Pastor: “Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”


Ebola could deliver us from atheists and gays—
God is doing good, through pestilence and plague—
But don’t you blame the pastor for the horrid things he says;
It’s not bad, you know, so much as it is vague:

He thinks we’ll turn to God, in times of trouble, pain and strife;
“There’s no atheists in foxholes”, so he means
He forgets we have a better way to make a better life
While depending on, not Jesus, but vaccines.

I have noticed, in discussions with students, a strange phenomenon: if they come to the point where they believe overpopulation is a problem, their proposed solutions almost invariably involve killing off billions with war or disease. They see no other options, really. When I suggest the possibility of, oh, I dunno, safe and available birth control, it’s like I’m cheating.

Anyway, when I read the headlines of Pastor Rick Wiles’s foolish statement, I figured he was making a similar argument. Not so, actually; he was appealing to “no atheists (or gays, or promiscuity, porn, or abortion) in foxholes”:

“Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague,” Wiles tells his radio audience. “It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming. Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”

“If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you’ve been marked by the angels so that you’re protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.”

And once upon a time, before germ theory, before basic biology, Wiles’s statement would have reflected the cutting-edge explanatory theory of the day. And hey, it might have worked, if only one of the commandments had been “wash your damned hands”.

In the real world, in a time of plague, there would be a name for those who chose prayer as their treatment of choice: the dearly departed.

I would much prefer they learn to wash their hands.

Comments

  1. says

    “no atheists (or gays, or promiscuity, porn, or abortion) in foxholes”
    Apart from the last one, I’m pretty sure that you find all of those there!
     
    I remember a rather funny cartoon strip where hunters are hunting foxes.
    The religious fox falls on his knees to pray and gets shot, while the atheist fox runs and hides.
    The punchline being ‘There are no holes in atheist foxes’!

  2. marcus says

    I’m pretty sure that it is established fact that no Christians died during the outbreak of the Bubonic Plague.

  3. stever says

    American preachers who think that the next disaster is only going to kill off the unbelievers should look at the strong overlap between the Bible Belt and Tornado Alley. They are correct to say that a new pandemic on the scale of the 1918 flu will cause an increase in religiosity. Slightly superstitious people become more superstitious in bad times, so the Easter-and-Christmas Christians will flock to all-night prayer vigils, ignoring warnings that doing so increases their risk of contracting the disease (assuming flu-like transmission).

    BTW, the reason your students don’t mention contraception as often as gigadeath scenarios is that even given prefectly safe, perfectly effective contraception that was as cheap as chewing gum, enough people would simply refuse to use it to continue the exponential runaway of the human population. The slope of the curve would decrease, but memes like “God commands us to go forth and multiply!”, “Children are the only wealth than even the poorest can gain” and “You’re not really an adult until you’ve got kids” are powerful enough maintain its exponential form.

  4. says

    The Young Turks (Youtube) did a great analysis showing how fear and mis- or dis-information often tip people toward the wrong outcome than away from it. For example, in Africa, if someone dies of Ebola they may not be diagnosed, even post-mortem, and touching infected people is a vector. In addition, villagers will threaten or chase off Western doctors; other than fear or mistrust, I’m not sure exactly why they do this.

    And over here, Donald Trump and Anne Coulter are bleating their lies. I can’t be bothered to research what those lies are. Don and Anne should go party with Jenny McCarthy.

    Per TYT, Ebola is [SOME SCIENTIFIC TERM I FORGOT] but NOT CONTAGIOUS.

  5. anubisprime says

    It would solve a lot of problems if you look at it through the prism of this good Pastor’s intellectuality.

    But the good Pastor misses the downside for his crusade on the ungodly…cos for Ebola…what is good for the gander does equally sublime results for the goose!

    In fact pandemic killing plagues like Haemorrhagic fever and the Spanish flu have a great tradition of culling mainly xtians…by the millions!…so I’m AOK bud…but methinks the good Pastor is totally fucked!

  6. CatMat says

    “Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”

    It could, although that would mostly happen by lowering the relative portion of the population that thinks that America’s problems have something to do with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography or abortion, especially if there a global plague going on.

    For some this could happen because of rational readjustment of priorities, for others it could simply be the natural outcome of having prayer as your primary preventative method as well as the preferred treatment.

    Right, something in verse. Hmm.

    Believers can well close their ranks
    With Ebola right on their flanks
    And pray against the hemophile
    Disorder in their midst. Meanwhile,
    An atheist gives thanks.

  7. coragyps says

    Making “sure the blood of Jesus is upon you” sounds to me like an exceedingly poor strategy for avoiding infection with a hemorragic disease like Ebola. Jesus was one a them furriners, wasn’t he? Likely a carrier. And his mom was Mary, too, as in Typhoid Mary.

  8. says

    I have noticed, in discussions with students, a strange phenomenon: if they come to the point where they believe overpopulation is a problem, their proposed solutions almost invariably involve killing off billions with war or disease. They see no other options, really. When I suggest the possibility of, oh, I dunno, safe and available birth control, it’s like I’m cheating.

    This is vile and wretched. There are people who think it better to kill off other human beings than to reduce the number of human beings being born? What the actual fuck?

  9. Who Cares says

    Tony until 2010 the catholic church forbade the use of condoms in any circumstance, no exceptions, since it is evil to interfere with the creation of new life. The pope (Benedict XVI) in 2009 caused a real shitstorm by suggesting that condom use would increase HIV infection. In 2010 the church finally bowed to the pressure a remark by the Pope in an interview caused and basically said that using condoms to prevent HIV infection was allowable since it was the lesser of two evils.

    The only problem being that in Africa the biggest organization fighting HIV infection is the catholic church, which for some strange reason never has any condoms around and their people helping out have a habit of lying about condom reliability & effectiveness.

  10. Ed says

    Many countries and ethnic groups have endured great horrors without becoming uniformly religious or socially conservative as a result. Religiosity declined during and after World War II in many places.

    A plague might make people less likely to worry about things they can’t see or reason about and think about surviving and working with their neighbors who also want to survive.

    In a technologically advanced society, there is a lot that could be done like efficient quarantines and rapid distribution of medicine.

    Also, let’s say there is an epidemic like this and most of us have lost someone or at least know someone who has. How popular will the “God’s Judgement” theory be? Especially when no group is spared or singled out by a mindless natural phenomenon.

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