(c) by Mary Griggs
Frankenstorm Sandy had not even made it onto shore before Pastor John McTernan was declaring it God’s judgment for the “homosexual agenda.” This is the same guy who had made similar claims about Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Isaac (2012).
The Phelps family of Westboro Baptist Church were their usual sane selves when speaking of the storm. Margie Phelps blamed marriage equality in her tweet:
— MargiePhelps (@MargieJPhelps) October 29, 2012
Rabbi Noson Leiter of Torah Jews for Decency blamed Hurricane Sandy on gays and lesbians, calling it “divine justice” for New York’s new marriage equality law.
Unfortunately, they are not isolated crackpots, alone in blaming the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for natural phenomena. The American Family Association’s Buster Wilson declared that Hurricane Isaac was punishment for Southern Decadence. After Hurricane Katrina, Rick Joyner claimed that “[God]‘s not gonna put up with perversion anymore.” Pat Robertson has long believed that acceptance of homosexuality could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombs, and “possibly a meteor.”
Why is it so comforting for these religious extremists to believe in an angry, vengeful God who uses hurricanes to punish the wicked? Hurricanes, I will add, that caused more disruption to the Republican National Conventions in 2008 and 2012 than they did to Southern Decadence.
What kind of all-powerful deity lacks the finesse to do some sort of surgical strike and hit what he aims at? Instead of targeting that 10% of the population who may be LGBT, he creates a storm of such magnitude that it impacted most of the East Coast and killed over 70 people. Seriously, aren’t tropical force winds extending 520 miles from the storm center overkill?
By the way, didn’t their God make a promise not to use storms and flooding to destroy the world again? Of course, that promise was signaled with a rainbow (Genesis 9:13-14) and, goodness knows, the rabid lunatics who see homosexuals as having some sort of weather superpowers would never want anyone to connect rainbows and God’s blessings.
In any event, hurricanes are not caused by marriage equality nor by societal advancements in extending civil rights to all citizens.
Hurricanes are formed during the summer and fall when warm, moist air from the ocean rises rapidly to encounter cooler air in the atmosphere before condensing into rain. This condensation also releases latent heat, which warms the cool air above, causing it to rise and pull more warm humid air from the ocean below. This continuing heat exchange and the Coriolis effect of the Earth spinning on its axis causes the air to spiral upwards with considerable force.
What caused Sandy in particular was four factors that came together at once:
- a hurricane
- a low pressure system from the arctic feeding the storm
- a high pressure system pushing the storm ashore.
- a full moon leading to higher than normal tides