Rescue boats fill a flooded street as flood victims are evacuated as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise on Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Where are the condemnations of Harvey as God’s punishment?

Rescue boats fill a flooded street as people are evacuated in floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) When Superstorm Sandy hit the New York metropolitan area in 2012, the floodwaters in Lower Manhattan were still rising when some pastors pointed out what, to them, was obvious.

"God is systematically destroying America," the Rev. John McTernan, a conservative Christian pastor who runs a ministry called USA Prophecy, said in a post-Sandy blog entry that has since been removed. The reason God was so peeved, he claimed, was "the homosexual agenda."

McTernan belongs to a subset of religious conservatives — including some well-known names — who see wrath and retribution in natural disasters.

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Usually, their logic revolves around LGBT themes — Buster Wilson of the American Family Association claimed God sent Hurricane Isaac to stop an annual LGBT festival; the Rev. Franklin Graham blamed Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans' "orgies"; and Catholic priest Gerhard Wagner called Katrina "divine retribution" for New Orleans' tolerance of homosexuality.

Other times, the scapegoat is gay marriage, abortion rights or foreign policies seen as harmful to Israel.

Yet as Harvey, now a tropical storm, continues to turn its Super Soakers on Houston, those quick to see God's angry handiwork in earlier storms have so far focused their efforts on praising Houston's first responders and citizen volunteers.

"The 'Cajun Navy' is at it again!," Graham shared on Facebook, referring to a band of Louisiana boaters involved in the rescue effort. "Out there with their boats rescuing people stranded by #HurricaneHarvey flood waters. I thank God for people willing to step up and help others — real Good Samaritans!"

People line up for food as others rest at the George R. Brown Convention Center that has been set up as a shelter for evacuees escaping the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston on Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

And Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who once blamed the Sandy Hook school shooting on America's acceptance of gay marriage and abortion, commended "the heroic efforts of emergency personnel and the National Guard as they work to rescue and comfort those stranded and displaced by the flooding."

Certainly, the vast majority of religious groups and leaders respond to all kinds of natural disasters with concern, prayer and warm outreach — as many are doing now. News stories from the flood zones note churches opening as shelters and pastors and others coming to people's aid. Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups all have relief efforts aimed at Texas.

But the idea of a vengeful God is nothing new in America. It came here with the Puritans and was firmly established here with the Rev. Jonathan Edwards' 1741 sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," which is still studied by seminarians and history and English students alike.

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And by no means is the idea limited to Christians. Muslim imams in Egypt blamed Sandy on an anti-Islamic film, and at least one Jewish rabbi blamed Katrina on the U.S. support of the Israeli pullout of Gaza.

But where conservative Christian leaders have sometimes apportioned blame for natural disasters, some are now publicly cautioning against it.

"(H)ad we been living in biblical times, we would have recognized a hurricane like this as a sign of divine judgment, repenting of our sins and asking for mercy," Michael Brown, an evangelical Christian broadcaster and a member of President Trump's evangelical advisory board, wrote two days after Harvey hit the Gulf Coast. "We must be very careful before we make divine pronouncements about hurricanes and other natural disasters, as if they were specific acts of divine judgment against specific sets of sinners."

Stephen T. Davis, a professor of philosophy at Claremont McKenna College who has written about Christian theodicy — the problem of why bad things happen to good people — said the idea of God's punishment gets "very little traction" outside conservative religious circles.

He said in an email that "the secular world finds explanations like 'God wanted to punish Houston' ridiculous."

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But Peter Montgomery, a senior fellow at People for the American Way, which monitors the religious right, said the reaction from the usual finger-waggers "is different this time around."

"I checked with my colleagues and we have a couple of theories."

One theory is that Texas, with a few exceptions like the famously liberal Austin, is a religious right stronghold. Gov. Greg Abbott is very popular with conservative Christians, so perhaps they are less willing to suggest God is unhappy with him. Abbott supports tougher abortion access laws and signed the "Pastor Protection Act," which allows pastors to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

Another theory is that Christian conservatives don't want to suggest Houston deserves divine retribution. In 2015, city voters soundly struck down an anti-discrimination bathroom law with support from many conservative Christian groups and leaders. They had a simple slogan: "No men in women's bathrooms."

A political meme highlighting the ridiculousness of placing blame for natural disasters.

"I think that makes it hard for the religious right to say there is some kind of collective sin in Houston that God wants to punish," Montgomery said. "But if Harvey had hit New Orleans you still would have had people dredging up decadence in that city, or if an earthquake had hit San Francisco, you would have had people saying it was because of homosexuality."

Brown noted as much in his cautionary remarks, saying: "Houston is one of the few cities that has stood bravely against the rising tide of LGBT activism. Why would God single out Houston for judgment?"

Another theory is that the religious right voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. Texas, a red state, voted for Trump. And while Houston's Harris County went blue, all but one of its surrounding counties — the majority of the flooded areas outside Harris County — went red.

"They think the election of Trump was one of their greatest accomplishments and has put the country back into the good graces of God," Montgomery said. "If Obama was still president it might be deemed punishment for electing him."

Dobson may have alluded to this in his Harvey statement. "Finally, my prayer is that we as a nation would not politicize this crisis in any way," he said. "That will not help those who are suffering. Unity is our greatest strength in times of trial so let us come together to support and serve the people of Texas.”


  1. Bryan fisher claimed he had ordered Harvey away from Texas– in jesus’s name, of course, because on his own Fisher has about as much authority as a popsicle, but is far less useful;. Unfortunately, he forgot to order the rain away as well, but he couldn’t think of everything.

    Last week, at least three scamvangelists– err, bible believing Christians– were busy ordering god around.

    Anne Graham Lotz: We remember when You watched Your disciples struggling in the storm on Galilee, then walked across the water, climbed into their boat when they called out to You and commanded the wind and waves to be still. And they obeyed! As Hurricane Harvey threatens the Gulf area, we are asking You to look on the residents of the Gulf area. We cry out to You on their behalf. We know that the wind and the waves still know Your voice. Command them to be still. Please. For the glory of Your great name.
    Well, to be fair, she didn’t exactly order god to do it, but suggested that he should, because i’m sure that the thought hadn’t occurred to him. Maybe her prayers sent it packing towards Lousiana. She also forgot to ask him to stop the rain.

    And then, there is that tsunami-stopping clown, Frank Amedia. what did he have to say? “I call the intercessors and prayer warriors to declare and decree that the fury of this storm be dissipated. We declare that the apex be diverted, that the turbulent forces of the storm turn upon themselves and the four winds of heaven compress it, suppress and depress it! God of Elijah, declare yourself and show your majesty to all the earth! In the name of the Lord who calms the storm, Jesus Christ be glorified.” So he was busy ordering god around. Megalomania much, Frankie?

    Tim Cameron: “Father, in the name of Jesus we go on the offensive against the forces of nature and cry out to you to still the storm and provide safety for all your children. All are your children. In the authority of Jesus, with hearts that are clean, in humility, and in total surrender to you, we take the authority you have handed to us and we say, “Storm be still!” You have told us that if two of us agree on earth concerning anything we ask, it shall be done (Matt. 18:19).” Another prayer that didn’t work. Maybe Gawd was really pissed that Texas had tried to pass their bathroom bill?
    Oh, wait. you asked a question. “Where are the God’s punishment conmen, err umm, prayer warriors?”
    the answer is simple. for scamvangelicals of this sort, who depend on places like Texas for their funding, they would only be braying, err,. umm praying if it hit just Austin. Gawd never punishes his own, never punishes the fundelibangelists, he is only interested in punishing THOSE people, not OUR people.

