Saturday, March 15, 2014

One Heck Of A Joke

Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum believes the earth is cooling, or so it seems he does.  As Piers Morgan and Bill Nye discovered recently, Ham can be rather cryptic and elusive.

Not so with Pat Robertson (video below). Monday night, 29 Democratic Senators (31 from the caucus) pulled an all-nighter to make speeches on the floor highlighting the dangers of climate change. Two nights, voracious winds throughout the Washington area knocked out power to 50,000 residents and lights on the U.S. Capitol Dome went out until fixed 30 minutes later.

That provided fodder for Reverend Robertson, who commented "Do you think God has a sense of humor? "Well, I think he does. Let me tell you what happened. In the United States Capitol, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer and the Democrats had an all night marathon advancing global warming. And they said we have to be in fear of global warming.”

The power outage did not affect the Democratic senators, but never mind. Perhaps God does have a sense of humor, given that

With Texas aflame from more than 8,000 wildfires brought on by extreme drought, a man who hopes to be the next president took pen in hand and went to work:

“Now, therefore, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas.”

Then the governor prayed, publicly and often.  Alas, a rainless spring was followed by a rainless summer. July was the hottest month in recorded Texas history. Day after pitiless day, from Amarillo to Laredo, from Toadsuck to Twitty, folks  were greeted by a hot, white bowl overhead, triple-digit temperatures, and a slow death on the land.

In the four months since Perry’s request for divine intervention, his state has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.  Nearly all of Texas  is now in “extreme or exceptional” drought, as classified by federal meteorologists, the worst in Texas history.

Lakes have disappeared. Creeks are phantoms, the caked bottoms littered with rotting, dead fish.  Farmers cannot coax a kernel of grain from ground that looks like the skin of an aging elephant.

Timothy Egan, who wrote that in the opinion pages of The New York Times in August of 2011, is convinced there was no divine intervention in Texas in 2011 or presumably, in the District of Columbia, southern Maryland, and northern Virginia earlier this week.

But if God is laughing, as Robertson suggests, he must be really yukking it up... about January being the 9th consecutive month with the global monthly temperature among the ten highest for its respective month.  Or about 2013 being the 4th warmest year on record.  And about January having been the 347th consecutive month in which average temperatures were higher than the 20th century average.

Lots of laughs. Donald Trump, in early January, tweets "The very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice." God responds, as Robertson might see it, with "extreme drought" in California, record-breaking rain and rampant floods throughout England, and the hottest season ever in Australia.

Robertson would have to acknowledge God is laughing at us, if anyone held his feet to the fire.  Over the course of the past two weeks, the blog at Jim Wallis' Sojourners has taken on Ukraine, immigration reform, gender rights, the environment, capital punishment, racism, and gay rights. Especially gay rights.  There has been nothing, however, challenging Pat Robertson or anyone in the Christian right who, witnessing a period of unparalleled and undeniable warmth, say that God couldn't possibly allow it.

That has to be done, and by the "faith community."  Evidently, God is not protecting us against heat, drought, or devastating storms.  Either He is up to nothing good- by our criteria- or He's leaving it up to us.  It's one or the other, and the likes of Pat Robertson don't deserve a free pass.

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