God gave Noah that rainbow sign.
Won't be water, but fire next time.
- Woody Gutthrie, "Sowing On The Mountain"
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, members of the Kansas based Westboro Baptist Church came east to demonstrate at the funeral of Krystle Campbell, one of the three victims killed by the bomb blasts. Those good Christian folks just had to deliver the message from on high that the bombing was God's punishment for gay marriage. After all, Massachus- etts was the first state to legally recognize gay marriage as a legal right under the state constitution. That makes perfect sense, right?
Well, maybe not. God is all-powerful, isn't He, so He surely could have wrought far greater punishment on us than two homemade pressure cooker bombs if he were really so angry about our gay marriage law. When you think about it, it really demeans God to suggest that He would use such lowly, mundane means to wreak His divine justice on us.
In fact, the surviving terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says it was all about personal revenge for the overseas wars America has started in places like Iraq, killing a hundred thousand of their fellow Moslems, innocent men, women and children, as "collateral damage" from strategies like "shock and awe" and the surge. Whether you agree with him or not in principle, that makes a hell of a lot more sense than blaming God for such a Godless act of terrorism with two homemade bombs..
Meanwhile, though, let's think about how God really would bring His divine justice down on America if He really were angry about what some of us were doing. The Bible tells us that He uses the elements, floods, fires and winds, over vast regions to let us know how angry He is with what we are doing, not cheap homemade shrapnel bombs in the space of one city block. So, where have we seen that kind of divine justice being brought down on America recently, and why?
Let's start with Kansas, the home of the Westboro Baptist Church, where the state legislature enacted broad anti-gay laws in March 2012. Within a month, on April 14, 2012, a tornado blasted through Wichita killing six people. That was followed on April 29th with severe thunderstorms, high winds and flooding, and on May 24th FEMA declared it was a major disaster area. God must have been really pissed at them for such an un-Christian act of hatred against their gay sisters and brothers, right?
The Lord's Prayer asks that we be forgiven for our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, but there's precious little forgiveness in the anti-gay legislation we've seen enacted in places like Kansas all across the so-called Bible Belt, and there's no forgiveness at all in the hearts of any professed "Christians" who believe that a secular law giving gays the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples would be the occasion for God to punish us by killing and maiming innocent women and children, none at all. That is in fact very un-Christian stone throwing at its basest level.
Like Kansas, Texas, Tennessee and North Dakota have all passed laws against gay-marriage, and the Kentucky legislature passed a broad anti-gay bill in March this year that Governor Beshear vetoed. Then, this April, while the Tsarnaev brothers were setting off cheap, homemade bombs in Boston, whole regions in each of those states were being inundated with flood waters.
The death toll in Texas was twenty, about the same number of people who were non-fatally injured by the Tsarnaevs' terrorist rampage. Only four people died in the upper mid-west flooding, but the death toll in Tennessee and Kentucky was twenty-eight. Again, God must have been really pissed off at them for all that official homophobia, right?
I mean, what else could account for all that Biblical scale vengeance being brought down on those folks in Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky and North Dakota? It surely couldn't be the result of something as earthly and morally neutral as global warming, could it? Of course not, because we all know that global warming is a lie to begin with, don't we?. Just ask those good Christian folks at the Westboro Baptist Church and they'll tell you so.