  2. Let’s take another look at Cameron’s prayer there. Didn’t single out gays or anybody else. He specifically said, “All are Your children.” Didn’t rag on either Obama or Trump.
    And yet you jumped on him anyway. Calling him names. Saying his prayer “didn’t work.” Didn’t acknowledge a single positive about his prayer.

    Not even a pennyworth of gratitude to God that Houston’s vital oil refineries are still standing AT ALL. No thank-you’s offered to God that folks are all trying to help each other, instead of robbing and raping like post-Katrina. The secular media is a big part of this problem too.

    Abe Lincoln was right: Our nation is “too proud to pray to the God that made us.” We are collectively in much danger. Just one well-placed natural or nuclear disaster could mean big disruptions and food shortages. Yet we snort at even inclusive, non-judgmental calls to prayer. Think it over, people.

  3. Sometimes i simply cant tell if you are serious or funnin’ me. Thank gawd the oil refineries are still standing. Too bad about your home and school.

  4. I’m usually a fan of Michael Brown, but in some sense he misstates the case in my opinion. His statement declaring, “had we been living in biblical times…” is problematic. From the point of view of God, all times are biblical times. I hardly think however, that the Gulf Coast has been targeted by God for His especial wrath. I believe the entire earth is troubled by a wide array of dysfunctions among and between people, and to the degree that the climate is changing and unsettling physical events are occurring beneath the surface at what seems to be an increasing rate, both are a function of human activity, and natural influences that science does not fully comprehend. The two sets of forces in play are a dynamic convergence that may well reflect the final “birth pangs” heralding the Return of Christ; or not. The point is we are all called to be ready at any hour, for none of us know the day or the hour that we may be translated from this life, whether by the mundane tragedy of an automobile collision, the curse of an unlooked for disease, the collapse of society as we have understood and experienced it, or finally the Judgment of God. As much as we are able: Be ready to meet Jesus at any time and in any circumstance, the rest will unfold as planned and executed by God in the time of His Own Choosing.

  5. There was a moronic assistant professor at the University of Tampa who posted on social media that Harvey was karma for Texans voting for Trump.

  6. I was actually aware of that one when it happened. But thanks for reminding me the evangelicals are funny, and political evangelicals are just stupid enough to believe this crap, but smart enough to grift on it.

  7. Such silliness from the “religious wrong” over the past quarter century that I can’t even take them seriously, except for the fact they get people killed.

  8. Jesus said in Matthew 24:42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

  9. Things aren’t yet as far along with Harvey as they were when the raping, the looting & pillaging and the killing started after Katrina. They are still having rains and flooding of biblical proportions. Give it time, I pray earnestly not, but it may get ugly yet.

  10. There was some rumbling from Ann Coulter about Harvey is because of Houston’s lesbian mayor, but she isn’t the mayor any more, not since 2016.

  11. Wow, that sounds almost like a struck nerve Ben, so I’m backing off.
    No problem (but it don’t mean I’m quitting the thread).

    The daily and weekly headlines are speaking for themselves, folks. Let those who understand the serious need for national prayer, pray. Let those who don’t wanna pray, don’t.

    (But if you rag on those who do, it might help if ya have a good reason.)

  12. Any punishment god inflicted or will inflict on the US since Nov 8 is superfluous.

  13. You obviously know little about the natural sciences if you’re trying to use them to validate your biblical theories. I got sick of the Jehovah’s Witnesses pointing to every natural disaster as being evidence for Jesus’s prophecy in Matthew.

  14. I really don’t get this article… Hurricane Harvey WAS an act of God. It was punishment for America electing Donald Trump.

  15. Wow, Edward. That took you an impressively large number of words to say almost nothing!

    Seriously, get an editor. Verbosity is not a virtue, and your claptrap is both vexatious and picayune.

  16. Anyone who doesn’t believe that God punishes and sends signals through natural events doesn’t believe a massive chunk of the Old Testament and a good chunk of the New.

    Spirit Daily

  17. God does not punish people here on earth — our sins cause the problems.

  18. Correct. The real world shows how silly both the old and new testaments are.

  19. Good article. It’s about time someone openly pointed out that the emperor is wearing no clothes. The hypocrisy of the Christian silence on this as compared to Katrina is deafening.

  20. And this is exactly why hypocrisy is synonymous with christianity in, especially, America.

  21. I would disagree a bit with the professor from Claremont-McKenna: such a description of so-called natural evil “get very little traction” within most of conservative Christianity too, save for a few televangelists and others who aren’t careful thinkers. I know of few intelligent people, conservative or liberal, who believe they can easily explain God’s particular reasons for allowing this or that thing to happen in time and space.

  22. Harvey is simply the result of global warming that is bringing about climate change. Why do these anti-science evangelical leaders and other conservative Christians including some conservative Catholics see God’s hand in everything? Let Trump and his ilk of anti-science and climate change skeptics realize that the planet’s temperature has increased over the last few decades resulting in all this watery mayhem. Didn’t the people of Texas, particularly those in Houston and areas around it, elect this anti-science and climate denier and climate change skeptic Trump? Not that if anybody else was elected the storm would not have occurred. It’s just that Mother Nature is angry at the way Americans have been destroying their country’s environment and American corporations are aiding in the destruction of rain forests and oceans in different regions of the world. It’s not God but Mother Nature who’s going to pay back these greedy corporation executives and politicians for their thoughtless exploitation of the planet. Mother Nature is reminding humanity it’s payback time. So, will evangelists like Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen, Robert Jefress, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Pat Robertson and others take the ,message of climate science seriously, as seriously as they take the Bible, and remind their politicians and their congregation from their pulpits that climate change is a very, very real threat to humanity brought about by Mother Nature and not God.

  23. what, did this author mean by we are not in biblical times?

    for crying out loud this is the end of the end the sixth day again, in this repeating Story of The Physical Creation.

    and you, are all in a lot of physical trouble for your not being here in IT again.

    have you not even figured out what happens next, after ELOHEEM has THEIR Only Begotten He/She Son Adam put to death at the end of the fourth day?

    i just, can;t believe that ELOHEEM ever intended for all of mankind to be this stupid here in THEIR Only Physical 7 Day Story of The Creation over and over again an again.

  24. God is very slow to move. verrrrrrrryslow. But when he gets pissed, must watch out. Punishment could come any time in the next three millennia.

  25. And isn’t that just too ironical, given the right wings constant whines about he vicious left denying them their freedom of speech.

  26. The only nerve you struck was my funny bone. Really. It reminds me of a story in Mark Twain where a minister thanks god after a lightning storm for saving the church from burning down, because he had put lightning rods on it. The lightning his another church without the rods and it burned to the ground.

    It’s all a matter of whose ox is getting gored, isn’t it?

  27. I don’t think Harvey was divine punishment for anything, but I do think it’s a wake up call that Texas should stop sending climate change deniers to Congress. Unless we do something about climate change, there will be more and more Harveys.

