“Has God forsaken the Republican Party?”

It’s about time someone asked, and Dana Milbank has.

One of the most interesting possibilities is that hurricane Isaac will hit Tampa, where the GOP convention opens on Monday. if you don’t remember how the GOP-ers interpret weather, Milbank reminds us:

By their own logic, Republicans and their conservative allies should be concerned that Isaac is a form of divine retribution. Last year, Rep. Michele Bachmann, then a Republican presidential candidate, said that the East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene — another “I” storm, but not an Old Testament one — were attempts by God “to get the attention of the politicians.” In remarks later termed a “joke,” she said: “It’s time for an act of God and we’re getting it.”

The influential conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck said last year that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami were God’s “message being sent” to that country. A year earlier, Christian broadcaster and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Robertson tied the Haitian earthquake to that country’s “pact to the devil.”

Previously, Robertson had argued that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for abortion, while the Rev. John Hagee said the storm was God’s way of punishing homosexuality. The late Jerry Falwell thought that God allowed the Sept. 11 attacks as retribution for feminists and the ACLU.

Even if you don’t believe God uses meteorological phenomena to express His will, it’s difficult for mere mortals to explain what is happening to the GOP just now.

11 thoughts on ““Has God forsaken the Republican Party?”

  1. If it hits Tampa, it will be evidence that God is angry that the Repubs have forsaken their conservatism. There will be calls for a return to truer (read “more conservative”) message.

    But if Issac veers away from Tampa at the last minute . . .well, that will taken as good evidence of God’s providence over the Republican party.

    Thus is the nature of such explanations.

  2. I’ll bet that like Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Issac, Tampa will be reprieved at the last moment as a sign of blessedness and obedience and faith (what is the probability that they will be trashed?). And all the usual suspects will read it like that. Nothing like unfalsifiable beliefs, after all.

    I urge they be renamed the ReTaliban Party.

  3. Of course, if there is/are any god/gods, it/they might not want to visit misery on all the perfectly innocent people who live in Tampa. Actually, *that* would be my idea of a just deity.

  4. Chris, you mean god doesn’t accept the doctrine of the double effect??

    Maybe I should make even a small joke, since if there is in fact some hurricane disaster in Tampa any jokes will retroactively be in very bad taste.

  5. @jamie:

    Well, perhaps it will turn out to be in poor taste, but it made me laugh, now. :-)

  6. Maybe this is true: causation is extensional while imagination is not. (or ‘to cause’ and ‘to imagine.’). So in the latter case, the law of double effect is in there for free. Imagining the repubs stranded on roofs is not imagining water with dead dogs in it. but causing one might well be causing the other.

    Apparently Limbaum’s is claiming Obama has control of the forecasts.

  7. Anne,


    But *hoping* doesn’t work that way, right? I can’t get away with hoping a hurricane gives the religious right conniptions, knowing that the hurricane will cause enormous harm to innocent people, and still get off with okay intentions just because I’m not hoping the hurricane will cause the harm.

    Can I?

  8. Jamie, on the one hand, we could say that the difference between hoping and imagining in this way shows we – or I – wasn’t really hoping and was just enjoying for a moment the idea of repubs getting what the city of NO got.

    But it might be interesting to argue the other way. I wonder what’s the better way to understand all those stories of people getting wishes granted in ways they dislike a lot. Maybe people think you can wish for something with no commitment to how it’s brought about. So wishes can be very unrealistic?

    Of course, we could do a poll.

  9. Yes, if the wishes are just the ordinary everyday kind of ‘wishing that’, it’s quite possible to wish the end without wishing the means, for example (or to wish something without wishing its obvious causal consequences), I’d say. But if it’s a fairytale wish, then no, you’re plainly responsible for the double effects. (This is difference between a creative will and a merely discursive will. A difference that rarely comes up in conversation!)

  10. Sub: Denying the Fundamental Religious Rights, violating the constitution of India by splitting Ananda Marga Dharma Maha Sammelan New Year Celebration dates 30th, 31st Dec. 2012 & 1st January 2013.

    Dear All,

    Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha (AMPS) is a duly registered Religious Organisation in West Bengal. Even the Supreme Court of India gave Ananda Marga a religious denomination. Ananda Marga was regularly conducting Dharma Maha Cakra/Dharma Maha Sammelan under the guidance of Purodha Pramukha, Spiritual Head of Ananda Marga on 30th, 31st Dec. & 1st January Holy dates only for past 57 years. Even the High Court, Calcutta permitted AMPS to conduct Dharma Maha Sammelan on these dates only at Ananda Nagar, DMS Ground every year. Last year the District Magistrate, Purulia split the New Year Holy dates of Dharma Maha Sammelan, there by no New Year Celebration was conducted by Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha. The defectors (break away group) who were expelled from Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha, the defectors who were called as Splinter Group by West Bengal Courts, the Defectors who are facing criminal charges under Section 302 of IPC, the defectors who have no legal Purodha Pramukha, the defectors who have no legal right even to conduct Dharma Maha Sammelan in the name of Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha were given chance to split the Holy dates by Purulia District Magistrate hence no New Year program was conducted last year by us. District Magistrate, Purulia is repeating the same mistake this year also thus hurting the Religious sentiment of millions of followers of Ananda Marga. District Magistrate, Purulia is equating the legal Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha of millions of followers with an illegal defectors group having only a handful of followers. By splitting the New Year Holy dates, the age-old tradition of Ananda Marga New Year Celebration was broken thus violating the constitution of India, which guarantees Religious Rights. Millions of followers of Ananda Marga Religious sentiment got hurt due to splitting of Holy dates resulting in the cancellation of Dharma Maha Sammelan last year. This heinous crime has to be stopped at once. Our request is that let the legal Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha as authorized by Calcutta High Court, be allowed to conduct 2013 New Year Dharma Maha Sammelan on 30th, 31st Dec 2012 & 1st Jan 2013 at Ananda Nagar DMS Ground P.O – Baglata, P.S. – Joypur, District – Purulia (W.B). Please undersigned this message and circulate it, as much as possible and help us to get public support.

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