Fundamentalists Declare Hurricane Matthew To Be Divine Punishment

wv0It often appears that no natural disaster can occur without some religious group claiming divine retribution.  The latest example is Hurricane Matthew, which Andrew Bieszad, a contributor to the Christian website, claimed as God’s retribution for this country tolerating homosexuality.

Bieszad warned:

The Bible clearly teaches that in the Old Testament whenever the Hebrews were very disobedient towards God, He would send punishments against them, many times in the forms of natural disasters. Christian history also recognizes the same, where God will use His creation to execute judgment against the wicked. While not all bad weather is necessarily a sign of sin, both sacred scripture and sacred tradition clearly note that it can be so. Now we know that Florida is an area that is infected with sin, especially cities such as Miami and Orlando, which are veritable dens of sodomy.

It is not clear what people want.  Do they really want to criminalize homosexuality to avoid natural disasters?  What is particularly odd is that hurricanes and tornados seem to hit deeply religious and conservative states, including the “Bible Belt.” Indeed, Matthew appears to have spared those “dens of sodomy” that Bieszad referenced in South Florida.  Instead, it moved up the coast to conservative and heavily religious areas.  Go figure.  Does that mean that God is angry at religious right?

74 thoughts on “Fundamentalists Declare Hurricane Matthew To Be Divine Punishment”

  1. One would think “god” would be able to use more precise tools of vengeance than massive natural disasters that effect everybody, even the “godly” people. Can’t he just smite the evil doers with a lightning bolt or something? I guess if all the evil doers were suddenly struck by lightning that might constitute some kind of proof of god, but since it does not exist this will never happen.

    1. Yeah, I always wondered why God didn’t just unilaterally kill off the wicked in the time of Noah, rather than going to all the trouble of a “universal flood.” Creating all that extra water, giving it the right angular momentum with respect to the rotation of the earth so as to not mess up the 24 hour day, disposing of the water afterwards, etc. etc.

  2. This seemed appropriate to this thread.

    “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Dr. Richard Lewontin, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Biology at Harvard University, the author of The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change and Biology as Ideology.

  3. Let’s change a couple of words in your missive:

    It often appears that no natural disaster can occur without environmental zealots claiming man is responsible. The latest example is Hurricane Matthew, which Hillary Clinton, a member in good standing of the atheist religion of environmentalism, blamed on mankind.

    It is not clear what environmental zealots want. Do they really want to make human life miserable and criminalize fossil fuel to pretend they can avoid natural disasters? What is particularly odd is that Super Storm Sandy hit New Jersey, where the environmental zealots are especially devout. Indeed, Sandy spared the areas of the country not populated by atheist environmental zealots, instead it moved up the coast to liberal and heavily atheist areas. Go figure. Does that mean the environmental Gods are angry at the atheist environmental zealots?

    1. I doubt most of them think more than two steps ahead. Portside politics is commonly self-aggrandizing, so much of the discourse consists of status games, i.e. my excellent self contra these greedy businessmen, greedy landowners, etc. Much of it seems an almost autonomic reaction in favor of state control. Hence the neuralgic response when the Reagan administration proposed ca. 1982 selling off a small fraction of federal lands (Forest Service lands, IIRC). Park and preserve land accounts for only a minority of federal holdings. The bulk consists of timber and grazing land with commercial uses. It was the considered opinion of the Wilderness Society at the time that all federal timber land should be removed from production.

      It wasn’t until 1989 that any environment group (the Environmental Defense Fund was about the first) would advocate such things as excise taxes and tradeable permits to improve air or water quality. SH Hanke, a resource economist who was at that time a close student of environmental groups said as far as he could see, their objection was ideological. They were incensed that you could ‘pay to pollute’. Gregg Easterbrook offered that in his reporting on environmental activists, he discovered that many seemed to have an issue with production, consumption, and growth generally, and to gag at technological developments which took away arguments against economic growth.

      You’ll notice environmental groups devote zero resources to promoting decentralized and voluntary measures to promote their supposed goals. Here’s an easy one: a federal constitutional amendment which would discontinue property tax levies on forest land. Property taxes induce a bias toward deforestation. You could add to that measure bounties for tree-planting and excises on timber harvests. You jigger the rates until your global forest inventories are stable. You could sell off the entire inventory of federal timberland, keeping just the old growth as parkland. I don’t think anything like this will ever be a cause they’d embrace.

