I've never been involved with ham radio myself, but apparently the culture has been changing over the past few years. More and more operators are becoming more and more explicitly religious -- even to the point of dismissing basic facts and reality in favor of pointless prayers. What's happened to the community?
I've been a ham for 49 years. There seems to be a growing presence of evangelical Christians on the ham bands lately. About one time in five or so, the ham at the other end finishes with "God bless" or something similar.
On a "reflector" (an Internet forum on a particular ham topic) dedicated to a specific brand of amateur radio equipment, one of the members asked everyone to pray for him because of the wild fires in Texas. One person pointed out that Gov Perry stopped funding for many of the volunteer organizations that would have helped combat the fires.
The original poster responded by calling him a "knee-jerk liberal." Several others chimed in with the condemnation, and offered their prayers. I resisted the impulse, either to respond to that, or to point out that Perry is also a global-warming denier, and that contributed to the fires in the first place.
These same people, if their equipment stopped working, would follow a rational and scientific process to find out why and fix it. I'm dismayed that so many hams turn to mythology and superstition.
It's quite sad that people would dismiss the relevance of ending funding for fire services when there's a problem with too many fires. It's like people worrying about the levels of crime then denouncing someone for pointing out that the current government had cut funding for police, courts, and crime intervention -- how stupid would that be?
Well, it would be about as stupid and calling for prayers to beg a god to solve the crime problem instead of looking at whether the government has done things to create or exacerbate the problems and what people might be able to do to fix things. And that wouldn't be any less wise, intelligent, or sensible than praying to beg a god to solve a fire problem rather than look at what the government might have done to make the situation worse and what might be changed in the future to prevent such problems from happening again.
Is there something about Christianity in America today that makes people arrive at the most ridiculous, worthless, and unintelligent conclusions possible? Or is it perhaps just Americans themselves? Add your thoughts to the comments here or join the ongoing discussion in the forum.