  28. I don’t think I want to meet a 2000 year old zombie.

  29. It is a lot easier to blame it on god. Taking action on limits change is difficult and my cost money.

  30. This article explains to us that the following should take place whenever Christian conservatives or fundamentalists speak —

    Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few………Ecclesiates 5:2

  31. End Times radio host Rick Wiles used his “TruNews” broadcast yesterday to declare that the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston’s “affinity for the sexual perversion movement.”

    “This is a proud city that, in recent years, has boasted of its allegiance, its dedication, its devotion to the homosexual/lesbian agenda,” he said. “How’s it working out for them right now?” he asked. “Here’s a city that has boasted of its LGBT devotion, it’s affinity for the sexual perversion movement in America. They’re underwater.”

  32. Re: “I believe the entire earth is troubled by a wide array of dysfunctions among and between people, and to the degree that the climate is changing and unsettling physical events are occurring beneath the surface at what seems to be an increasing rate, both are a function of human activity, and natural influences that science does not fully comprehend.” 

    A couple observations: First, historically, people are always prone to think things are “worse” for them than at any other time in the past. This is natural, and the product of human nature. We’re all affected (whether we admit it or not) by a number of perceptive faults, including things like selection bias, that lead us (often erroneously) to such conclusions. 

    A quick jaunt through the pages of history, as written by those in the past, would lead you through any number of accounts of how everything “is just soooooo much worse than it’s ever been,” “woe is us, the End is Near!”, etc. Curiously enough, some classical Roman writers claimed that the existence of Christianity caused an increase in calamity in their Empire. If only I had a nickel for each of account of this sort I’ve read — from throughout history — I’d be wealthier than Warren Buffett! 

    Second, even if these worsening trends are real, that doesn’t mean a supernatural explanation is required. The increase in earthquakes in the midwest, for example, has been attributed to fracking, and the increase in apparent hurricane energy has been attributed to global warming. 

    Re: “The two sets of forces in play are a dynamic convergence that may well reflect the final ‘birth pangs’ heralding the Return of Christ; or not. 

    You know, it’s kind of funny how people who believe in an omnipotent Almighty, who supposedly can do anything, somehow wasn’t able to get done — in one trip to the earth — everything he’d intended to do, and was forced (for some reason) to have to return, in order to finish the job. Doesn’t really make any sense — not to this cold-hearted, cynical, godless agnostic heathen. 

    Re: “The point is we are all called to be ready at any hour …” 

    For what, exactly, are we “to be ready”? What is it we’re expected to do, at whatever the appointed time is? Does your Almighty require us to do something for him/her/it at that moment, so that whatever s/he/it wants done, will get done? If so, what can that be? And why, exactly, would the Almighty need me to do anything for him, in the first place? I guess that’s another of those “mysteries” that cynical, godless agnostic heathens like myself aren’t permitted to understand, and I should just shut up and stop thinking too much about stuff already. 

    Re: “Be ready to meet Jesus at any time and in any circumstance, the rest will unfold as planned and executed by God in the time of His Own Choosing.”

    Hmm. If everything “will unfold as planned and executed by God,” then why is my involvement even necessary? What’s the point of me “preparing” for it, if there’s nothing I’m supposed to do except step back and watch it all magically unfold, as the Almighty wishes? 

  33. Oh boy. This blaming on global warming is the equivalent of blaming on God. Well, it’s actually worse, because there is no array of scientific evidence against blaming God.

    Historically, the TX and LA Gulf coast is pummeled with major hurricanes. (The entire city of Galveston was destroyed by one a century ago, and there have been many, many bad storms since then.) What is unusual is that the US went almost 12 years without a major hurricane, the longest in recorded history.

    Al Gore notwithstanding, most actual scientists who study AGW don’t think it would have a significant impact on hurricanes — even in the future. (The physical dynamics simply don’t work that way.) And, as far as the record goes, hurricane activity — both numbers and strength — has gone DOWN significantly, not up, over the past half-century. Any legitimate climate scientist (and the IPCC report, if you care to look) will tell you that hurricanes have not gotten worse.

    The psychological phenomenon of people (typically, with only a tiny smattering of mostly-inaccurate knowledge about climate etc) attempting to take on the role of prophets for an angry god (news flash: Mother Nature is not an actual person) is a fascinating one.

  34. Funny, I recall a number of left-wing preachers claiming that Katrina was God’s wrath for injustices in American society and in its foreign policy. I wonder why there is no mention of that here? (No, I don’t really wonder.)

  35. Kimberly Winston, your article is specious. the very person that you cite in your article…Rev. John McTernan… IS saying that Harvey is punishment from God.

  36. Haven’t heard from you for a while. I’ve kind of missed your Darth Vader breathing. But I see your link is still there, lurking ever ominously behind your comments. LOL. Hey, why don’t you copy and paste it so everyone can read it – along with the editors here at RNS. No? What’s the matter – are you afraid?

    Been working on my writing assignment criteria? Gotta have that scoring guide so I can “earn all my points.”

  37. “Verbosity is not a virtue, and your claptrap is both vexatious and picayune.” Pot, kettle, black. LOL!

  38. Not exactly. Here’s what she said:

    I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than “climate change.”

    Still awful, but it’s Ann Coulter, so what does anyone expect?

  39. Isn’t it amazing how the “homosexual agenda” seems to consist entirely of controlling the weather? Anyway, if you’re going to make fun of reactionary hate-mongers (like I am right now), their lack of originality is a great talking point to start with. They blamed Sandy on the gays, and when Katrina was beating the crap out of New Orleans, gay people got the blame for that, too. And they’re doing it again… sort of…

    Ann Coulter tweeted the following note (11:31 PM – Aug 28, 2017):

    I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than “climate change.”

    Call me crazy, but maybe forcing people to huddle together to stave off hypothermia from freezing cold flood waters isn’t the best idea to break up a union.

  40. And Rick Perry, and Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott and…

  41. Sorry – I’m an English teacher. So you wouldn’t understand.

  42. Probably because they were being ironic.
    Subtlety & humor is so often lost on the concrete-thinking mind.

  43. Uh, no, they most certainly weren’t being ironic. At least not most of them.

  44. Re: the headline, “Where are the condemnations of Harvey as God’s punishment?”: 

    The Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Mt 7:7) And along those lines, here you go: 


  45. Go back to your initial post, Ben. There’s nothing funny about it. Nothing reflective of Twain’s wit or smarts about it.

    You were just dumping your own deeply-planted anger and disrespect towards God on three sincere people who, regardless of the (high) quality of their prayers, at least…

    (1) Stepped up strongly and put their prayers on a real bad situation, asking for others to receive divine help at a very hard time,
    (2) Made themselves vulnerable by sharing their prayers with the public, hopefully inspiring some folks to do their own prayers for Houston.

    Not a laughing matter, honestly.

  46. So that makes three of them. God. Winston. McTernan.

  47. Stop asking questions that people can’t answer about answers that people can’t question. wouldya? ???

  48. OK, a city on the ocean will get hit by hurricanes. It was Houston’s turn. End of statement. God didn’t hate New York, didn’t hate New Orleans, didn’t hate nothing. I live in Albuquerque – does that mean God loves me. I don’t have hurricanes. This is a stupid notion then and is still stupid. It’s the rhetoric of money grubbing Bible salesmen and beneath rational discussion. There has to be something better for you to do than debate that you know God’s will for Houston.

