A Late Entry Into the “Why Did God Send Sandy” Sweepstakes


Joel Rosenberg, an end-times kook, joins the chorus of wingnut voices trying to explain why Hurricane Sandy happened and did such damage. A rational person would say that it happened because a high pressure system pushed the storm back on land rather than allowing it to move out to sea, but these folks are sure that God is sending us a message. And wouldn’t you know it, the message he’s sending just happens to agree with all the things Rosenberg doesn’t like:

Just days before one of the most significant and momentous presidential and Congressional elections in American history, God is reminding us that America’s fate lies not in the hands of the politicians, but in His hands. Weather experts are warning Americans on the East Coast to “get ready, be prepared” for Hurricane Sandy, which they say could prove to be one of the most devastating storms in American history. Is that hype, or is it true? Tens of millions Americans are not taking any chances. They are buying water, food, gasoline and other supplies as the storm moves towards land. I can tell you that my family and I in the Washington, D.C. area are doing the same. As I discuss in-depth in the two-hour “Implosion Radio Special” — which will air on more than 700 radio stations this coming weekend — we live at a very dangerous moment in American history. It is a time when the Lord God Almighty is trying to get our attention and call us to repent of our sins and turn back to faith in Jesus Christ and back to reading and obeying the Bible. At the moment, we are far from God and far off track as a nation. Massive debt. Skyrocking murder and violent crime. More than 53 million abortions. The stain of pornography. The list of our sins is getting longer and longer each year. Yet the country has not yet woken up and realized that turning our collective backs on God is a recipe for judgment and disaster. What’s more, too many pastors are refusing to preach clearly and Biblically on the need for American to repent and ask God for a sweeping revival . There are many ways God could use to shake us further and try to wake us up to our need to turn back to Christ. War. Terrorism. Financial collapse. Natural disasters , and so forth. As I noted in Implosion , hurricanes along the East Coast and Gulf Coast pose grave dangers for the U.S. and could be used by God to shake us to our core. Hurricane Irene swept the East Coast of the United States in August 2011, causing the largest evacuation in American history as millions of Americans fled the storm’s path. When Irene hit, some 5 million Americans were left without power. Thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, and dozens of people lost their lives. Irene became one of the top ten costliest hurricanes in American history. Yet it could have been much worse. At its peak, Hurricane Irene was about six hundred miles wide, or about the size of the state of Texas. Had it remained a category 3 storm—or even increased in intensity—it could have created the greatest natural disaster catastrophe in the history of the United States.Fortunately, that’s not what happened. The storm lost speed and power as it approached land, and by the time it reached New York City, most of its “teeth” had been removed. As the cleanup began, critics said the storm was hyped up and overblown by government officials and weather forecasters. But did the experts really badly misjudge Irene, or did God hear people’s prayers and have mercy on us by weakening the storm faster than the experts had predicted? I think both are true. I am grateful to the Lord for his grace and mercy on us.But what if God had not been so gracious? What if rather than shaking us and waking us up to what he could do, he actually let us experience what other nations around the world have experienced?

I particularly like the part about “skyrocketing murder and violent crime.” In fact, murder and violent crime have been going down pretty steadily for a couple decades now. But why let facts get in the way of a perfectly good irrational screed?

Comments

  1. eric says

    It is a time when the Lord God Almighty is trying to get our attention and call us to repent of our sins and turn back to faith in Jesus Christ and back to reading and obeying the Bible.

    Yeah, when I want to get my kid’s attention I typically turn the house thermostat up to 80. I never just walk up to him or tap him on the shoulder or talk to him. That would be crazy. The thermostat thing makes a lot more sense, don’t you think?

  2. Michael Heath says

    Ed writes:

    I particularly like the part about “skyrocketing murder and violent crime.”

    All the older conservative Christians who’ve brought up the state of humanity to me have made this claim. Every single one, every single time, even after I’ve previously corrected them (which I rarely do). I assume they get such an enormous and continual dose of rhetoric in their churches and now Fox News about the decay of civilization, they think crime rates are soaring even if their church’s leaders don’t explicitly lie about violent crime rates. I know I did back in the 1970s when being raised fundie, where I observe conservative Christianity is now far more dishonest and delusional than they were back then.

  3. Chiroptera says

    If I were to draw a lesson from Hurricane Sandy, it would probably be more like, maybe we should quit burning so much fossil fuels.

  4. slc1 says

    As I have stated previously, Rosenberg, a member of the McLean Bible Church in McLean Va., is a “novelist”. Not having heard of him previously, I checked out one of his “novels” from a local library and was unable to get past page 15 as the “novel” was totally insane. He makes Ayn Rand look almost sane and readable. This clown is a total nutcase as are many parishioners of this church (as I understand it, they have numerous members of the Jews for Yeshua of Nazareth cult).

  5. slc1 says

    Re Chiroptera @ #3

    Of course, Rmoney wants to encourage coal production, which, given the current price and surplus of natural gas, is a totally insane idea. Just another example of pandering by Rmoney. And this fucktard has a 30% chance of being elected next Tuesday.