      1. I love that idea – tax breaks for keeping land natural with vegetation. That plants groundwater by not allowing runoff, and protects our oxygen/air scrubbing factories.

        If you want more of something, subsidize it. I want more forests.


        If only we could learn to manager our tax money better. Spend wiser. Live within our means. If we could only break our addiction to tax and spend, we could actually have funds available for programs such as this.

        1. I agree. To continue that Reagan quote, if you want less of something then tax it. What is the most effective way for the people to tax government? Maybe we should take on the role as regulators and seek to make what has become an irregular government to one that is regular.

  4. I always wondered, do cars go because God pushes them along, or because of gasoline explosions in the cylinders?

    1. Since time immemorial, people blame God or other deities for things they don’t understand….

    2. You haven’t wondered anything. Your’re just being a snotty bore. About half of what liberals have to say in this day and age consists of that, which is why you all take your cues from comedians.

      Natural law operates within divine design.

      1. “Natural law operates within divine design.”
        And you know this based on what evidence? Why is that view any more likely than, “natural law just happens” without any external causality?
        Now, just to expand the conversation, it is fair to point out that there are some who believe the Universe itself is conscious, and can be equated to God.

        1. “Why is that view any more likely than, “natural law just happens” without any external causality?”

          What difference does it make? It’s still natural law. Now if one wants to destroy the argument of unalienable rights, the first step would be to eliminate the Creator from the equation. Once that has taken hold, then it’s not too difficult to fill that void with a power more easily understood, like government. Then it’s a simple matter of declaring that all rights come from government and POOF, the creator of government becomes its servant. I know, I know, that would never happen. The People would NEVER be so ignorant as to give away the one thing that differentiates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, natural rights.

          Too late.

            1. Jay,
              Why would you need anyone to tell you what you have naturally? Natural rights are those rights that exist for you to survive alone in nature. You cannot give them away nor can they be taken away. They exist for you whether you know it, or want them, are willing to defend them, or prevent anyone from taking them away. Everyone else has those same rights, but we also carry within ourselves a sinful nature. Our sinful nature is a threat to the natural rights of others. As a result, we form ourselves into civil societies to provide for better security of those rights. All those rights you have in the state of nature you bring with you into civil society. You don’t leave them at the gate and acquire new rights from government. The government, created by the people for better security of their natural rights, does not have the right to infringe on those natural rights.

          1. What a load of BS. You arrive at your audacious conclusion by working backwards.

            I read your arguments some years ago on ‘natural law.’ I remember being unimpressed. Your foundation of expression was, and still is, simplistic. You do not encompass the billions of humans existing in the world today, rather you rope them off to fit your juvenile perspective.

            Have you come to terms with Spinelli, who berated you years ago, and told you to back off with your alpha tendencies as he had invested much time in this blog?

            Seems you have. Strong backbone, boy.

            1. Welcome back HW. I see you’ve brought your flamethrower again. Nicely done.

              “What a load of BS. You arrive at your audacious conclusion by working backwards.

              I read your arguments some years ago on ‘natural law.’ I remember being unimpressed. Your foundation of expression was, and still is, simplistic.”

              At the risk of upsetting Nick 😉 and if it helps your overly complex mind, I arrived at my conclusion by asking the question, “why does our government exist?” Was I supposed to work forward from that point? The “simplistic” document that answers that question is our Declaration of Independence. Stopping there and assuming the framers were correct would be too simplistic. However context matters. This generation for the most part has lost connection with the context by which our nation formed.

              Jefferson put forth the argument of self-evident truths. Did he arrive at that “audacious conclusion” by working forwards? Apparently the King and his loyal subjects didn’t agree with his conclusions either. So you are in regal company.

              So I studied natural law theory; the source for Jefferson’s argument of unalienable rights. Most arguments describe the source of those rights as coming from a Creator. At the time I was studying this I did not have a belief in God. However, what I discovered is the source really didn’t matter once I understood these rights exist simply because we exist. Assuming we have a purpose to exist, we then have those natural rights to survive.They exist at the moment of our creation (however you believe that occurs) to secure our survival. These rights preexist everything, including the very government we created to better secure them. We had them in the state of nature first, and then in every form of civil society created. It would then be illogical to conclude those rights that preexist any form of government no longer exist once government is formed. What would be the logic in arguing against the theory of natural rights? What would be the motivation? Work backwards from that and you will likely discover it’s not motivated by a belief in equality.

