'I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains,' Ezekiel 38:22
As Isaac (a transliteration of the Hebrew for 'he laughs') heads for Florida, I can't help but wonder what certain religious leaders might say if it hits Tampa during or near the time of the Republican National Convention. After all, a plethora of such people, in the USA and abroad, have pronounced hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters as warnings and punishment from God.
For example, just a year ago House Tea Party Caucus Chair Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) was preaching the message that hurricane Irene was a divine warning to our nation's capital.
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?
Not to be outdone, Glenn Beck described Irene, and the mild earthquake that preceded it, as a warning and a blessing.
...this hurricane is a blessing. It is a blessing. It is God reminding you, as was the earthquake last week, it’s God reminding you, ‘You’re not in control.'
I guess you could call that a mixed blessing. However, there was nothing mixed about the message the Rev.Clyde Higgins delivered to the readers of Christwire: Irene was punishment for New York legalizing same sex marriage.
You have betrayed America’s duty as a Christian nation to make homosexuals miserable in their sins. You have allowed the biggest city of America to be a modern Sodomy Megalopolis.
While Irene had its fair share of prominent pronouncements from God's earthly spokespersons, perhaps no tempest has received as much attention from this group as the tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina.
Texas pastor John Hagee claimed that the 2005 storm was sent to punish New Orleans.
All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came...And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.
On the California-based Trinity Broadcasting Network's International Intelligence Briefing, evangelist Hal Lindsey proclaimed that with Katrina the judgment of America had begun.
It seems clear that the prophetic times I have been expecting for decades have finally arrived. And even worse, it appears that the judgment of America has begun. I warn continually that the last days lineup of world powers does not include anything resembling the United States of America. Instead, a revived Roman Empire in Europe is to rule the West, and then the world.
Katrina was an act of God upon a sin-loving and rebellious nation, a warning to all who foolishly and arrogantly believe there is no God, and that if He did exist, "would not have done such a thing!" It is also a serious call to repent, to turn away from our wicked ways, from the heart of a loving Father.
The Writer of Psalm 107 closes by saying, "Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the Loving kindness of the LORD."
And at least one European man of the cloth got in on the act. Gerhard Wagner, a Roman Catholic priest in Austria, who was later promoted to bishop by Pope Benedict, wrote that:
Katrina was 'divine retribution' for New Orleans' permissive sexual attitudes and tolerance of homosexuality.
Kath.Net, a Catholic news agency in Austria, said the newsletter quoted Wagner as saying that Katrina had destroyed not only nightclubs and brothels in New Orleans but also abortion clinics.
Over in Israel Rabbi Ovadia Yosef held the view that Katrina was God's punishment for President George W. Bush's support for Israel's Gaza pullout.
[Bush] perpetrated the expulsion. Now everyone is mad at him. This is his punishment for what he did to Gush Katif, and everyone else who did as he told them, their time will come, too.
Not surprisingly the fundamentalists in Al Qaeda saw Katrina as an answer to prayers, according to a statement made the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
I believe the devastating hurricane that hit the United States occurred because people in Iraq or Afghanistan -- maybe a mother who had lost her son or a son whose parents were killed or a woman who was raped -- were praying for God and God accepted their prayers.
Meanwhile, back in the USA, Rev. Peter Marshall, of the Massachusetts-based Peter Marshall Ministries, gave his view of not only Hurricane Katrina, but also of Hurricane Rita and wildfires in California that occurred the same year:
Was enough finally enough for the Lord? Did He allow Katrina as a judgment on the wickedness and decadence of New Orleans? Well, what do you think? To borrow the saying from Fox News, 'we report, you decide.'
In allowing all this destruction to come upon us, or perhaps even in sending it, Almighty God is trying to get our attention. In previous commentaries on this subject I have said that this nation, which He founded to exert moral and spiritual leadership in the world, has turned its back on its Christian roots. By officially removing the Ten Commandments from our courthouses, by officially stamping with the approval of the judicial system the homosexual behavior that God calls an abomination, and by continuing to officially allow the slaughter of our unborn children, this nation is officially rejecting God. He does not take any of this lightly.”
Is there a connection between these fires and God? There certainly could be. Consider the fact that there are numerous passages in the Bible that deal with fire as an instrument of God.
