Divine retribution

My initial title for this post was “Glenn Beck is a Raving Lunatic” but unfortunately, he’s not the only one guilty of this particular brand of lunacy. On his radio show this past Monday, Mr. Beck insinuated that God is mad at mankind and that the earthquake that savaged Japan is His holy temper tantrum.

I seriously don’t understand how reasonable, educated adults in their right mind can give any credence to this sort of nonsense.

This isn’t a a liberal-versus-conservative stance that I’m taking… Whatever your political views, any grown person who thinks that a natural disaster that has killed countless people is God’s way of saying, “Hey! You! Pay attention!” has lost their freakin’ senses. Glenn Beck is the 21st century equivalent of the ancient witch doctor who heard thunder and worried that the Gods were angry because his human sacrifice wasn’t up to specs.

Here’s a transcript of part of the radio session, complements of MediaMatters.org:

BECK: We can’t see the connections here. Now look, I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes. Well — I’m not saying that he — I’m not not saying that either.

God — what God does is God’s business, I have no idea. But I’ll tell you this: whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus — there’s a message being sent. And that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.’ I’m just sayin’. And — yesterday I got home and I was thinking about all the messages that I could bring in, all the things that I could tell ya, and oh I’ve got stuff on Hezbollah. Oh, I have stuff on radical Islam in America that’ll make your eyes fall out. Or I could just tell you the answer, and the answer is: Buckle up. Buckle up, ’cause it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Make sure you keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. Because, things are gonna get bumpy and, just a few reminders there at the beginning as this rollercoaster takes off, always a good safety tip: Keep your arms and legs in. Don’t do anything stupid, what do you say we follow the big top ten. You can call them Moses’ ten commandments, or ten rules of thumb. What do you say we start doing those things? Because the things we are doing really suck and they’re not getting better.

Make up your mind, crazypants. First you say that what God does is God’s business, and that you don’t know… Then in the next breath you say that a message is being sent. That message, of course, is that God is allegedly upset that not everyone shares the views that you espouse.

As many news agencies have pointed out, most major natural disasters (or manmade disasters, for that matter) are accompanied by high profile religious nutbags waving their hands in the air and lamenting that God is clearly spanking us.

I’m honestly horrified by Pat Robertson’s decrees that the earthquake in Haiti was punishment for a pact with the Devil, and that Hurricane Katrina was America’s holy comeuppance for our wicked ways. Let’s also not forget when Rush Limbaugh suggested that the volcanic ash that smothered European air travel last April was God showing his displeasure with President Obama’s health care plan.

And don’t get me started on Jerry Falwell blaming the 9/11 attacks on pagans, abortionists, feminists, and gays and lesbians.

I have plenty of gripes with organized religion, but examples like this are near the top of my list. It’s honestly offensive, the hateful scare tactics that people use… And what terrible hubris, to believe that you have the inside scoop on what God thinks and that you understand the cryptic, coded, symbolic messages that He allegedly sends through the suffering of thousands.

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