A few months ago, Michele Bachmann urged Americans to kneel before God for 9/11 to ask for aid in protecting the country on this day of judgement.
Let’s dissect the logic in her argument:
Prayer stops terrorist attacks
Terrorist attacks happen
/The amount of prayer is insufficient to stop terrorist attacks.
This form is valid in that it can be applied in different situations and still work. The problem is that the argument is not factually correct. We do not know objectively whether prayer has the ability to stop or enable something to happen. In addition, this argument falls victim to the single-causation fallacy where we assume things happen for a single reason. Because the premises are not factually correct, the argument is not sound despite it being valid.
I think this argument comes from the politician’s want to appeal to the Christian voter base of America. In asking the Americans to pray to a god the majority of them believe in for an event that the majority of them agree is bad, frightening or mournful, she would be able to round up support in either her campaign or that of the party she supports. Being so blunt in asking Americans of different faiths, beliefs and ideologies to support the ideals of a single group in official governmental status is bound to create some backlash and tensions between supporters and non-supporters. This sort of behaviour could create a society in which the people are so split it enables a non-secular two-party stalemate to remain the status quo.