America is a nation founded on the Bible by people who had a vision and a calling from God to build a society based on the commandments of God, which exclude the deviant sexual immorality now being officially endorsed by the State of California. Could it be that God is a bit upset by all that?
And of course I would be remiss not to mention the act of God expert, the Reverend Pat Robertson, of CBN, aka 'The Christian Broadcasting Network.' To Robertson, Katrina was not merely punishment for legal abortion but also a blessing for the Right because the storm diverted the nation's attention away from the Senate confirmation hearing of George W. Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court, John G. Roberts Jr.
Out of this tragedy, the focus of America is going to be on these victims, and inflamed rhetoric in the United States Senate is just not going to play well now because this is a time of healing and compassion and reaching out to people, and if they start going on a vendetta against Roberts in the Senate, it's just going to hurt them. And I think they know that, so, I mean, Judge Roberts can, maybe, you know, be thankful that a tragedy has brought him some good.
That wasn't the first time Robertson blessed America with his Godly interpretation of the meaning of hurricanes and other natural disasters. Back in 1998 he denounced Orlando, Florida for allowing a privately sponsored 'Gay Days' weekend, claiming that such civic misbehavior had already made the Lord so angry that he had plagued the area with fires. Robertson then warned that if they did not repent next up might be hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombings and maybe even a meteor.
"And you know, as I've been reading and praying, we had quite a flap the other day when we were talking about that gay pride day in Orlando and everybody laughed, but nevertheless, here's what I saw in the Bible," Robertson said.
Noting that the Florida fires are often caused by lightning, Robertson cited biblical prophecy. Quoting from Revelation 8:7, Robertson said, "'There was an angel who sounded,' it said, 'his trumpet and there came hail and fire' and, of course, fire is lightning 'and it was hurled down upon the earth.'...And that's exactly what is happening."
Quoting from another passage in the Bible, Robertson said people must "turn from their wicked ways" and pray to bring rain and stop the fires. He urged city councils, mayors and religious leaders to declare days of fasting and prayer.
So, that was what the holy messengers were saying then, but what about now? Unless I have missed something, these preaching pundits haven't revealed any pietistic revelations as to why the Almighty seems to be sending a storm to Tampa just in time for the 2012 GOP convention. Until the preachers and pundits of the Creator chime in, perhaps some of you have heard from Him yourselves or, lacking that miracle, just happen to have an opinion as to what's going on. Here are a few ideas of my own:
Maybe this time God is telling 'The Party of No' to turn from their wicked ways of obstruction and instead strive to work with Democrats for the good of the country?
Is God angry that the Republican party plank does not even allow for abortion in cases of incest or where the life and health of the mother is at stake?
Could it be that God is upset that Republicans want to take the country back to a time with less access to health care by trying to repeal ObamaCare?
Is God disapproving of the discriminatory language about his gay and lesbian children in the GOP platform contains?
Then again, could it be that God is showing his displeasure over Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand worship?
Perhaps God is showing his wrath to the convention for hosting birthers like Donald Trump and is tired of Mitt Romney's trying to take advantage of these sad individuals by pandering to them in his campaign?
Or, maybe -- just maybe -- despite what the likes of Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, and Pat Robertson may want you to believe -- tropical storms, hurricanes and other natural disasters are simply that -- acts of nature that just happen without any morality behind them.
Regardless of the reason, the fact is Isaac is here -- although it may not become a hurricane and it may not make it to Tampa. To be safe, though, the GOP could always ask the miraculous Pat Robertson for help since he has also claimed he can pray away hurricanes:
In 1985, he claimed that his prayers helped steer Hurricane Gloria away from Hampton Roads [Virginia], and in 1995 he said the same about Hurricane Felix.
TAMPA, Fla. August 25, 2012 (AP)
Republican officials abruptly announced plans Saturday night to scrap the first day of their national convention, bowing to the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac as it bore down menacingly on Florida...
The announcement said that while the convention would officially be gaveled into session on Monday as scheduled, the day's events would be cancelled until Tuesday.
The announcement made the GOP convention the party's second in a row to be disrupted by weather. Four years ago, the delegates gathered in St. Paul, Minn., but Hurricane Gustav, slamming the Gulf Coast, led to a one-day postponement.
In that case, party officials rewrote their script to make President George W. Bush's speech into a video appearance, and to cancel plans for Vice President Dick Cheney to appear before the delegates. Both men were unpopular at the time.