Severe weather is hammering the southern states, all those states that didn’t vote for Obama. Tornadoes, flooding, snow, and ice are causing havoc across the so-called Bible Belt. Texas just got hit with a horrendous tornado. What’s going on? Could God be punishing the red states? Is it possible that God is a liberal Democrat who hasn’t entirely abandoned His penchant for cruel and unusual punishments? After all, the states now getting hit by severe storms and tornadoes are the very ones that have the most climate change deniers, Birthers, creationists, and opponents of Gay marriage. Maybe God isn’t happy with those positions.
American religious right wingers always assume that God is on their side, and they’re always looking for concrete signs that He hates liberals and heathens. Many on the religious right believe that AIDS was a punishment God visited on homosexuals for a wicked lifestyle. But if that’s true, there hasn’t been a lot of follow-through. If anything, God seems to be favouring Gays these days. Gay-friendly cities enjoy more economic prosperity than other cities. The most gay-friendly cities—San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Portland, and Tampa—are prosperous centers of technological innovation. Cities that are hostile to Gays tend to be backwater shit holes. And there has been a sea change in attitudes toward Gays; who’s to say that God hasn’t been changing people’s hearts? How can we explain Pope Francis, who declines to pass judgment on Gays? The good Pope recently said that even atheists who follow their conscience will be welcomed into heaven.
Of course, many religious right wingers, and not all of them Protestants, think Pope Francis is the anti-Christ, but the proof is in the pudding. Rome hasn’t been hit by any tornadoes lately. Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee—all states without a lot of Pope Francis fans—have been kicked in the teeth by severe storms and just generally nasty weather. Amidst the tornadoes, there have even been lightning strikes. What greater sign of divine disfavour is there than lightening strikes?
We know the Lord has always hated fornicators of the heterosexual persuasion. Fornicating lurks behind divorce. It so happens that the Bible Belt has a higher divorce rate than the rest of the country, and it sure as hell isn’t Gays getting divorced. On the whole, the Bible Belt has more divorce, more crime, more unemployment, more high school dropouts, more teen pregnancies, and more church goers than the rest of the country. The Lord moves in mysterious ways, but this is all looking pretty clear. God has it in for the Bible thumpers.
God abhors wrong belief, of course. But what if, as someone has suggested, God punishes those who believe with too little evidence and rewards those who don’t? So much for your creationist bullshit, Billy Bob. And where are all the believers in evidence-free Birther nonsense about Obama being a Kenyan-born Muslim? Quite a few of them are huddled in tornado shelters.
So whose side is God on? Except for His tendency to be petulant and violent—He is no pacifist—I put Him squarely in the left liberal camp. Donald Trump has said that the Bible is his favourite book. I wouldn’t want to be standing too close to him if says that again.