  49. Ah so, sister Kimberly Winston, so that’s why you gave this article the title under the heading, “THEODICY”: Where O “Where are the condemnations of Harvey as ‘God’s punishment’?” Because after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas hard (and that’s really as far as your article goes in terms of “THEODICY”) – and that’s Texas, mind, as in the “religious right stronghold” and the “red state (that) voted for Trump” – ‘Christian conservatives don’t want to suggest Houston deserves divine retribution” for “‘the election of Trump” that surely “has put the country back into the good graces of God'” (the point of which, of course, has nothing to do with “THEODICY” at all). For a minute there, see, you’ve got me thinking that, because of Hurricane Harvey, you were going to update us with the latest & greatest take on “Christian theodicy – the problem of why bad things happen to good people” – even though “the idea of God’s punishment gets ‘very little traction’ outside conservative religious circles.” Instead, you entertained us with a lovely spoof on a “Christian [Right] theodicy – the problem of why bad things happen to [the] good people [of] a red state [that] voted for Trump”!

    Oh well, maybe Matthew 24:7-8 –

    … “There will be famines and earthquakes [and Hurricane Harvey]”, Jesus warned us in anticipation of our world’s and churches’ systemic rejection of the crucified, buried and resurrected Messiah of Israel and savior of the rest of the world; “but all these things [including Hurricane Harvey] are merely the beginning of birth pangs”! …

    – can wait for another time. When it’ll all be too late.

  50. The “climate change” factor has already been debunked: Harvey was stalled in place for days because of two high-pressure systems to the north-east and north-west that blocked its movement — “warming” had nothing to do with that. If Harvey had been able to move on, in the usual hurricane fashion, it would have been a much less devastating event.

  51. “Where are the condemnations of Harvey as God’s punishment?”

    Well, for one thing they’ve pulled up stakes and moved over to secular Academia:
    More proof that, despite a mind’s rejection of God, it still retains its hold on magical thinking.

  52. krychek_2, An adequate response is JR Butler’s new-ish book, “The Skeletons in God’s Closet”. If no bookstore near you has a copy, perhaps a library near you has one to lend you. Get back to me!

  53. Thanks, Dirty. I’ve fixed that omission; I actually meant the URI to be visible, and your post has also even made it more so.

    Best regards.

  54. Seems our “English teacher” hasn’t learned to detect sarcasm yet ;-).

  55. psicop, one of the really foolish things we “armchair quarterbacks” can do is to judge an ancient book by modern standards! Who cares if King David’s adultery’s judgement aren’t recorded in the Bible?

  56. No, I saw it…it just wasn’t funny. But I’ll give you an A for effort.

  57. certainly not what you, have smoked. and as an ordained Pastor, it is my duty to only represent THE G-D of This Seven Day Story we are all physically here in again.

    i am not a lawyer for the devil, so do not expect me to defend any of you.

  58. Not a problem…the way to expose your poison is to let people see for themselves where you get it. I read some of it and laughed. I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

  59. It is almost impossible to link an individual storm on man-made climate change even though the claim is being made in the media.

  60. Otto, as tides and temperatures keep rising, the Western US keeps burning up, the polar ice caps melt and severe weather becomes more frequent and more deadly, you just keep repeating to yourself that man-made climate change isn’t real.

  61. Ah grasshopper, faith is not the path to enlightenment – it is knowledge, reasoning and critical thinking.

  62. Crawl back into your Mom’s basement, take your meds and put the metal colander back on.

  63. You can’t determine whether an individual weather event is caused or enhanced by man-made climate change. A stalled storm and above average Gulf water temperatures were in play. The warmer water is a prediction of climate change models, though.

  64. And the only response you’ve got to meteorological fact is to spew scurrilous insults.
    By the way, my mom died in 1989.

  65. Jim, at one level that’s true; at another level it’s like claiming that you can’t link a heart attack to a specific double cheeseburger.

    I did not say that this specific storm was caused by man-made climate change. I said that this storm is a wake up call to do something about man-made climate change, just as a heart attack is a wake up call to do something about a bad diet. Because at some point it doesn’t matter if a specific event links or not; the problem is the overall pattern of behavior that led to an overall effect.

  66. All you have done is prove to the world you are a complete ignorant fool.

    Now is that better?

  67. The best I could come up with was mention of Rev.Jeremiah Wright per the National Catholic Reporter.

  68. Someone pointed out the other night what a schizophrenic relationship we have with science. Almost 100% reliability assumed as to the time, date and path of the solar eclipse but deny the science behind climate change – although mind you more complex..

  69. “Global warming” is a name we give to the intervals between ice ages. We’re in one now; it’s the human contribution that’s at issue — the “man-made” part. But back to my original comment — it is a simple meteorological fact that Harvey’s extended rain and flooding was due to the high-pressure systems that stalled it in place for days, not because “climate change” affected the storm itself in any way, much less increased the frequency of storms. In fact, we’re in the middle of an extraordinary lull in hurricane activity.

  70. Reading RoR’s post and DirtyHarry’s, it looks like Harry is fibbing. Negative marks for you, DirtyHarry, for being dishonest. Shame on you, you’re no teacher!

  71. Atheism is partly the absence of faith, dummy. You’re no English teacher, you fraud!

  72. Houston is 50 miles inland. It is NOT a “city on the ocean”. Otherwise I agree with your comment.

  73. Hey, maybe God doesn’t actually control the weather, earthquakes and the like.

  74. I respectfully disagree sir. A storm that’s 300 miles across and dumps rains in a 1000 mile radius looks at 50 miles like a local drive. There is no “God’s wrath.” There’s oceans and storms.

    Honestly isn’t the situation dire enough without you people having to make something up to make it worse? How’s this narrative: god sent the storm to Houston to show the world how strong the Christian base there is. Why reach for the nastiest narrative explanation? It’s still stupid, but you can have your stupid and a warm fuzzy with it.

  75. You didn’t say it but I took it as implied and too many others have said it outright with the goal of pushing us to take action – which is needed. The Right has already jumped on the Left for making this claim for Harvey – adding to the fake news noise.

    What should be pointed to is the (general) warming of and increased acidity of the oceans and the higher-than-predicted melting of the Greenland ice cap.

  76. The evidence for manmade climate change is strong but Otto is correct in his statement concerning Harvey. While the above average Gulf water temperatures – predicted by the models – fed the storm with moisture there is no way to link this storm to AGW. Your responses aren’t helpful.

  77. Re: “psicop, one of the really foolish things we “armchair quarterbacks” can do is to judge an ancient book by modern standards!” 

    I studied history and am more than willing to view the Bible as a relic of its own time. I have no problem with that … none! I’ve read a lot of ancient and medieval literature, and am more than capable of taking it as-is in light of who wrote and first read it all. 

    The problem, as I’m sure you’re aware, is when people take a collection of ancient documents — written by ancient authors for their ancient cohorts, with ancient contents — and consider it a direct prescription for life in modern times. It’s anachronistic, and it defies logic to do so. 

