Monday, 29 October 2012

Divine retribution in the blogosphere


Is Hurricane Sandy 'God's revenge for the refusal of the US government to take action on the climate crisis'? Or because Mitt and Obama are 'a pro-homosexual Mormon and a pro-abortion/homosexual Muslim'? Hard to call.

Actually, I do not think it has anything to do with any of these things or any kind of punishment but I do not see why people should not think so, as they always did in the past. Dryden, for example, wrote his wonderful Annus Mirabilis to refute the idea that the Great Plague and Great Fire of London were God's judgment on Londoners and by implication on the reign of King Charles II. 

Of course, it is far-fetched and richly comic to say that God permitted the September 11th outrages because of widespread homosexuality in the USA, as Jerry Falwell did, but I was shocked that the hellfire preacher aroused such anger for saying so - everyone in America seemed furious with him and he apologised. Though, of course, why single out homosexuality not divorce or materialism or violence or a thousand other possible reasons? Mr Obama's pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, thought September 11th was a punishment for racism. And so it goes. 

By contrast, in England, acts of God somehow seem to be considered, even by devout Christians, purely a term of art from the insurance industry. English Christians sometimes even refuse to believe that God causes natural disasters or illnesses, which goes along with what Jonathan Meades meant when, speaking of modern British church architecture, he referred to 'the idea of God, the awfully nice bloke.' Romanians have a much clearer idea that God is very immanent and to be feared as well as loved.

If hundreds of people die in the hurricane, presumably this might will help Mr. Romney. I suspect that some people, including American defence and tobacco company executives, who stand to gain from a Romney victory, are calculating that it might be the October surprise that decides the election.

1 comment:

  1. Ex-KGB Cuban Weather Machine left over from the Seventies.