While Science Points to Humans Causing Superstorms, Conservatives Blame Sin

Hurricane Sandy or God’s Smiting Hand? Photo: NASA via Getty Images

Two days ago, I fled the D.C. area  just ahead of what has been dubbed the “Frankenstorm” by some; a hybrid and a storm of historic proportions by others.  Media hysteria was impossible to escape. But there was reason for the hype, intentional and otherwise. As a National Weather Service meteorologist said on Facebook as the storm surged northward, “I’ve never seen anything like this and I’m at a loss for expletives to describe what this storm could do.”

It has been argued that Hurricane Sandy is the result of man’s interference with his environment. In other words, it is perhaps only the first monster storm of many that we shall be seeing in the coming years as the planet warms.

Sandy is the largest storm of ever hit the U.S. mainland. Over and over meteorologists on the Weather Channel expressed awe over its size, one of them assuring viewers that in 20 years of experience he had never seen anything like it. It was being called a superstorm, or another perfect storm, like that of 1991.

My path of flight took me through the mountains of West Virginia. After I got through, those mountains filled with snow. A day more in D.C. and I would not have been able to get through the one to three feet of snow brought by a Sandy-spawned blizzard.

As some on Twitter are saying, Sandy is Mother Nature’s revenge.

Of course, then there is the school of thought that says I was fleeing God’s wrath as if from a burning Sodom.

Republicans refuse to accept anthropogenic global warming as anything other than a liberal scare tactic, a plot; something that is no more likely than a raped women getting pregnant.

It is literally against their religion. So instead of acknowledging a scientific basis for storms like Hurricane Sandy, the GOP is forced to adopt the position that they are only a continuing sign of their god’s displeasure with the human race.

So far , the two main candidates for why God is angry this time are the state of U.S. relations with Israel,and  gays.

Pastor John McTernan, an anti-gay activist, says that Hurricane Sandy provides proof that “God is systematically destroying America.” This, he says, is what we get for promoting e “homosexual agenda.”  And Sandy does not stand alone. As further evidence, he presents Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Isaac (2012) as other episodes of divine wrath.

He’s not alone there. As noted on World Net Daily yesterday, “At the time of Hurricane Isaac, WND editor and CEO Joseph Farah wrote a commentary suggesting natural disasters are more often than the world realizes – or admits – messages from God” (look, don’t expect deep-thinking from Joseph Farah).

Hurricanes in the Atlantic are no more unusual this time of year than earthquakes along the Pacific Ring of Fire, though fundamentalist Christians prefer to see it as extraordinary that they could take place on different sides of the Pacific, an event so unusual that only God could be behind it.

Science notwithstanding, it turns out all three hurricanes are divine warnings. McTernan has this all figured out. Here is his reasoning:

Just last August, Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans seven years later, on the exact day of Hurricane Katrina.  Both hit during the week of the homosexual event called Southern Decadence in New Orleans!

Twenty-one years breaks down to 7 x 3, which is a significant number with God. Three is perfection as the Godhead is three in one while seven is perfection.

It appears that God gave America 21 years to repent of interfering with His prophetic plan for Israel; however, it has gotten worse under all the presidents and especially Obama. Obama is 100 percent behind the Muslim Brotherhood which has vowed to destroy Israel and take Jerusalem.  Both candidates are pro-homosexual and are behind the homosexual agenda. America is under political judgment and the church does not know it!

It is a kind of perfect storm of wrath, with God mad at us over just about everything. In addition to gays, McTernan says that God is royally pissed off about George Bush Sr and the Madrid Peace Process in 1991, which led to the surrender by Israel of occupied territory. McTernan insists that ‘America has been under God’s judgment since this event.’

The thing is, McTernan published a book back in 1998 proclaming that God was giving America its final warning. The description on Amazon.com reads:

God has revealed to John McTernan a most urgent message for a nation that is turning away from the living God. This wake-up call is for both those who know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour, and for those who do not. John delivers a message with overwhelming evidence that God is warning America with disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires that occur during acts of national disobedience.