    As for some of the logic problems I posed … e.g. believers’ demand that everyone “prepare” for something they ostensibly cannot prepare for, and their assumption that a supposedly-omnipotent deity (who by definition can accomplish anything s/he/it wants, on its own) needs them to do things for him … that all devolves mainly from the fact that the ancient authors of those ancient documents didn’t really put the sort of thought into them that could stand up to centuries of being trotted out, and studied, and propounded, etc. over and over and over again, and examined and interpreted and re-interpreted and re-re-interpreted … especially in light of other documents that didn’t even exist at the time they were writing their own document(s). It goes without saying that a lot of absurdity and B.S. are going to follow from that. It’s natural. It can’t be avoided. 

    I just notice it. I can’t help but notice it. And I refuse to act as though the absurdity and illogic of it all don’t exist. 

  78. Because God created you a free human agent, to accept or reject Him at your own discretion, either to your benefit or peril. For those outside the faith, looking in is quite difficult. For those inside the faith looking out, it is also often difficult to express what is abundantly clear to them, to others. A willingness to sustain belief and suspend disbelief is required as a gift from God.

  79. For such a short statement, your comment is not without its own compacted verbosity.

  80. My statement conformed in no way to the declarations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  81. You know, that’s all that really needs to be said. But you and I know that there are many here who will reject that advice with every fibre of their being. That distresses me greatly.

  82. Re: “Because God created you a free human agent, to accept or reject Him at your own discretion, either to your benefit or peril.” 

    There is no true “freedom” in this choice, if my “peril” depends on it. Such a choice is made under duress. It’s no more “free” than if I’m held up at gunpoint and the robber tells me, “Your money or your life!” The robber can’t later declare I gave him all my money “freely.” 

    Re: “For those outside the faith, looking in is quite difficult.” 

    Yes, I know, I’m deficient because I’m incapable of seeing things the way you do. Because after all, you and your fellow believers are all just soooooo much better than the rest of us. Right? 

    Re: “For those inside the faith looking out, it is also often difficult to express what is abundantly clear to them, to others.” 

    What a pathetic, whiney excuse for refusing to explain your beliefs cogently and logically. 

    Re: “A willingness to sustain belief and suspend disbelief is required as a gift from God.” 

    Like I said, you’re “special” and I’m not. Bully for you! Must be wonderful to bathe in all that precious divine favor that YOU’VE been given, but I haven’t. Congratulations! 

  83. There was an interesting comment in the Sydney Morning Herald about the storm that devastated Houston. It stated in part:

    “As tropical storm Harvey moved towards the Texas coast last week, few models predicted it would intensify into such a damaging weather system. It then hit an ocean patch in the Gulf of Mexico that remained so hot over the northern winter that it broke temperature records on one in four days according to Houston meteorologist Matt Lanza. On the day Harvey hit, the area was around 2.2 degrees [ almost 4 degrees Fahrenheit] hotter than normal. Fuelled by the aberrant water temperature Harvey grew rapidly into a category-four cyclone as it hit the coast. It is now trapped in place over Houston, constantly siphoning energy and moisture from an ocean that scientists agree is likely to have been warmed by climate change.

    “The flooding across America’s fourth-largest city was predicted last year in a joint investigation by the Texas Tribune and the non-profit investigative journalism organisation ProPublica.

    “As millions have flocked to the metropolitan area in recent decades, local officials have largely rejected stricter building regulations, allowing developers to pave over acres of prairie land that once absorbed large amounts of rainwater. In the decade after Tropical Storm Allison [in 2001], about 167,000 acres were developed in Harris County, home to Houston,” ProPublica wrote last week when it revisited its earlier investigation.”

    If this assessment is correct, two of the reasons for this devastating storm are global warming and the overdevelopment of the prairie lands around Houston. So while it’s not a punishment of a vengeful deity it might well be the consequence of human folly.

  84. Matt. 9:36 But when He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted and were scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into His harvest.”
    Your heart is broken by the things that broke our Savior’s heart. You are a good man and a good brother, Edward.

  85. I wish it were only so, but alas I took a vow of poverty and became an English teacher where I taught people like you. So glad I’m out of it. My little pun is an oxymoron or at least oxymoron-like. I would say you are an oxymoron but I would only be half right.

  86. So said some of my former students too. But then I’d tell them they weren’t much of a student either. So we were a perfect match.

  87. You’re right of course. I was going to put that in my comment but because the article was all about what the conservatives were saying, I left it out.

  88. Rain of biblical proportions? How does 50″ of rain compare to the nearly 29,000 feet of rain during the flood of Noah?

  89. It’s an expression, not meant to be taken literally.

  90. That isn’t at all what plenty of climate scientist are stating. Global Warming is changing the flow patterns in the atmosphere and the Gulf of Mexico is at record warm temperature which fed huge amounts of water into the storm. The intensity of the storm was definitely attributed to Global Warming.

  91. ♬And we”ll know he’s a christianist by his love, by his love, yes we’ll know he’s a christianist by his love♫

  92. Can you give me some links so I can see for myself?

  93. Simple meteorological fact?

    So you are smarter than 30 Nobel Laureates who stated that humans are causing climate change?

    Another way to put it: who died and made you Elvis?

  94. I have diabetes, PsiCop. Ain’t God’s fault that I got diabetes — I ate as much sugar as I desired in my younger years, and finally my pancreas ran outta gas.

    But I have a big promise. Doctor says, “You inject this insulin every day, and you’ll stay alive longer.” So I inject this insulin every day. A simple freewill choice: Merely do what the doctor says, or DIE. No “duress”, no unfairness.

    Well, God’s giving you a freewill choice too. You did your own free-will sins just like I did mine, but God says you won’t receive their ultimate consequences if you’ll just take this one Medicine (John 3:16), that God already paid for.

  95. I couldn’t think of too many left wing preachers who use that tactic. Do you remember which ones or have articles about them?

    Its not that I don’t trust you, but generally people tend to mischaracterize the religious left. They are so hardly seen these days and are prone to be misrepresented by Christian conservatives.

  96. My initial post was about evangelicals thinking they can command storms, can command god, can do any thing besides congratulate themselves on their mythical holiness and being God’s BFFF.
    Megalomania much? Or should I call it MAGAlomania?
    I’m laughing about that. Not about the tragedy in Houston.

  97. Re: “Well, God’s giving you a freewill choice too.” 

    What part of “a ‘freewill’ choice made under duress is not really a ‘free’ will choice” do you not understand? The concept is pretty simple, but you’re purposely evading it, and lying to me about it. Why? Do you really think I’m that stupid? 

  98. I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about. But I do know this: you have one standard for yourselves and another standard for Christians. You like to zing Christians but when they zing you in return you whine. Well, here’s what I say to that: Would you like a little cheese with that whine, snowflake?
    As for your little song I would say you got the words right but you don’t know the tune. But then I’d be wrong: you didn’t even get the words right. LOL!

  99. If I’m Grasshopper then you must be…no…I can’t…no…I won’t…if I do it I’ll get a whooping – I’ll do it: so if I’m Grasshopper you must be blind master Po. [You’re a nice guy Jim and I just can’t take this comment to it’s literary resolution…even though you’re agnostic/atheist…I don’t think you’d see the humor in my comment – even tho I would not mean it to be insulting to you personally…so I’ll stop] I appreciate your humor.

