Sometimes natural disasters are presented as proof of God’s judgement, as when George Floyd’s mural is struck by lightning or hurricanes arrive because of the gays. God exists, and he’s an angry conservative. Naturally, this line of thinking is dreadful, as the weather also provides clear signs God is a Leftist and a nonbeliever.
What else could one make of God sending lighting to burn down statues of Jesus, such as the King of Kings statue in Monroe, Ohio? Or to chip off Jesus’ thumb? Or to strike Jesus-actor Jim Caviezel while he was filming the Sermon on the Mount scene in The Passion of the Christ? What of the bible camps destroyed by wildfires? The solitary crosses in the middle of nowhere erased by flame, or those on church steeples eradicated by lightning? These incredible signs can be interpreted any way you like — that’s the fun of making stuff up. God prefers statues of Christ smaller than 62 feet, he doesn’t like Caviezel’s acting, the camp kids didn’t pray long enough, these were all just innocent weather events with no supernatural power or mind behind them, like lightning or fire scorching an empty field or a tree in the woods, and so forth. Perhaps God doesn’t want you to be a Christian, he wants you to be a traditional omnist, recognizing the truth of all religions, not taking a side with one faction. Perhaps he wants you to be an atheist because he’s a big joker and only skeptics get into heaven. Perhaps the Judeo-Christian god does not exist, and Allah or Zeus is displaying his wrath against a false faith. That’s the problem with taking natural disasters and assigning meaning and interpretation as proof of something — other people can do it too, and their interpretation, their “proof,” is just as solid (read: worthless) as your own. No critical thinker would engage in this sort of argumentation.
Not only do such remarkable miracles prove God is anti-Christian, others clearly reveal he’s a liberal, and with a delightful sense of humor to boot. How else to explain the pastor who declared natural disasters to be God’s punishment for homosexuality seeing his house destroyed by flood? Was the pastor secretly gay? Or just collateral damage, an innocent bystander, in God’s wrathful fit against LGBTQ people? No, most obviously, God was telling him to cut it out: God has no problem with homosexuality. This is like the pastor who thought COVID was brought about by sex outside marriage and then died from the virus: it wasn’t that the preacher was right, falling victim to a plague caused by others, it’s that God has no issues with premarital intercourse and thus did not send a calamity as retribution. Even more amazingly, religious conservatives like Anita Bryant once blamed a California drought on gays, but the dry spell ended, it began to rain, the day after Harvey Milk, a gay icon, was elected to San Francisco office. What a sign! Same for when an Alabama cop was struck by lightning a week after the Alabama house passed a restrictive bill against Black Lives Matter protests and while the Alabama senate was considering doing the same. And wasn’t the U.S. hit by COVID, double-hurricanes, and murder hornets soon after Trump was acquitted by the GOP-led Senate in early 2020? That can’t be a coincidence. Hurricanes, by the way, tend to hit southern conservative states of high religiosity — perhaps that doesn’t have anything to do with U.S. history and proximity to the gulf, but rather it’s punishment for rightwing policies, not queerness and abortion. Finally, recall when a Focus on the Family director asked everyone to pray for rain during the Democratic National Convention in 2008 so God sent a hurricane to disrupt the Republican National Convention? Finding signs and proof that God is a liberal isn’t difficult, given how weather functions.
Although, admittedly, the stories proving God is a leftwing, anti-religious fellow are not as common, given that it’s mostly religious conservatives who turn off their thinking caps, see providence behind every tornado, and write stories about it. When the Left or skeptics do this, it’s usually tongue-in-cheek, as with here.
Now, it’s true that some events and their interpretations align better with what’s in holy books. The gods of the bible and Qur’an want you to be a believer, not an atheist. Other things rely on human interpretation and choosing which parts of the book to take seriously: is gay marriage intolerable because being gay is an abomination, or just fine because we are to love one another and do unto others? Yet degree of alignment doesn’t actually make a claim that X disaster is proof of God or Allah and his rightwing judgement more convincing. The holy books could easily be fictional, as bad as the weather at proving a deity exists and revealing what its values are. Thus, one is free to imagine any supernatural being one wishes, and ascribe any values to him or her based on natural disasters. Any idea is just as valid as the next.
The point is made. Not only can a weather event be interpreted in countless ways (was the George Floyd mural struck because God is racist, because he heartlessly approves of Floyd’s murder, because he dislikes the Black Lives Matter movement in general, because he finds street art tacky, and so on), but it’s also obvious that various weather events will give contradictory messages about what the higher power believes and favors. The faithful can see and believe any sign they like, but bad arguments garner few converts.
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