Four years ago, James Dobson led the faithful in prayer that a holy rain cloud might appear above an open air football stadium in Denver and manifest God's anger down Barack Obama's Democratic nomination acceptance speech. The future President of the United States ended up delivering a historic speech to thousands of his supporters with nary a cloud in the sky. One of the nicest days of the whole year, actually.
Four days later, the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul was nearly cancelled due to Hurricane Gustav. Now, we're learning that the Biblically-named Hurricane Isaac could very well be heading through Tampa just in time to cancel — or, at any rate, severely complicate — the 2012 RNC.
As a person who believes that scientists understand science better than average people — or a "heretic" if you will — I personally don't think much of this. Other than that it's a funny coincidence, and it's kinda what you get for choosing to hold your convention in the hurricane belt during hurricane season.
But, as the Washington Post's Dana Milbank points out, the conservative Christians of the GOP should maybe be paying it more heed…
By their own logic, Republicans and their conservative allies should be concerned that Isaac is a form of divine retribution. Last year, Rep. Michele Bachmann, then a Republican presidential candidate, said that the East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene — another "I" storm, but not an Old Testament one — were attempts by God "to get the attention of the politicians." In remarks later termed a "joke," she said: "It's time for an act of God and we're getting it."
The influential conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck said last year that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami were God's "message being sent" to that country. A year earlier, Christian broadcaster and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Robertson tied the Haitian earthquake to that country's "pact to the devil."
Previously, Robertson had argued that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for abortion, while the Rev. John Hagee said the storm was God's way of punishing homosexuality. The late Jerry Falwell thought that God allowed the Sept. 11 attacks as retribution for feminists and the ACLU.
He's kind of got a point. These people have found divine agency in practically every natural disaster of the past few years. But it never really works out quite the way they would lead us to believe it would. Instead of God sending down lightning to smite the Planned Parenthood in Middletown, Ohio, He chooses instead to raze the giant statue of His son in nearby Monroe. And when Gov. Rick Perry led his state in prayers for rain to end the drought that was strangling the great state of Texas, He instead sent wildfires. Ironically, it was during the atheist convention a short while later that He finally decided to end the drought.
So, why would God choose to behave so malevolently toward a political party that seems to be trying to please him at every turn? Actually, I have a theory about that: If God did in fact make us in His own image, then we will have to acknowledge that our traits and His traits. What mankind universally likes, God must like. And what we universally hate, He must hate.
And the simple truth is: Nobody likes a brown noser.
Photo by Spiralz/Wikimedia Commons
Tags: Natural Disasters, Religion, Republican National Convention