Can you hear me now?

Ah, yes, natural disasters! Bad enough in their own right, but compounded because they herald the news programs desperate for drama, so they can run their stock footage of other disasters and send some idiot to stand out in the rain shouting above the din of their windbreaker six sizes too large (you thought “windbreaker” referred to something other than the noise?) But this is nothing compared to the religious windbags who trumpet every newsworthy phenomenon as a “sign,” making even the noise of crashing nylon seem soothing.

As the east coast of the US got treated to a minor tremor and a weak hurricane in quick succession, nitwits such as Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck, and Michele Bachmann were quick to proclaim god’s wrath revealed – “We warned you,” they said in effect, “You were only spared now to give you a chance to choose the proper path!” We have, they assured us, received a message. But like graffiti, it’s not really clear who this message is directed towards, nor even what it says.

Now, the earthquake is indeed a rare occurrence for that area, and it may be true that god is communicating with central Virginia about something. After all, the towns of Mineral and Louisa, Virginia are well known as beds of, well, nothing in particular, really. Since it was midway between Charlottesville and Richmond, maybe god was trying to send them both a message about their, um, totally average iniquities? Ah, but wait! DC is only 135 km away – surely that’s the target! The strike was off-center simply because god sneezed (and who’s going to bless him when that happens?)

Then we have the hurricane, which tells us that god has it in for the east coast in the late summer months, possibly because of bikinis (god apparently isn’t paying attention to Lake Havasu or the French Riviera.) Spring Break is not the bastion of hedonism, vice, and obscenity that we have been led to believe by the liberal media, if I’m getting the message right; god instead doesn’t like pasty overweight families from New Jersey and Ohio.

But seriously, we can read this message if we try hard enough. After all, it’s mostly the southern states that get hit by hurricanes, Florida by far the worst. If we add in tornado season, we find that it’s mostly the states in the southeast region that get handed the message, the region commonly referred to as the “bible belt.” Coincidence? Don’t be too hasty! As Texas Governor and bible-thumper Rick Perry announced plans to ask for god’s intervention in the drought, Tropical Storm Don drove straight towards Texas yet died out without producing measurable rainfall.

Wait! There’s more! Florida has been known for its storms for centuries, since the first Spaniards arrived. There are hundreds of shipwrecks off the coast, mostly of god-fearing Spanish fleets bringing their treasures back to the glory of the church, or arriving to instill proper worship upon the savages. Oh, there’s a pattern all right!

The real message, however, is clear, yet perhaps heeded just as little: religious pundits have absolutely nothing of any value to provide to anyone, and resort to drawing vague connections to natural disasters because they have nothing to sell but fear. And in fact, this is exactly the message they tell us that their god provides – this holds true for every last religious “leader” who preaches damnation. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before we’re urged to refer to this creator as, “Mommie Dearest.” We might have gotten to see what the oft-rumored “loving” god was like if we hadn’t fucked around with wire hangers. Just sayin’…

Then of course, we might, just might, consider the possibility that only brain-damaged asshats bother waving the god flag in the first place. That pattern seems to hold pretty well, too.