I figured it was just a matter of time before the religious wingnuts came out. The organization, Repent America, implies that Hurricane Katrina was sent by God to destroy New Orleans before its Southern Decadence festival. I’m guessing Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are still reeling from the Chavez comments. It hasn’t been long enough for them to forget themselves and say something asinine, but I don’t expect that to last.
Less offensive, but still disturbing are the claims of prayers answered. One South Carolina blogger claimed that her mother-in-law’s prayers caused Hurricane Dennis to miss Mobile Bay…
As hurricane Dennis fast approached the Gulf Coast on Sunday, July 10, our relatives’ home on Mobile Bay was in line for a direct hit. They hadn’t even completed all the repairs from damages caused by last year’s Ivan. If Dennis would only turn a little bit more to the east, the potential problems would be significantly less.
My sister-in-law phoned my mother-in-law moments before she left for Sunday School.
"Please pray for us," she asked, "and have your Sunday School class pray for us, too. Pray that this hurricane turns away from us."
They did. and it did. and this is no surprise to any of us.
My first thought is that this concept of prayer is terribly self-centered. If these claims are true, then God paid attention to this prayer, but apparently ignored the prayers of all those others that did wind up in the path of Dennis. It also causes one to wonder about all those prayers for those in the path of Katrina. Of course, Repent America would have us believe that New Orleans deserved it, and no amount of praying would spare the city. But that doesn’t explain Gulfport and Biloxi (oops, casinos) or those inland towns.
To her credit, the blogger did modify the comments about prayer, and offered a very good reconsideration. However, I’ve heard the similar comments from others who would be less likely to to alter their views. I saw the same thing when Bush was elected – thanks expressed to God. Did those same people offer their thanks when Clinton was elected? I think not. Apparently God takes part in their politics as well as alters the laws of nature for them.
I have found a religion with which I can related. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was founded by Pastafarian Bob Henderson, who wrote an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education asking that Flying Spaghetti Monsterism be taught along side of Evolution and Intelligent Design. I’m currently researching hymns and possible anthems – perhaps something with the tune of Gilligan’s Island?