  6. D. C. Sessions says

    Someone remind me again why it is that Europe, by almost all measures “worse” than the USA on this list, gets a free pass on the hurricane/tornado/earthquake/flood/etc. treatment compared to the “godly” USA?

  7. says

    The funny part is that Obama’s response to Sandy is making more independents more willing to vote for him. The endorsement of Michael Bloomberg and Chris Cristie’s respectful statements about Obama’s leadership are pushing voters towards the incumbent.

    If God wants you to vote against Obama, he surely sucks at his job.

  8. wscott says

    In fact, murder and violent crime have been going down pretty steadily for a couple decades now.

    To be “fair”, an awful lot of people labor under this delusion, not just rightwing nutbags. Having recently finished Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels Of Our Nature, I’ve tried to convince several people that their perception of out-of-control crime and violence is flat wrong, but that’s a hard sell when the media beams a nonstop diet of tragedy (with one human interest story) into your living room every night.

  9. Captain Mike says

    Dear Joel Rosenberg,

    Paragraphs exist for a reason. Use them.

    Sincerely,

    A Concerned Citizen

  10. whirligig says

    I notice the storm didn’t hit China. Clearly Fei Lian is punishing us for worshipping the wrong gods. Houyi has lifted his protective hand from us! (Protective hands, I guess. It probably takes both to operate the bow.)

  11. Quodlibet says

    Hmm.

    If God wanted to smite us all, why does he stupidly he use a hurricane, which develops over many days, thus allowing scientists to monitor the storm and issue warnings, and giving people time to prepare?

    .

    GOD: “OK, everyone in the USA, I’m going to smite you, um, sometime next week. I’m mixing up a hurricane. Not sure how it will develop or who among you will be smited. I’ll get back to you.”

    God, later: “Um, I’m going to do some smiting in the Carribean before I get to you, so I can test this storm before I launch the final version. Those dark people are used to it. Hold on, I’ll get back to you.”

    Later, to himself: Oh shit, I forgot about those two other storms developing in the Midwest and Northeast…. Oh what the hell — I’ll just toss them in the mix. Hm, this will be interesting.

    God to people: “OK, here’s the deal. It’s going to be a great big smiting, because I’m in a pissy mood. Expect a big smiting across much of the Northeast U.S. Monday. Between noon and midnight. It’s going to be a mess.”

    GOD, Tuesday morning: Oops. I didn’t mean to smite the white, straight, right-wing, wealthy Christians. Ooh, or those children… Oh shit, the subways? I meant only to smite the gays and all those other icky people. Poor ones, and brown ones. Hmm; my aim seems to be off these days. Oh, well — better luck next time.”

    .

    Seems to me that earthquakes are better for smiting. Catching people by surprise, and all that.

  12. Quodlibet says

    Someone remind me again why it is that Europe, by almost all measures “worse” than the USA on this list, gets a free pass on the hurricane/tornado/earthquake/flood/etc. treatment compared to the “godly” USA?

    Because Europe is home to such vast quantities of Christian art and architecture. God has a narcissistic attachment to all that.

  13. Alverant says

    So God sent a message about there being too much murder by murdering about 100 people in a storm he created. If God really is good and can whip up a big storm, then why not just give the a would be murderer a fatal heart attack before he/she does the deed? With American diets it wouldn’t be that hard.

    It reminds me of when an earthquake destroyed Port Royal. People at the time blamed it on the piracy that was there 100 years prior and not on the horrible treatment of slaves on sugar cane plantations.

  14. dingojack says

    Putting Sandy in perspective:
    From FoAW –
    List of disasters by cost.
    List of accidents and disaster by lives lost.

    Dingo
    —–
    Hell – look at the death toll like this:
    1900 Cyclone, Galveston Texas, 27 Aug – 15 Sept 1900. Dead 12000-6000 (cost about $14.1 billion 2010 US dollars).
    1906 SF Earthquake, San Francisco, California. 18 Apl 1906. Dead: 6000-3000.
    Peshtigo Fire, Peshtigo Wisconsin, 8 Oct 1871. Dead: ~1500.
    (Worst fires in America in terms of death toll).

  15. yoav says

    If you make sure you have some tissue paper ready the stain of pornography become much less of a problem.

  16. slc1 says

    Re #5

    Nate Silver now has Rmoney’s chances at 20%. Still too high, given the fact that Rmoney is the most disgusting candidate of a major party for the presidency in my lifetime. A far bigger liar then Nixon or Bush II.

  17. Yoritomo says

    Both parties had their national conventions in hurricane-prone states in the middle of hurricane season. God had the opportunity to smite either, both or neither. We know which convention had a hurricane problem and which didn’t. Could God’s will be any clearer?

    Disclaimer: No, I don’t really think so. But any claim from the Right about divine judgment seems even more stupid than usual this year.

