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June 27th, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Prayers in the Gulf

It's Sunday morning and residents in in four states are waking up to another day of prayer.  Last Sunday, Louisiana's legislature had designated the day as a day of prayer.  The governors of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have declared today a day of prayer across the Gulf.

In CNN's oil spill coverage there's a great article by Belief Blog contributor Jessica Ravitz about the Vietnamese fishing community in the Gulf. She spoke with Rev Vien Nguyen, a major force in the community and the priest at Mary Queen of Vietnam church in New Orleans East.

In the rectory of Mary Queen of Vietnam Church, the Rev. Vien Nguyen sits in front of an altar to his ancestors and his Catholic faith. Religious texts in English and his native tongue fill the high shelves around him, as do books bearing titles like "Freshwater Crayfish Aquaculture," "The Evolution of Cajun & Creole Cuisine" and Franz Kafka's "The Trial."

Here, he introduces some of the Kafkaesque oil-disaster trials facing his own people.

The full article is here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Body Pillow ·

    electric motors can consume lots of electrical energy but they are very useful :

    November 8, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  2. Towel Rails 

    electric motors are great, they really help keep manual jobs easier*-.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  3. Muhammad Morgan

    electric motors would sometimes overheat if they are not properly ventilated,..

    August 12, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  4. John

    The gulf oil spill is prayer proof and god resistant.
    It will get cleaned up when humans clean it up,
    No deity will do it with magic.

    July 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  5. csjd56

    God is good and faithful. He permits suffering to test us, so we may be refined by the fires and come out more pure. All prayers have an answer, but the answer is not always yes. His grace is sufficient for every believer in the Gulf Coast deailng with the oil spill ordeal. It's up to them to trust and believe in that, faithing that He will pull them through.

    June 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  6. atheist

    this must be a perfect test for you believers.

    June 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  7. pastor warren j smith

    i really believe that prayer is a good thing
    i do know that it work for me
    so to you who don 't believe
    more power to you
    than don't pray

    June 28, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • A Big Hairy Eyeball Lukin' at U

      Let's pray your god can fix that lack of English skills you seem to struggle with, mr. smith.

      August 5, 2010 at 2:17 am |
  8. Chasemel

    Might I just take this opportunity to say it's inappropriate for our legislators to be deeming anything a day of prayer. How about we uhmm.... do something constructive? It's like when the governor of Georgia went to the capitol to pray for rain during the drought....

    June 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  9. dave

    well I for one will continue to chop down trees, litter whatever i can, spill oil at will, and if i have time maybe club a seal or 2

    June 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  10. Reality

    Bruno622, I don't remember that the chemistry of burning/oxidizing ethanol has changed since 2006. Maybe you are aware that some of the oxidation equations have changed since 2006?

    And from Consumer Reports, May 2010:

    Ethanol contains less energy per gallon than gasoline, so E85 gets roughly 30 percent fewer miles per tankful. Factoring in that loss, corn-based E85 is often more expensive than gasoline at today's prices—even after a 51-cent-per-gallon tax break.

    This lower fuel economy also results in more carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than burning gasoline. Ethanol advocates note that plants used to grow crops for ethanol absorb as much CO2 as the cars burning it emit, negating this problem. Other studies refute this claim.

    So far, cellulosic ethanol costs about 50 percent more than corn-based ethanol. Clearly, ethanol has a long way to go before becoming cost effective in the United States. And while it may reduce oil consumption, ethanol looks unlikely to have any long term benefits in reducing global warming.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      Reality fuel inefficiency does not mean more carbon emission. Ethanol is a clean burning fuel that barely burns any toxins into the air. Gasoline burns carbon dioxide into the air and harmful emissions that are responsible for the increase of global warming. It actually can reduce carbon monoxide emissions as low as 30%. As a matter of fact, it is the cleanest burning fuel on the market today. Home ethanol production is an excellent solution because you are making a clean fuel.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • Reality

      Oxidized ethanol is converted to water and carbon dioxide (both green-house gases) just like well-oxidized oil-based fuels. The only way to get clean energy is from solar, wind and hydroelectric power plants. And please note, large ethanol spills are responsible for huge fish kills in rivers, lakes and streams i.e ethanol becomes quite toxic at relatively low levels to all kinds of living species to include humans.

      June 29, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  11. Smith in Oregon

    Every Commercial Ethanol Plant produces more immediately usable fuel than any currently producing toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic crude Oil fossil fuel well produces gasoline in America.

    It takes at least 6 gallons of toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic crude Oil to produce a single gallon of gasoline, unlike a bio-renewable Ethanol plant, when that pocket of fossil fuel in the crude Oil deposit is gone, it's gone period and the carbon released must be artificially compensated unless you want to super saturate the worlds Oceans with carbon more than they are already.