    But you do have faith…faith in knowledge, reasoning, and critical thinking and that it will lead you to the truth. And that is correct – it will lead you to the truth about the natural world that can be measured, quantified, described, interpreted, analyzed etc.

  100. floyd, your sky fairy would obviously be a cruel and excessively vengeful jerk if it actually existed. Fortunately, and obviously, it doesn’t exist.

    Get over your silly Christian myths already. Your superstitions are an embarrassment to humanity.

  101. Way to miss the sarcasm.

    Get an editor, Edward. Do it.

  102. “So why call it god?”, then, is a good old quote in that regard.

  103. Perhaps, it is divine punishment for the issues you brought up along with local poor development and land use practices.

  104. LOL. If it weren’t for the Bible you wouldn’t be enjoying the fruits of western civilization. Your ilk are like your Taliban buddies who blew up the Buddah statues in Afghanistan and that’s what you’d like to do here with the Bible. But I’ve read your poison and it is laughable. All it does is it shows how whackadoo your beliefs are.

  105. “you people”??????

    You obviously did not read my comment very well.

  106. Speaking for yourself there, Dirty, obviously. As noted above, you are the one who is deluded by a crazy religious myth, one that demands bigotry and violence.

  107. Well said, OZ. Sorry about your mom. Mine passed away in 2012 at 98. I think about her every day.

  108. I do know this: we all want clean air, water, and soil. So I’m for legislation ensuring that.

  109. Slick! And they didn’t even see it coming. Well done.

  110. George, I suppose it’s not always clear what is punishment and what is merely the natural consequences of stupid decision making.

  111. >forehead slap.
    OK – here’s the true thing,
    1) hurricanes are HUGE
    2) Anything coastal within 200 miles can be hit/damaged/destroyed and is far more likely than something far inland
    3) it’s absurd to conclude that God hates a city or is punishing them for sins or their spending habits and the situation is bad enough

    Thank you for agreeing with the nature of this comment and not necessarily the specifics of the definition of a “coastal city.”

  112. Clearly you should stop taking the insulin because you wouldn’t want to seem more “special” than those who don’t take it.

    The Houston folks shouldn’t be taking those boats that come by for them, either. Just too much “specialness” all around. :-p

  113. Of course they have consistently higher expectations of Christians than they do of others, despite protestations that they “don’t need God to be good.” It says a lot.

  114. No, Shawnie. Wrong from you as usual. There is just a common expectation of humanity from the rest of us, unlike the bigotry that your horrid Christian bible dictates.

  115. Sorry Max, the double standards and hypocrisies are on display for everyone to see. The little “christianist” jingle above says it all– and you can not take it back on his behalf.

  116. Christianists commonly are as “worldly”as the people they condemn as being godless, whenever it is convenient. They claim to be disciples of someone who advised them to turn the other cheek, love their enemies, give their second coat to anyone taking their first and to love their neighbors as themselves. I doubt that your sarcastic, baiting, and belittling attitude to those of us who are not your co-religionists would be approved of by your alleged savior (if he really existed). But so many christianists want to have their cake and eat it too. They expect that they can demand the same behavior and attitude of charity and forbearance that they are supposed to exhibit, even when they don’t actually exhibit that same behavior themselves! This goes right to the heart of the real false claim of christianism: that being a practicing christianist actually makes people into “new creations”! While there may be actual individual christianists who do become better people, how many more actually become worse?

  117. i have seen ELOHEEM. and want to be just like THE HIM.

  118. then you, ain’t been paying attention if you think this has only been going on since nov 8.

  119. You mean the God the democRATs, liberals and atheists claim doesn’t exist? Yes insanity at it’s zenith.

  120. Thanks Dirty, but no need to. I retired young and rich several years ago :-).

    Now, get back to your reading homework. Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

  121. Oh and hey…I’ll take an order of fries with that quarter pounder too.

  122. Dang…reading your posts are like walking through livestock pens – if’n ya ain’t keerful you’re likely to “cut” yer foot – if’n ya catch my drift.

  123. It has started. Houston had a gay mayor a couple of years ago. It’s her fault. The legislature failed to pass the “make sure trans people don’t have anywhere safe to pee” law. It’s their fault. The self appointed god spokesmen are crawling out of the woodwork.

  124. Global warning is backed by evidence and scientific consensus.

    The oil companies that buy politicians to deny rising sea levels are quietly spending billions to raise the height of ocean oil derricks. They actually know the truth.

    But the same politicians that were bought by oil companies to protect short term profits turn around and buy votes by pandering to evangelicals on culture war issues. So the evangelicals default to supporting the oil company preferences. But it makes no sense.

    Human influenced global warming is true. Oil companies know this. Politicians are too busy going to the bank to care. Evangelicals are too devoid of critical thinking skills to figure out they are being played.

  125. My grandfather had type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed about the same time insulin was discovered and became commercially available. It was science and scientists unwilling to accept “goddidit” that saved his life, not god or free will or religious mumbo jumbo. Because he lived, he got married and fathered children. Thus, I also exist. All due to science, not your deity. Your deity, on the other hand, sat back and did diddlysquat for millenia as young children slowly wasted away from this “incurable” disease.

  126. RoR – Great site. Just one quibble. In the article on Ritual Human Sacrifice you missed something rather critical (from my perspective). In Exodus 34 (the only list described as “the ten commandments”), God commands that the first thing to pop out of every womb must be sacrificed. He makes exactly two exceptions. Those exceptions are NOT “donkeys and children.” The exceptions are “donkeys and sons.” No exception is made if the first thing to pop out of the womb is a daughter. Daughters must be sacrificed just like the sheep and the goats. Tough luck on girls.

  127. Any voice of sanity has to lean hard into the winds of hysteria on this one!

  128. Well great now you and ror (poo man) can play in the same honey wagon. Lol.

  129. In a word. NO. How’s that for a short and succinct reply.

  130. Ahh…I wish it were so. I confess I let my temper get the best of me in a traffic event today, and it occurred almost immediately after I prayed I would not do so. Sometimes God’s tests come immediately. Much more work on the whole traffic thing.

  131. You may interpret my remarks in that way if you wish, but the spirit you attribute to them is not what is in me. Cogency and logic really aren’t the question. I always apply a rational and logical framework for my arguments, arguments that many others with greater skills than I have, accept. I am not responsible for your acceptance and rejection of them. That again, lies between you and your maker.

  132. Add Kevin Swanson of Colorado to the list of pastors blaming Houston’s acceptance of sexual perversion as a reason for Harvey. Now if god sent a hurricane to San Francisco I might be impressed. Obviously the next earthquake in that region will be labelled divine retribution. Disgusting – these pastors and the ignorant sheep who believe them. What hatred!

  133. Re: “You may interpret my remarks in that way if you wish, but the spirit you attribute to them is not what is in me.” 

    So when you said you had a super-extra-special “gift from God,” you weren’t expressing your spiritual superiority, is that it? If so, how does that work, exactly? 

    Re: “Cogency and logic really aren’t the question.” 

    Cogency and logic are always the question! They always matter, because the ability to be clear, and to communicate effectively, depends on them. 

    Re: “I always apply a rational and logical framework for my arguments, arguments that many others with greater skills than I have, accept.” 