  18. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    Yeah, when I want to get my kid’s attention I typically turn the house thermostat up to 80. I never just walk up to him or tap him on the shoulder or talk to him. That would be crazy. The thermostat thing makes a lot more sense, don’t you think?

    Huh. I’ve been leaving golden plates containing my instructions buried in the backyard. It’s pretty expensive, but it’s the only way I can be sure he gets them.

    He’s been grounded for, hmm, two years now, since he hasn’t followed them in all that time. Rotten little kid. Every time I ask him why he didn’t do what I told him, he pretends not to know what I’m talking about!

    I even bought a shovel and I keep putting it at odd angles in his room so that he trips over it every day! How much clearer can I get?

    I guess I’ll try the thermostat thing. I’m just afraid it might be too unambiguous, you know? I don’t want to take away his free will by making my wishes known too clearly.

  19. says

    @slc1 #17 – “Rmoney is the most disgusting candidate of a major party for the presidency in my lifetime. A far bigger liar then Nixon or Bush II.”

    That is… wow. I’m not saying Romney is undeserving, but dude, that is really harsh.

  20. briandavis says

    @6, D. C. Sessions says:

    Someone remind me again why it is that Europe, by almost all measures “worse” than the USA on this list, gets a free pass on the hurricane/tornado/earthquake/flood/etc. treatment compared to the “godly” USA?

    Because God doesn’t care about Europeans. We USAnians are his new chosen people, and we are held to higher standard.

    In the OT God was always getting mad at his chosen people when they strayed from the straight and narrow. While for the most part he let their unchosen neighbors wallow in debauchery and iniquity. It was only when the Israelites were right with God that he commanded them to slaughter their neighbors, and take their stuff.

    So we really do need to return to the path of righteousness. Not only will it save us from hurricanes, but eventually God will command us to slaughter our godless neighbors. Won’t that be fun? I can’t wait to put some Swedish babies to the sword, and take some bikini models as spoils of war.

  21. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    Still too high, given the fact that Rmoney is the most disgusting candidate of a major party for the presidency in my lifetime. A far bigger liar then Nixon or Bush II.

    Worse than Reagan, though? I dunno… Romney is opportunistic and selfish, but at least seems to understand that if he blows up the world he won’t have any money anymore. Reagan on the other hand seemed to be insanely determined to provoke a global nuclear war, and only failed because more level heads intervened.

  22. illdoittomorrow says

    The “stain of pornography”?

    If you’d stop using a sock while doing the Hand of Protection shuffle, you gomer, that wouldn’t be a problem.

    Oops, I see Yoav @ 16 kinda beat me to it…

  23. barryd says

    “Worse than Reagan, though? I dunno… Romney is opportunistic and selfish, but at least seems to understand that if he blows up the world he won’t have any money anymore. Reagan on the other hand seemed to be insanely determined to provoke a global nuclear war, and only failed because more level heads intervened.”

    OTOH, one would have expected Dubya to have known about treading at least competently in the Middle East, and he sure didn’t.

  24. jnorris says

    Like D. C. asked at #6,

    Someone remind me again why it is that Europe, by almost all measures “worse” than the USA on this list, gets a free pass on the hurricane/tornado/earthquake/flood/etc. treatment compared to the “godly” USA?

    Will someone tell me why Canada is spared? They have LEGALIZED GAY MARRIAGE! Why can’t Christian God see that?

  25. Sastra says

    Stevarious #19 wrote:

    I guess I’ll try the thermostat thing. I’m just afraid it might be too unambiguous, you know? I don’t want to take away his free will by making my wishes known too clearly.

    Too late. Your kid knows you, right? I mean, he’s seen you and touched you and talked to you and — what’s worse — he’s noticed that so do other people, all the time, without confusing you with empty air?

    That is so unambiguous. You’ve taken away his free will by not only making your wishes known too clearly, but by making your existence known too clearly. Now he has no choice but to obey you, right? Like a little robot.

    Before you turn up the thermostat to get your kid’s attention, be sure you abandon him at birth and have him raised by someone else, changing all the records and letting him call the new guy “Dad.” Then, leaving those little hints will make more sense. If he figures them out, you’ll know he really loves you.

  26. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    You’ve taken away his free will by not only making your wishes known too clearly, but by making your existence known too clearly. Now he has no choice but to obey you, right? Like a little robot.

    Does that mean… does that mean that when he disobeys me, it’s because I secretly wanted him to disobey me, so I could make an example of him for future generations?

    Does that mean I’m doing my job well? Oh, right, by definition everything I do is perfectly good, since perfect good is defined by everything I do!

    Damn I’m good.

  27. Quantum Mechanic says

    At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I’d trade in poor deceased science fiction author Joel Rosenberg for this particular “Joel Rosenberg” any day of the week.

  28. pa747sp says

    Why does God care about the national debt? I dont recall a chapter in the bible called ‘Fiscal Responsibility’.
    If running a budget with a huge surplus was an indication of Gods approval, funny how those countries that do (oil rich Middle Eastern States) are all Islamic.

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