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?Going God Over Gas

Here’s a valuable use of time: A group called the Pray at the Pump Movement will congregate at a Shell gas station in DC this afternoon to — you guessed it — pray in celebration of falling gas prices. Seems this group launched its plight in April, encouraging motorists to pray for lower fuel prices as they filled their vehicles. Now that oil prices have dropped to roughly $114 a barrel — the lowest tally in months — they want to give God a shout-out of thanks.

(Back on planet Earth, economists attribute the falling prices largely to the fact that Americans are driving much less. The Energy Information Administration reported Tuesday that U.S. demand in the first six months of 2008 dropped further, relative to a year ago, than it has since 1982.)

The group also says it plans to “pray for comedian Jay Leno for his comments against the Pray at the Pump Movement,” according to one daybook entry announcing the event. That’s because of remarks Leno made last month during his stand-up monologue:

Hey, have you heard about this group called Prayer at the Pump? They’re a prayer group that springs up, and they go to gas stations and they hold hands and they pray for lower gas prices. Otherwise known as the Bush energy plan.

Seems pretty tame to us, but what the hell, maybe the push will gain traction. As Columbia University political scientist David L. Epstein said this week: “There are no atheists in a hurricane.”

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