    Funny, I don't see any of these Republican Big Oil corporations planting tree's to offset all the carbon fumes their product is spewing into America's atmosphere. Isn't it time to call Big Oil into account for the toxins, poisons and pollution their product produces?

    Ethanol is carbon-neutral, it doesn't produce more carbon than the feedstock captured. Pressuring America's automakers to have full Flex-Fuel capable autos and trucks should be already in place and taking place.

    E30 and E50 mixtures of Ethanol-Gasoline would almost immediately ween America from its dependence on ALL foreign crude Oil and those 'Oil Wars' that come with pouring 1 Billion dollars per day into the greedy hands of Middle East country's for their 'Oil'.

    Automakers can simply change the car and truck's fuel 'chip' to enable them to run on E30 and E50 mixtures at minimal costs (far less than 100 dollars).

    Federal Government should subsidize and give tax breaks to stations which add Ethanol-Gasoline mixing pumps which allow the consumer to adjust whatever Ethanol blend their vehicle can handle.

    June 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • Reality

      Smith in Oregon sounds like a corn farmer. Googe "ethanol in automobile engines" to see the real story about its "efficiency".

      June 28, 2010 at 12:09 am |
    • Umme Omar

      FYI, it is not j Middle eastern countries that are greedy. It is the oil companies and the congessmen that get bribed by these companies so that they stay on their sides. Our government is not exploring green energies because of these greedy oil giants. Besides, approximately 40% of America's oil comes from domestic oil fields in states like Texas, Alaska, and California. The other 60% of the US oil supply is from foreign sources. Canada, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Nigeria, Angola, and Iraq, Kuwait, Norway, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, and Algeria.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:22 am |
    • Umme Omar

      Even if ethanol is not a good choice, US should look for other green energies. Oil and other fossil fuels are not just used in cars, they are used in industries too. The carbon produced by burning these fossil fuels are emitted in the atmosphere and the whole earth shares this atmosphere. US is the biggest carbon producing nation in the world. We must look at ourselves first and then point fingers to other nations.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:31 am |
    • Smith in Oregon

      All internal combustion engines are very inefficient, even with superchargers and dual turbo's it's not even 20%. While everyday off the shelf electric motors are 95% efficient from energy IN to energy to the rear wheels.

      Ethanol from massive Sugar Cane plantations across the Gulf States could/would replace all of the Ocean crude Oil platforms and produce over their lifetime more immediately usable fuel also. Five commercial Ethanol plants in all of Louisiana would place as much if not more money into Louisiana's State coffers as ALL the Louisiana offshore Oil wells combined and have as many people hired and working family wage jobs also with none of the toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic pumping of millions of gallons of crude Oil which invariably spills baby spills into the air, food and water you drink.

      June 28, 2010 at 5:06 am |
    • Selfish Gene

      Ethanol causes more problems in older vehicles than you can even begin to grasp

      June 28, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • Reality

      What Smith in Oregon forgot to mention:

      Ethanol, or grain alcohol, produces 35 percent less energy per gallon than gasoline; thus the fuel economy of vehicles burning ethanol is lower. For instance, Consumer Reports tested a Chevrolet Tahoe running on E85 – a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. [See the figure.] Fuel economy fell from 21 miles per gallon (m.p.g.) to 15 m.p.g. on the highway and from 9 to 7 m.p.g. in the city. As a result, when E85 was $2.91 a gallon in August 2006, for example, it would have taken $3.99 of E85 to equal one gallon of gasoline.

      In addition, poorer fuel economy means vehicles will use more gallons of fuel, which could negate any air quality gains due to fuel economy improvement

      June 28, 2010 at 10:30 am |
    • Bruno622

      Reality – Look at the numbers you are using "from 2006". Four years later these don't hold water. The whole arguement revolves around keeping our money here or sending it over seas. I particularly am tired of seeing our country go further in debt while we spend huge amounts of $, not mention lives of our soldiers, for our thirst of OIL. We need to keep our revenue here regardless.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Reality

      Bruno622, Our troops are keeping Islamic terrorists in check. Oil is not a primary concern.

      June 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  12. Reality

    Why a day of prayer in Louisiana or any place else does not work and never will?

    If there were an interacting, all-knowing, all-caring god, the spill (hurricane, tornado, disease, accident) would not have happened to begin with.

    Once again in the words of the famous, contemporary theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx:

    "Christians (et al) must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history."

    "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices. Therefore the historical future is not known even to God, otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

    For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

    (Assuming there even is a god.)

    June 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • Joe

      o' contrare. I prayed for the gulf oil spill. God likes to me more than people who live near the gulf. So he listened to my prayer for an oil spill, and is ignoring their prayers to stop it.

      Want to know who will win the Superbowl next year?

      June 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • Trask

      Could you ask for three wishes?

      August 5, 2010 at 2:23 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.