Friday, August 26, 2011

Let’s Blame God … Because Surely Science Doesn’t Offer a Good Explanation!

Yesterday on his 700 Club program, longtime anti-everything bigot Pat Robertson blamed this week’s east coast earthquake on G-d because, you know, G-d might be pissed about gays or abortion or something.

Ladies and gentlemen I don’t want to get weird on this so please take it for what it’s worth. But it seems to me the Washington Monument is a symbol of America’s power, it has been the symbol of our great nation, we look at that monument and say this is one nation under God. Now there’s a crack in it, there’s a crack in it and it’s closed up. Is that a sign from the Lord? Is that something that has significance or is it just result of an earthquake? You judge, but I just want to bring that to your attention. It seems to me symbolic. When Jesus was crucified and when he died the curtain in the Temple was rent from top to bottom and there was a tear and it was extremely symbolic, is this symbolic? You judge.

In this particular diatribe, he doesn’t get around to explaining the particular thing that might have pissed off the benevolent deity upstairs. But we know that Robertson has previously blamed natural disasters on America’s tolerance for abortion, homosexuality, and other sins.

Frankly, I’m getting tired of this kind of “G-d is punishing America” bullshit. For one thing, I remain firmly convinced that the earthquake was caused by … wait for it … plate tectonics which is, you known, explainable by science. I don’t think a deity, benevolent or sadistic, had anything to do with it.

But on the off chance that I’m wrong, might there be some other reasons besides Robertson’s usual list for which _____ [insert the identity of your favorite or least favorite deity; for purposes of the rest of this post, let’s just refer to him/her/it as Mr. Deity] might be pissed? I mean, isn’t it possible that Mr. Deity is pissed at America because we allow people to be homeless and sleep in the streets at night? That seems like a worse sin that tolerating homosexuality. Maybe Mr. Deity is pissed because we still allow millions of children to go hungry or without decent healthcare. That seems a worse sin than tolerating abortion. Maybe Mr. Deity was showing his frustration because House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (who is from Virginia where the epicenter of the quake was located) refuses to try to lessen the burdens on the least among us so that he can protect tax breaks and corporate tax loopholes for the richest Americans. If I was a benevolent deity, that would certainly piss me off. Or maybe Mr. Deity was just trying to say “a pox on all your houses” because of the gridlock in Washington. Perhaps, but if Mr. Deity is really supposed to be benevolent, then I’d expect him to at least frown on the GOP’s antics. On that note, it’s probably worth noting that earlier this year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry sponsored a three-day prayer for rain to ease the Texas drought (yes, that was a different prayer event than his big Houston shindig). Um, guess what? No rain.

Or maybe the earthquake had nothing to do with politics at all. Maybe Mr. Deity is a Washington Nationals fan and he’s pissed at year after year of bad baseball. If so, I’m glad that Mr. Deity isn’t a Pittsburgh Pirate fan because, if so, that city would have been laid waste years ago. But we know that Mr. Deity must be a sports fans given how many players seem to think that he’s taken an active roll in their success. Maybe Mr. Deity simply got fed up with sitting in Washington DC’s epic traffic jams and the earthquake was a form of road rage. Or maybe, just maybe, Mr. Deity was pissed because McDonald’s couldn’t get his order right; I mean that’s something that we’ve all experienced a bit of rage over, isn’t it? Maybe Mr. Deity has a favored prophet who happens to have a financial stake in the general contractor that would be hired to repair the Washington Monument!

But back to Pat Robertson’s claims. If Mr. Deity is angry about tolerating homosexuality, shouldn’t Iowa be a wasteland and Massachusetts be at the bottom of the Atlantic? And why hit Washington DC instead of New York where same-sex marriage was just legalized? Is Mr. Deity’s earthquake aim that bad or is he just really tardy in setting wrath against wicked cities? If the anger has something to do with abortion, why crack the Washington Monument? After all, the Supreme Court is only about a mile away and it was the Supreme Court that legalized abortion back in 1973. And I note that most of the natural Mr. Deity-caused disasters we’ve seen in the world (earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan; tsunamis in Thailand, Indonesia, and Japan; famine in east Africa) don’t quite seem tied to the sorts of sin that Robertson likes to rant about. Exactly why were those countries and regions punished? Similarly, those countries with more liberal abortion and gay rights policies (I’m looking at you Western Europe and Israel) don’t seem to have suffered many natural Mr. Deity-caused disasters recently. Hmm.

I wonder. Could it be that abortion or homosexuality or generic sin have nothing to do with earthquakes? Might it be best to blame the earthquake on, you known, physics and plate tectonics?

If I turn into a pillar of salt tonight, then maybe I’m wrong; but if not, perhaps I’m on to something?

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