had no idea who Madalyn Murray O’Hair was. I simply raised my eyebrows, and said “Really? Look her up.” How on earth can you be a true atheist in the US and not know who Madalyn Murray O’Hair was… I don’t think most younger atheists really understand what being an atheist is.

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  20. BillComment by Bill
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    MY garden wasn’t doing well for lack of rain, so I looked up at the sky and prayed for rain a few hours later it rained. I told my neighbor, he said, this is the only area it rained in. I said,”Praise God! Thank you God for rain”.

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  21. TucsonTerpFanComment by TucsonTerpFan
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    From the group’s website:

    “The mission of the Council for Secular Humanism is to advocate and defend a nonreligious lifestance rooted in science, naturalistic philosophy, and humanist ethics and to serve and support adherents of that lifestance. The Council is North America’s leading organization for non-religious people.”

    Paradox Alert: “The Council is North America’s leading organization for non-religious people.” So the group owes its existance to the fact that there are “religious people”

    Without religious people, the group would have nothing to organize about or to attempt to eliminate, and it would have nothing that sets the group and its members apart from the millions of others who are “religious people!”

    So, as a “religious person,” I’m waiting for my “thank you” from the group, so I can say, “you’re welcome!”

    So, the group owes a “big thank you” to religious people!

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    • cxComment by genesal
      July 19, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

      Without God there would be no punishment. Science neither proves good or evil. So any nonreligious lifestance rooted in science, naturalistic philosophy, and humanist ethics and to serve and support adherents of that lifestance has to be borrowed from Religion. Without God there would be an innate philosophy, naturalist or otherwise and no ethics or even inkling or need to do good. That is less than animals are born with.

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    • BishopComment by Jamie Krasnoo
      July 19, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

      “Without God there would be no punishment.”

      Man asserts punishment as well. If man came up Godless I still believe we would have a good moral compass due to our emotions.

      “Science neither proves good or evil.”

      Morals have to do with psychology. A science of the study of the mind. A person is taught what is “good” and what is “evil”. The question is, what have they been taught that is good or evil.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      July 19, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

      Man has asserted punishment because there is a God. From the beginning when Cain was punished. Your argument is light on logic.

      As for morality atheists wouldn’t even know what it was but for the Bible (Genesis) and Christians:

      Right and wrong (morality) are Christian concepts which go back to Genesis. By attempting to be moral, therefore, the evolutionist is being irrational; for he must borrow biblical concepts which are contrary to his worldview.
      The Genesis of Morality

      The Bible teaches that God is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3). All things belong to God (Psalm 24:1) and thus, God has the right to make the rules. So, an absolute moral code makes sense in a biblical creation worldview. But if the Bible were not true, if human beings were merely the outworking of millions of years of mindless chemical processes, then why should we hold to a universal code of behavior? Could there really be such concepts as right and wrong if evolution were true?

      You’re wrong Morality is a Commandment.

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  22. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    We have zero tolerance for atheists objecting to someone praying…In our constitution it’s called Freedom OF Religion and NOT Freedom FROM Religion. These atheists constitute less than 2% of our population and yet our politicians, liberal judges and government gives them too much time and power re: their objections. To hell with them (literally).

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  23. prouddemComment by prouddem
    July 19, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    Okay, all you bible thumpers out there. So the atheists want a little press. Big deal. Don’t let this little kerfuffle distract from the corporations picking your pocket, withholding jobs so President Obama looks bad. Quit letting folks tear us apart instead of helping us find common ground. Besides, Vilsack didn’t say who he was praying TO. And if we don’t know WHO he was praying to, how can you say the complaint from the atheists was an anti-Christian message? Vilsack’s point was that he would do ANYTHING to help end the drought. Let’s move on to REAL issues.

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    • BadgerComment by Badger
      July 19, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

      Nobody thumps on bibles … this is the heat being slowly turned up on the pot … Can’t just take over and destroy someones culture overnight … you have to start with the children, take over the schools and make them your youth … oooom … oooomm .. oooomm. Use propaganda through a state run (or bought with campaign dollars) media to marginalize those who would be your enemies. Sooner or later you’ll be able to burn their bibles and put them on the train to bible camp … been done before … takes time to accomplish these things … the heat got turned on this pot in about 1965, the last year we were allowed to say the Lords prayer in school. It’s just unfortunate so many from my generation have such short memories … a 4th grade education in 1965 would go a long way to dispelling many of the growing myths associated with these Socialist front groups and Green Global Warming fanatics like Al Gore … anybody notice how bad that man wanted to rule over your lives with his do as I say not as I do attitude … This was the Greatest Nation on Earth giving the World Planes, Autos, Electricity and on and on … One Nation under God where it’s citizens were endowed with rights by their creator … we started closing the door in that creators face in 1965 and look where we are now …

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  24. WaltComment by Walt
    July 19, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    I am sick and tired of the Atheist when they talk about the Separation of religion and politics, the Amendment was to stop the Government from telling the Church what Religions they could have, that is the reason so many people left Europe. The Atheist seems to be afraid of Christianity, they never say anything about other Religions I wonder way. I can tell you Prayer works, my Grandson was born early with the umbilical cord wrap around his neck, the Doctors had to do an emergency c-section, that little boy stay in ICU for 13 days we need not know if he would live or if he did how much damage was there to the brain, there was people from North Carolina to AZ. praying for him, and one night it was like a light switch flipped on, he is six year old today and the only thing wrong with this 100% boy that does not stop is he has a k little speech impairment. There is no nowt that God does answer Prayers.
    Thank you God for being there when ever we need you.

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  25. Norma Jean BuhleComment by Norma Jean Buhle
    July 19, 2012 @ 5:50 pm
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