Michele Bachmann declared that last week’s earthquake in DC and the damage done by Irene are a message to politicians from God.
Ms. Bachmann, some questions.
How do we determine which disasters are messages from God, and which ones aren’t his fault, but instead should appeal to Him to fix? Governor Perry held a day of prayer in Texas to alleviate that state’s crippling drought. How’d he know that wasn’t a punishment from God? Wouldn’t that just make God madder, like, “Hey idiot. This is a punishment”? Or maybe you think it was a punishment, in these critical days before the first caucuses?
Even if we figure out that God is sending a message, how do we know who the message is to? Is it based on wherever the disaster takes place? I can see the appeal of that argument in this case since it was some pretty blue states that got hit. But if the location is a reflection of what God is mad at – one of the hardest hit places was New Jersey, where a trillion gallons of water fell on Sunday. Is that because God’s mad at Chris Christie? Even your own Minnesota was declared a disaster area in July. Did you do something to cause that?
In the Old Testament examples of Sodom and Gomorrah, God gave the righteous an opportunity to escape his wrath. Is everyone that survived Irene righteous? Because that would look great on my résumé.
Of course, there’s also Genesis 9:11, in which God – following the Great Flood, and the ark, and all of that – pledges that he’ll never again destroy the Earth with a flood. Does that only apply to the Earth as a whole, and not, say, the Catskills? What about water main breaks?
Which brings up the question of scale. Does the severity of the disaster indicate the degree to which God is angry? If so, why was God so much madder at Joplin, Missouri, than at the entire East Coast? And what does that say about the earthquake, which did very little lasting damage? Irene knocked over a tree in the courtyard behind my house, which took out our cable. Does that mean God is mad at me for watching TV? Or should I just pray to Him to get Comcast out sooner?
Last question. What’s the message that politicians are supposed to take? When training our dog, we were very careful to reward her immediately after she did something good, and punish her after doing something bad. I’m not sure what you think we’re in trouble for, but wouldn’t it be better if the punishment were more directly tied to what we did wrong? Like, if this is for abortion or whatever – how are we supposed to know? Or maybe it’s because politicians aren’t fixing problems – like unemployment and climate change? Just spitballin’.
Ms. Bachmann, I look forward to your explaining the answers to these questions.
Or, in the event I don’t hear from you directly, I guess I can just ask God. I mean, after all, seems like anyone can interpret His intent these days.
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