              1. HW, you really leave a narrow window in which people are to express themselves. Your word of the day yesterday was “Obfuscation”. And yet in your opinion, my “foundation of expression was, and still is, simplistic.” You will no doubt continue to be as hidebound in your responses as you were under your previous pseudonym. Your reticence to express what forms your worldview has apparently not changed. It’s as though you believe opposing the opinion of others somehow absolves you of that responsibility. That may not be obfuscation but it certainly is dastardly.

      2. “Natural law operates within divine design.”

        And what is the ‘devine design’, TSTD?

        And how do you know that ‘divine design’ bounds ‘natural law’?

        Sounds like a bias to me.

        Is the implication that you are part of the ‘devine design’ while others are not?

  5. Traditional Christian teaching is that there will be a Judgment Day at the end of the Age, sometime in the future. That being said, certain sinful behaviors may expose one to more near term risks, e.g. excessive use of alcohol and drugs. It may be helpful to remember that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

    1. I have felt that the only point in describing a Judgment Day in the future, is to affect behavior in the Present. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    2. So, sometime in the future we are all called to the carpet?

      Where will you stand, on the left, or right?

      Sure, drugs, alcohol, (why do you make a distinction?), will undoubtedly place a person upon the scales of judgement.

      But so will greed, bearing false witness, killing — even through the auspices of ‘defense’, usury, gluttony, and many more transgressions.

      What is your point?

  6. What’s the difference between religious and climate change fundamentalists? They both claim these events are the result of man’s own actions. The major difference apparently is what to do about them; turn to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost or turn to god the President, Congress and Judiciary. Well, since man and his creations have disastrous results, it doesn’t logically flow that we should trust another of our creations to fix it; namely the US Federal Government. That itself has become a disaster.

    1. It has also been said that “God helps those who help themselves.” One way to try to help ourselves is to learn about and understand the dynamics of climate, and what what changes we might be able to make, to improve things. And not dismiss out of hand that we can’t.

      1. hmmm…… autocorrection runs amok. Should be only one “what” in the third line, and last word should be “can” and not “can’t.”

  7. Put on your tin foil hat

    Reason for Haiti earthquake: Haitian legislators vote for Voodoo as national religion.
    Catholic cathedral was destroyed & priest died.

    Reason for Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake: Lesbian priests get into churches.
    Hundreds of churches are damaged or completely destroyed.

    Reason for Japan earthquake: Polluting the word of God. Often in scripture this is referred to as priests drinking to much wine & vomiting.

    Is California earthquake next? Or maybe the Yellowstone super volcano blows?

    Luk_12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
    Luk_12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

  8. One big difference. God sent a prophet to tell the leaders of Israel what and why. Until that happens, we should not try to put ourselves in God’s shoes. They are way too big. Yes God can punish via storms but the earth already groans because of sin and always has. The very nature of the world is imperfect because of the fall. Speaking for God is a dangerous profession. Being wrong even once brought instant execution in the old testament.

    1. Oh, jeez. Another apocalyptic vision.

      Please, everyone — think like me, do what I say, and the milk and honey will flow again!!!!

  9. Prof. Turley, you live in a country with 300,000,000 + people in it, some of whom say peculiar things. Get over it.

  10. Too funny. And the religious zealots of the “Global Warming Sect” will blame it on man made climate debauchery.
    For the same reason perhaps…to aid in their future fundraising. Religious zealots of all stripes are better off when they don’t throw stones at other folks glass houses.

    1. And the religious zealots of the “Global Warming Sect” will blame it on man made climate debauchery.

      Good point.

      1. Hillary already has blamed Global Warming for Matthew and says Trump will not protect you like she can.

        1. Well, Obama did stop the seas from rising, bring us all together, end terrorism, and bring world peace.

          Oh, wait…

  11. How about Oklahoma – all those earthquakes? Caused by fracking, or is that God’s punishment as well? Joel Osteen – any comments?

