Blowing Hot Air

September 01, 2011

Last week brought some unusual natural occurrences in Virginia, which were sadly followed by the usual dumb comments. On Tuesday of last week, a 5.8 earthquake hit about 60 miles away--which was quite an interesting experience as the whole house started shaking (and our dog ran around wild as if he thought it was a fun game). The dust had hardly settled from the earthquake--much larger than any previously recorded ones for this area--before televangelist (and God's hitman) Pat Robertson declared that the earthquake damage in Washington, D.C. was a sign from God. Robertson started his comments with the disclaimer, "I don't want to get weird on this." He then went on to get weird by suggesting that the cracks in the Washington Monument could be "a sign from the Lord."


On Saturday, Hurricane Irene passed by. Although I live a few hours from the coast, the edge of the storm passed over town, giving us a little bit of wind and rain. The storm created an eerie overcast (that made our dog unusually whiny and upset the whole time the storm passed by). Robertson seems to have been quiet about if God was sending a message with this unusual hurricane--perhaps because it hit his Regent University, forcing them to cancel classes and knocking out power. However, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann quickly jumped in to offer her assessment on the mind of God (perhaps since her presidential campaign is falling apart she is now running to be the next Pat Robertson). Bachmann suggested that the earthquake and hurricane were both signs from God for politicians to adopt the "TEA Party" agenda. She claimed:
I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending.
After rightfully being criticized for making these comments as people were still dealing with horrendous flooding and searching for lost loved ones, Bachmann's campaign claimed she was just joking. Apparently she thinks joking about God sending a hurricane to kill people and destroy homes is presidential and funny. It will be interesting to see if any of her supporters are upset by her "joke" about God, especially since part of her campaign strategy has been to go around to speak at various churches (see post here). The comments by both Robertson and Bachmann echo some of those I critiqued in my first book (For God's Sake, Shut Up!). And the advice still fits for both of them today as they need to be more careful with what they say.

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