    That’s not true, when you rationalize your own inability or unwillingness to express your beliefs logically and cogently by complaining that it’s too difficult for you. 

    Re: “I am not responsible for your acceptance and rejection of them.” 

    That might be the case, if I had a clear idea of your beliefs and could understand what you say about them. Unfortunately, you haven’t expressed them in a logical manner that allows me to do so. Instead, you said that “it is also often difficult to express what is abundantly clear to” you. For some reason you’re unable to convey something that is, you insist, “abundantly clear.” Usually, things which are “abundantly clear” aren’t difficult or impossible to express. 

    Re: “That again, lies between you and your maker.” 

    What “maker”? Point him/her/it out to me, please. Then can I discuss it with him/her/it. 

  134. I made no claim to receiving an extra special gift from God.

  135. Re: “I made no claim to receiving an extra special gift from God.” 

    Yes, you did. Very clearly. Earlier, you said (emphasis mine):

    “A willingness to sustain belief and suspend disbelief is required as a gift from God.”

    Here’s a direct link to your comment, if you need it:

    Come on, just own up to what you said. Is that asking too much? 

  136. Great article! One Christian belief about natural disasters is that they are always a reminder to turn to God. Life is transient, not forever. The great Creeds of Christianity all reference a final judgement. But it will be for all people, not specific groups.

  137. Fundamentalists often quote 2 Chron 7:14…….Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their ‘wicked ways’, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

    What kind of ‘wicked ways’ that ‘my people’ commit should they turn away from? This article lists many in red and others in the text.

    In other words, these same fundamentalists should ‘turn from their wicked ways’ of loveless attitudes and comments about the LGBT community and others.
    If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?…………Matthew 5:46

    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men………..Matthew 5:13

    Hateful, mean-spirited and scornful public rhetoric by some angry, immature, conservative, fundamentalist Christians is constantly being rejected or ‘thrown out’ and ‘trampled on’ by all sorts of mature minded folks who simply know better.

    And as mentioned earlier —
    Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few………Ecclesiates 5:2

  138. My statement did not reflect any claim of exclusivity, I merely stateed that such a gift is available to anyone with willingness to receive it. The key term in that remark is “willingness.”

  139. Re: “My statement did not reflect any claim of exclusivity, I merely stateed that such a gift is available to anyone with willingness to receive it.” 

    You said nothing of the sort. To repeat, what you said was: “A willingness to sustain belief and suspend disbelief is required as a gift from God.” 

    You said nothing about how that gift was to be given, by God; about who was or wasn’t eligible; or under what conditions it was to be awarded. 

    All you said was that this gift from God was required. Nothing more. Nothing about “willingness,” or any of that other jazz. 

    You’re free, now, to qualify that if you see the need … but don’t pretend those qualifications were there all along. Because they weren’t. 

    Re: “The key term in that remark is ‘willingness.’ 

    I’m “willing” to take any gift that anyone wants to give me. That includes your deity. All s/he/it has to do is show up and give me whatever s/he/it wants to give. 

    You have no idea how many of your ilk have told me, over the years, that your deity’s gifts are freely given to me. That said, I’m still waiting for delivery. It’s not possible for me to accept gifts that never arrive, from a being that I have no way to know exists. 

  140. Isn’t it funny that god NEVER sends weather as punishment for heterosexuals. A people who divorce at a rate of 50%, who cheat on each other and lie about it at a rate of 60%, and who abandon their families so that they can go and start a completely new one with a younger, hotter model.


    It’s ALWAYS because 2 dudes love each other.

    This god of theirs? A total idiot.

  141. I can’t help the self inflicted limitations you place on yourself; that is the only thing that hinders your ability to receive the gift. It’s right in front of you, you choose not to see it. It is a willful blindness and hardening of your heart against the things of God. As to eligibility, anyone is eligible. You may quibble about terms, but the essential truth at the heart of my argument obviously requires willingness and belief, it is just that simple.

  142. Re: “I can’t help the self inflicted limitations you place on yourself; that is the only thing that hinders your ability to receive the gift.” 

    Hmm. Clearly you did not pay attention to what I actually said, which was: It’s not possible for me to accept gifts that never arrive, from a being that I have no way to know exists. What part of that statement did you not get, the first time I typed it? 

    What’s more, I never implied any limitation on myself. I only noted that your deity has never shown up and presented me with any gift. If there are any “limitations” at play here, they must be in your deity and his/her/its unwillingness to actually show up and deliver whatever gift(s) s/he/it wants to provide me. 

    Re: “It’s right in front of you, you choose not to see it.” 

    An “gift” I can never see, touch, hear or sense in any other way, is logically inseparable from one which doesn’t exist at all. Just as soon as your deity shows up and delivers his/her/its gift, I will review it, and accept it. OK? But I literally am incapable of accepting a gift which is “nothing.” 

    Re: “As to eligibility, anyone is eligible.” 

    What is it, exactly, that I’m supposed to be “eligible” for? A gift from your deity? How can I be “eligible” for something I don’t have any idea about, from a being whom I can never know exists? What kind of desperate game are you trying to play with me? 

    Re: “You may quibble about terms …” 

    Gosh, thank you for that permission! Whew! For a moment there, I wasn’t quite sure if all my “quibbling” was legal or not. You’ve put my mind at ease, and I thank you for that. I plan to “quibble” on. 

    Re: “… but the essential truth at the heart of my argument obviously requires willingness and belief, it is just that simple.” 

    “Willingness” to … what, exactly? “Belief” in … what, where? Please point to it. Thanks. 

  143. Fake republican conservative GAWD has nothing what soever to do with Jesus Christ and GOD.

  144. Yesterday the climate was nice. Today the climate isn’t as nice.

  145. By the fork-tailed imp that spark’d the flood
    White Flag to AIPAC’s sleaze un-furled
    Here the soul-sold Trummpler stood,
    And told the biggest whoppers in the world.

  146. Sheikh Obomber faces DACA and barks like a dog.
    Scimitar-swirler Trummpler banks the Saudi, Qatari, and Adelson loot.
    The fact checkers spill less ink refutin’
    Yon tweet barrage put out by Putin.

  147. Wow. I was thinking these hurricanes are after Trump’s multi-million dollar estateS (plural). God loves his children, and hates greed.

  148. I have a different theory. God is angry with the Religious right for voting for the anti-christ, Trump, and is systematically punishing states that voted for this human piece of garbage. First Texas and Florida with Hurricanes,next up is Indiana and Ohio with tornadoes, then maybe plague and pestilence for Georgia and Alabama etc… It seems that the evangelicals are quick to blame gays for causing storms in places like New York and New Orleans but seem to give God a pass on good conservative states. You can’t have it both ways. Crazy seems to rule the day in our country.