  12. Gays were punishing themselves long before it was fashionable anywhere else.

    1. Could you elaborate, PS? Seeing how you’ve taught history this should be an easy bluster for you.

        1. Why, to obfuscate again? Do you think this given reference is obscure?

          Discuss your nudging winks above, in your own words based on your copious knowledge of history.

          Spell it out, PS. Shine some light on the subject you have chosen.

          1. HW – I would rather you discover the knowledge on your own. If you find it on your own, you take ownership of the knowledge.

            1. Your so full of it, PS. State your argument, justify your above statements.

              Aren’t you the one continually asking for cites, yet offer none? You have no arguments except bravado and innuendo.

              Expand on your statements above, PS; make them unambiguous so that discussion can occur.

              You have never done this in my two years of reading this blog. You are a coward who crouches behind quips that you refuse to substantiate.

              Back up your puerile statements.

              1. HM – don’t be afraid to go to your local library and check out a modern biography on T.E. Lawrence. After you read it, we can talk.

                1. Obfuscation again, PS.

                  You mentioned nothing of T.E. Lawrence in your initial quips above; now it is all you can reference.

                  Drone on, lazy boy; don’t make your own arguments, too much work. You have the cojones of a sow.

                  1. HW – I gave you a cite to books that would answer your query. What more can you ask?

                    1. What I asked before, Mr. Obfuscation. Argue your own points, define your position.

                      Instead you point to a long dead author to justify your vileness. Hell, at least quote some of D.H.’s words out of context so that I know you’ve read some of his work.

                      You can do neither.

                      Your dribbling is of the highest order.

                    2. HW – Read Counts. I cited modern biographies of T.E. Lawrence, not his autobiography. You are not going to find the answer in his autobiography.

  13. Next week California is sliding into the Pacific Ocean. Yuma, AZ will be beachfront property. That will take care of the SF problem.

    1. So you really can sell someone oceanfront property in AZ. It’s just a futures investment.

    2. And lots of beachfront property in the Arctic will become highly desirable for summer homes …..

  14. Midge Decter wrote an article in 1980 called “The Boys on the Beach” about the Fire Island Homosexual community. She observed that as soon as society stopped looking down on homosexuals, S&M came into vogue among them. In other words, if society was not going to punish them, they’d punish themselves. Unnatural acts have a way of producing natural retribution.

    1. Unnatural acts have a way of producing natural retribution.

      People like Tony Kushner and Larry Kramer reconceptualize that as an offense of the larger society against them. See, for example, the vitriolic treatment of Ronald Reagan and Edward Koch by these sorts, up to and including the horrid anti-eulogies Mr. Koch was offered after his death in 2013.

  15. What is it about natural disasters that draw politicians and religious fanatics? It’s either let no catastrophe go to waste or this is divine retribution for X.

    1. This man may or may not be a fanatic. His theology is faulty.

      1. TSTD,

        Put your second sentence first, then ask your question. The answer is self-evident.

        You spaz too much!

  16. The storm is named “Matthew” not “Romans” you fools.

    Matthew 8:23 (Common English Bible)

    When Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. A huge storm arose on the lake so that waves were sloshing over the boat. But Jesus was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, rescue us! We’re going to drown!”

    He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you people of weak faith?” …

    Matthew 5:38 (CEB)

    “You have heard that it is said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth But I say to you that you must not oppose those who want to hurt you. If people slap you on your right cheek, you must turn the left cheek to them as well. When they wish to haul you to court and take your shirt, let them have your coat too. When they force you to go one mile, go with them two. Give to those who ask, and don’t refuse those who wish to borrow from you.”

    So, in other words, man up and recognize that Jesus does not teach others to be vengeful.

    1. You are so right but these “Christians” don’t know Christ and if they met him they’d want him arrested!

    2. Darren, theodicy is an exercise a prudent man refrains from, but your last sentence doesn’t make any sense. Natural disasters aren/t a tool people use, whether they’re being vengeful or something else. Natural disasters are a tool only for the divine, who can exact vengeance at his discretion.

  17. I wonder how many religious nutbags in Congress agree with that.

    Maybe hurricanes are punishment for those who claim that anyone is responsible for hurricanes.

    1. There are three members of Congress whose public conduct suggests they have debilitating personality problems: Alan Grayson, Maxine Waters, and Sheila Jackson Lee. It’s doubtful any on them have ever been members of free-range fundamentalist congregations.

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