For more than 15 years, my writing partner (www.werunandride.wordpress.com) Monte Wehrkamp and I have exchanged emails over politics, religion and modern culture.
We talked our way through 8 years of a Bush Presidency that shot forth religious triumphalism whenever it did anything, good or bad, on America’s behalf. You could almost feel America sag under the weight of those heavy claims.
Over the years we’ve listened to various TV preachers complain about the supposed downfall of America and the many publicly laments about its causes, especially those they judge to be morally reprehensible. The Reverend Jerry Falwell and the Reverend Pat Robertson in their prime moments have both claimed to be the mouthpiece of God on matters of religious consternation such as abortion, gay rights and evolution, to name a few. These issues they indict as signs of a morally depraved society, therefore deserving of a good whack on the coast by a hurricane sent from God, or an earthquake or two.
Does it work both ways?
So let’s take them at their word, for a moment, and suppose that God really does use natural disasters to correct moral wrongs in a nation. Who has he thwarted most profoundly, and most recently? Here was my friend Monte’s take on the situation, sent to me via email this past Friday:
“There’s a lot of handwringing going on by Republicans, wondering how it was they lost an election they so thought they were going to win.
Some think Romney did a poor job of letting us get to know him, the person. There have been the typical accusations of Liberal media bias by everyone besides Fox News. Then of course the blame might lie in the conflicting messages regarding immigration, reproductive rights, gender equality, and homosexual unions, and what Americans make of the Republican position on those issues.
But I think the reason for the Romney loss may be more obvious than that. To the party the tries to embrace “God” more than the Democrats (and heck, even the Taliban, for that matter), I would like to suggest that God, Hissownself, is the reason Romney lost.
Do not forget that the Republican Convention was washed out in the early days by a hurricane named Isaac, who rose from the sea and flooded asunder the introduction of Romney, the candidate. The subsequent rearranging of the program for the TV audience meant the highlight of the convention fell upon a senile, rambling, incoherent, spaghetti western actor talking to an empty chair. That certainly sounded like an act of God. Or someone talking to God. Only God did not appear to be listening.
And then, during the critical election period, another hurricane – nay, a super-frankenstorm named Sandy roared up the coast and threw fury and water upon all those Republicans who would have cast votes for Romney, were they not cowering in shelters or their homes.
So in the beginning, and at the end, God’s wrath upon Republicans was evident. He sent the Holy Spirit in the form of Isaac and Sandy to do His bidding, and that was to secure President Obama’s second term. Oh, and keep a Democratic majority in the Senate. Knock off a couple House seats as well.
The Republicans should stop for a moment and think about that. I await Pat Robertson’s comments regarding God’s wrath upon the Republicans and why God has felt it necessary to choose a black, socialist Muslim from Kenya over the all-American, magic-underweared, private schooled, Bain Capitalized, Wall Street annointed, 5-point-planned, Tea-Party vetted former Governor, Mitt Romney?”
Good questions all. The answers don’t seem to be clear even to the supposedly God-fearing announcers on Fox News, who certainly appeared like they’d seen a Holy Ghost of some sort when their own station called the race for Obama. Shock and Awe came home to roost.
God beats the crap out of Karl Rove
Karl Rove seemed the most stunned of all, as if the nickname Turd Blossom given to him by former President George W. Bush has literally come true, right there in his pants. Rove spouted excuses like diarrhea, a political scoundrel exposed by the prodigious amounts of closeted money he spent to win the election, only to lose to big, and lose often. And what did Rove have to say about Hurricane Sandy? To quote the Turd Blossom himself, this is what he said:
“The president was also lucky. This time, the October surprise was not a dirty trick but an act of God. Hurricane Sandy interrupted Mr. Romney’s momentum and allowed Mr. Obama to look presidential and bipartisan.”
Even the candidate himself, Mitt Romney, a devout man by all reports, seemed confounded by God’s abandonment of his campaign in his hour of need. As a story on thinkprogress.org shared, “Mitt Romney reportedly told donors at a Wednesday breakfast that Hurricane Sandy hurt his momentum.”
Thinkprogress.org also reports that MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews also credited the storm with “possibilities for good politics,” though he later apologized.
Rove and Romney never went quite so far as to suggest that the so-called ‘act of God’ in Hurricane Sandy was in fact intentional. But by the line of reasoning given by so many other Republican leaders claiming that God is on their side, perhaps nothing the Republicans could have done would have helped them win this election. The handprints of God Himself were all over this race, dumping buckets of rain and throwing gale-force winds at everything the Republicans did.
Honestly, none of us rational types really thinks God threw those storms at the Republicans. A mature faith knows that it is our response and support for each other in the face of such threats that truly defines the kingdom of God. What we witnessed instead was the will of an American people suspicious and fed up with the false righteousness of Republicans convinced they can do no wrong. Because the Romney campaign barely disguised the fact that they would double down on the policies implemented by George W. Bush, tossing our weight and defense budget around in foreign policy while gutting the help and human services of domestic policies back home. Everyone sensed that this was a far worse prescription for disaster than the organization challenges of figuring out how our health care system can work more compassionately and efficiently. That and taxing the rich were the only two things the Republicans had to complain about leading up to November 6, 2012. They knew in their guts their own policies were the cause for the Great Recession and resultant slow growth of the economy.
So it really was like God calling their bluff on the Big Lie that Republicans offered the better alternative. Sorry GOP boys and girls. You were not David to Obama’s Goliath. More like Noah being puked out of the whale. You have not learned your lesson yet. Your skin is still bleached white and you have to learn to pay attention to God’s real orders, like loving your enemies, before you’ll be allowed to inherit the kingdom of God here on earth. Which you call America.
It certainly is interesting to note from a biblical perspective that very few Republicans have offered to don the sackcloth and engage in real repentance before the Old Testament God they like to enlist whenever it suits their political aims. Taken at their own word, it would appear that the latter day Republicans only believe in a God of justice when that God abides by their politically selfish desires.
But as they recently learned, that kind of God is tough to rely upon. Especially in an election year.