  149. Interesting topic, found my way to this page looking for something similiar. I doubt God sends hurricanes as punishment. Religious leaders claiming “God’s vengence on the wicked” to morally justify not aiding people in crisis points to a far larger problem, TK

    ……I was raised Roman Catholic, studied the Bible a bit in my 47 years and have attended services at Catholic Churches regardless of denomination up and down the East Coast. I state this to give some credibility to my conclusion – The Church and it’s authorities are not the Church of Christ, Not Christian by any standard, not conduits to the word of God – Never have been and never will be. It’s obvious and forewarned in Revelation. The betrayal, corruption and takeover by The AntiChrist is total. The religious right, the moral majority, the theological elite…. any man who sits in judgement upon another or uses the word of God for personal gain and influence is not a Christian. Any man who corrupts others into believing that he can know of God’s intent on anything as it relates to any individual in not Christian. And only those in line with the church of the anti christ will hope for and revel in “god’s wrath”, offer false moral interpretation or willfully use word of God to destroy God’s creations in his name. This is Evil. Personally I think all the sand religions are seriously fucked. Any church, sect, group or man who wishes for “Devine” destruction of NYC
    (re:no sandy aide, 9/11 deserved. blahblah) is a Christian Terrorist.

    Ive lived in New York City for the last 18 years. Regardless of anyone’s interpretation of the Bible, Koran or Tora and Regardless of anyones selfish fears, political agenda, moral cowardice and in spite or anyone’s hatred and attempts to destroy. New York City remains the most respectful of real Christian values in this very hateful fraud-Christian Country – there is no agenda – no judgements – free to peruse beliefs, NYC strictly adheres to spirit of Romans 2:3.

    Interested in replys from religious active persons. Agree, Church corrupted? Has Christianity gone to War again?
    Email if you’d like:

  150. You may not have implied a limitation, but that limitation clearly exists. What I know and experience is equally available to anyone, as testified to by many who post here who have had the same experience. Your unwillingness to accept the evidence before you is your own responsibility. Whether it is borne of anger, indifference, despair, or any other inhibiting spirit, I cannot say. But such a spirit exists as surely as God exists. That is something I KNOW intuitively, and probably deep down underneath below the hardness of your heart, you know as well. The Gift lies before you, He is offering it to you, suspend disbelief and see what a gift it can be.

  151. Re: “You may not have implied a limitation, but that limitation clearly exists.” 

    No, it doesn’t. Not at all. At least, not in the way you imply (i.e. that I’m somehow defective, insolent, or too stupid to accept your deity’s “gift”). You’re forcing me to repeat what I already said a couple of times, because — for some reason — you’re ignoring it, which is: It’s not possible for me to accept gifts that never arrive, from a being that I have no way to know exists. What part of this do you not understand? Why do you refuse to acknowledge I said it? 

    Re: “What I know and experience is equally available to anyone, as testified to by many who post here who have had the same experience.” 

    Bully for you! Clearly, then, your deity deigned to come down and deliver his “gift” to you in person. He has not, however, done so with me. I will repeat, for the millionth time: It’s not possible for me to accept gifts that never arrive, from a being that I have no way to know exists. 

    Re: “Your unwillingness to accept the evidence before you is your own responsibility.” 

    There you go, blaming me for all this. But you’re wrong. I am not the reason your deity has not presented himself and his “gift” to me. S/he/it is solely responsible for that — not me. If in fact s/he/it exists, and is the omnipotent creator-deity you say, then nothing I ever do, and nothing about me, can ever prevent him/her/it from doing so — because such a being cannot be thwarted in any way … by definition. 

    Stop blaming me for your own deity’s failures. I will not accept responsibility for them. If it makes you feel better to consider me “defective” or something, then go ahead and think that; your feelings, after all, are the most important thing in the universe and grant you the right to blame me for things I didn’t do and cannot change. 

    Right? Isn’t that how living in your subjective, emotion-fueled, religionistic universe works? 

    Re: “Whether it is borne of anger, indifference, despair, or any other inhibiting spirit, I cannot say.” 

    You “cannot say,” because none of those things is to blame. The blame lies solely with your putative deity, who refuses to present him/her/itself and his “gift” to me so that I can accept it. 

    Re: “But such a spirit exists as surely as God exists.” 

    Great! Point to him/her/it, please. If you can’t or won’t, then nothing you say about your deity matters … because I have no way to know s/he/it exists. 

    Re: “That is something I KNOW intuitively, and probably deep down underneath below the hardness of your heart, you know as well.” 

    So now you can read my mind, is that it? Really!? What color am I thinking of, right now? Yes, I am thinking of one while I type. If you can, in fact, read my mind, then tell me what it is. If you cannot or will not, then you’ll have failed the test and your claim to be able to read my mind, collapses. 

    Re: “The Gift lies before you, He is offering it to you, suspend disbelief and see what a gift it can be.” 

    When your deity gets off his/her/its little behind and delivers me this “gift,” I will accept it, and you’ll be the first to know. Until then, you’re blowing smoke — and blaming me for not wanting to breathe it in. Which is childish. 

  152. Your response, in a way, demonstrates just how much a part of you really wants to accept that gift. It is not a blame game at all…it is a functional spiritual reality. All you have to do is surrender your unbelief. It’s a choice available to anyone, but each soul has to make that choice on its own.

  153. Re: “Your response, in a way, demonstrates just how much a part of you really wants to accept that gift.” 

    More of that religionistic mind-reading, I see. Please, by all means, continue. Tell me everything I’m thinking right now. 

    Go ahead. I dare you. Substantiate your ability to read my mind. Surely, if you know what I’m thinking right now, you can just tell me what it is. So do it already. 

    Or just admit you can’t read my mind … then freaking stop already with your claims to read my mind. 

    Re: “It is not a blame game at all…it is a functional spiritual reality.” 

    There’s no such thing as a “spiritual reality.” Nothing “spiritual” exists. At least, not demonstrably. Therefore there can be no “spiritual reality.” 

    Re: “All you have to do is surrender your unbelief.” 

    Bzzzzt! Wrong. You’ve got all bass-ackwards. I don’t believe anything because there’s nothing for me to believe. You have the power to change my mind, however; all you need do is present compelling, objective, verifiable evidence for anything you wish me to believe. 

    That’s all. Should be trivial to do, assuming you’re correct about everything. So, get to it. 

    Or don’t. Your choice. But whatever your choice is, remember, it’s your choice. If my unbelief bothers you, it’s in your power to change it. Either do so, or don’t … but fercyinoutloud, don’t blame me for your refusal. 

    Re: “It’s a choice available to anyone, but each soul has to make that choice on its own.” 

    There is no “choice” for me to make because there is nothing for me to “choose.” You can change that, of course, by (as I said) providing compelling, objective, verifiable evidence for what you say. Do it, or not. 

  154. Joel Osteen has 50,000 members and teaches that God wants you rich and that nothing bad will happen to you if you have enough faith. Perhaps God sent this disaster to wake up his deluded followers.


  156. More judgements come, America has broken the sacred covenant and is now cursed. The rainbow shall be taken away from the world in a time, for it symbol is defiled by the depraved. Homosexuality is a abomination and america was a choice land protected from it enemy’s even nature power held back, but behold Satan now has great power to bring destruction upon it due to it sins. Tribulations cometh soon upon it, may it people repent for whole world in season faces sorrows but great shall they be upon the once chosen land.

  157. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria in 2017? That is a lot even by American standards.

  158. November 4, 1980. The day America turned to the dark side.

  159. i, go with benjamin franklin’s prediction nov 1976. and the rest of the world, about 200 years earlier getting darker. but the world, has mostly always operated in the shadows of iniquity.

  160. So, it is always, increasing darkness, and in shadows, of unequality for sure.

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