I realize that fundamentalists will tell themselves that fourteen years is nothing to God but since the warning is to humans, to whom time means a great deal, we have to look at this alleged warning in human terms. God lost patience with us fourteen years ago, gave us our final warning, and what? Storm after storm like an infant stomping its feet but no denouement? What kind of warning is that?

Former pastor Drew Zahn, taking to the pages of World Net Daily, also believes Sandy could be a sign from God. Zahn reports that conservative Christian journalist and White House correspondent William Koenig “explained to WND that some of the United States’ most catastrophic storms and events have correlated closely with the nation’s God-defying attempts to divide the land of Israel.”

Oh dear.

“When we put pressure on Israel to divide their land, we have enormous, record-setting events, often within 24 hours,” Koenig told WND. “Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 – we have experienced over 90 record-setting, all-time events as we have acted against Israel. And the greater the pressure on Israel to ‘cooperate,’ the greater the catastrophe.”

Some of Koenig’s examples are startling.

“Hurricane Sandy is expected to come ashore in the Northeast on the 21st anniversary of the ‘Perfect Storm,'” Koenig related. “That record-setting storm devastated the New England coast as President George H.W. Bush co-sponsored the Madrid Conference from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 1991.”

The gullible Zahn is amazed, relating of Koenig that,

In fact, in his book “Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel,” Koenig points out that nine of the 10 costliest insurance events in U.S. history followed dramatic calls by U.S. officials for Israel to make land concessions in bids for peace with its neighbors. He points out with startling detail how six of the seven costliest hurricanes in U.S. history followed such events. He points out how three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history also followed such developments.

How handy that WND just happens to sell Eye to Eye in its store! Get yours today and put money in Joey Farah’s pocket! His thinking may not be deep but by gosh his pockets will be!

The marketing philosophy at WND seems to be: write something crazy we can sell and we’ll believe it heart and soul.

So far, the only absurdity Republicans have not fielded is that idea that Obama himself was behind the storm, as a means of suspending the elections and remaining president.

But science will not put a stop to this nonsense. There is no reason conservatives will not keep pointing fingers at God’s wrath when a storm hits; no reason they won’t do it tomorrow, next year, or even for the next thousand years or longer. They have been doing it, after all, for two thousand already.

It doesn’t matter that God never actually acts on his threats, punishing nobody beyond the threats themselves. He likes to bluster, apparently; as the old saying goes, his bark is worse than his bite. But hey, if God can rant for two thousand years, why not three thousand, or even four?

Meanwhile, science has explained the whole thing. Two weeks ago, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  published a major study that among other things, said,, “In particular, we estimate that Katrina-magnitude events have been twice as frequent in warm years compared with cold years.”

Warm years. Not years in which Israel gets screwed metaphorically or otherwise.

As Brad Plumer wrote in Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog yesterday, “Yes, Hurricane Sandy is a good reason to worry about climate change.” Plumer writes,

Humans, of course, aren’t responsible for the tides. But we are warming the planet right now and melting the polar ice caps, which is adding water to the ocean. In the mid-Atlantic region, the coastal seas have risen about eight inches since 1900. “That means,” notes [Michael] Lemonick [of Climate Central], “the storm tides from Sandy are that much higher than they would have been if the identical storm had come along back then.”

According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the sea level will rise an additional two to seven feet by the end of this century, and that “emissions reductions need to come early in this century to be effective.” Some scientists say it is already too late to slow the changes we have put into motion with our recklessness.

Clearly, there is no rush to reduce emissions for a fundamentalist Christian content to wait thousands of years for God’s intervention. After all, two thousand years have gone by and they haven’t lost patience with the divine yet.

But the human race cannot wait another thousand years even if a religious fanatic can. They’ll be treading water and praying but all of us will die because of the stubborn refusal of conservatives to look the facts in the face and acknowledge not the power of God, but the power of science and the human capacity for destruction.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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