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  • The 2005 Guide to Divine Retribution

       December 28, 2005

    2005 seemed to have more than its fair share of natural disasters. While scientists have plenty of theories and facts, the religious extremists have been quick to point out the real reasons why bad things happen to goodbad people.

    The 2005 Guide to Divine Retribution

    Earth Science Says Religious Extremists Say
    Indian Ocean tsunami Rupture in the faultline at the subduction zone where the Indian plate dives under the Burma plate caused a huge earthquake which, in turn, displaced a massive amount of water, causing the tsunami Allah's punishment because Banda Aceh women were showing too much skin and mingling freely with men
    Pakistan earthquake Collision of Eurasian & Indian tectonic plates Gay couple were married in Pakistan, incurring Allah's wrath
    Guatemala mudslides Torrential rains from Hurricane Stan caused landslides Danni, Stephenie & Lydia ate the chicken, angering the Mayan gods
    Hurricane Katrina Warm late summer sea surfaces and atmospheric instabilities combine to create a storm God punished America because of:
    • Israel's withdrawal from Gaza
    • legalized abortion
    • homosexuality
    • Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto protocol
    • the creation of reality television
    Los Barros snow storm in Chile's Andes Mountains Snow falls from clouds that contain enough cloud droplets and ice crystals for precipitation to form. In order for snow to reach the ground without melting, the wet bulb temperature of the air near the ground must be below freezing. It snows more in the mountains because the temperature is colder in higher elevations. General godlessness
    Indian heatwave Dry, high heat is common in India in advance of the monsoon season Neither Hindus nor Muslims prayed hard enough for rain

    Since the dawn of time, people have turned to religion to explain the unexplainable. The difference now is that we can explain why these natural disasters occur. Today's extremists, however, take it a step further. Not only do they claim these disasters are due to divine retribution for our sins, they also have the chutpah to claim that those sins are exactly what they've been preaching against. For example, the earthquake in Pakistan is because of gay marriage, not because God or Allah or whoever is mad at Kashmiris killing each other in the name of religion. The tsunami happened because Muslims weren't strict enough, not because Muslim extremists have murdered thousands. You know, maybe God didn't cause Hurricane Katrina because He hates reality tv. Maybe He sent it because he knew that the family edition of the Amazing Race would suck. Or (and this is a tough one to swallow), maybe it was because He was angered that the Weavers didn't win.

    Rather than fighting against the religious extremist's rhetoric, maybe I should join them. If mbrlr's (one of our liberal readers) car breaks down, I can declare that it's God's punishment for referring to President Bush as the antichrist. If my sister's cat gets sick again, it's really because she voted for Kerry. If the site gets hacked again, it's clearly due to the fact that James likes Mike Holmgren. I could go on and on.

    Isn't it fun once you break the code and realize that God really doesn't work in mysterious ways?

    Posted by at December 28, 2005 12:47 PM

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    #  December 28th, 2005 4:20 PM      mbrlr
    God does work in mysterious ways, but I've come to believe that the key to understanding the almighty is to recognize that he's got a wicked sense of humor.

    Your sister voted for Kerry? So it's not a genetic flaw...

    Just joking. Those who disagree can often be friends and sometimes they're the best of the bunch --- when I was a prosecutor, my coworkers were always a bit baffled because my best friends were the guys in the PDs office; my wife and I hit it off mainly because our disagreements are so fun and the race to see who gets the best shot in against the other with a smile is priceless and something we treasure; and I already see that tendency in my kids. The beauty of our republic is that, 1861 - 1865 excepted, we've managed to dis each other without bloodshed and without going past the point of no return. I respect all of the conservative folks here, but they need to be able to grant that those of us on the left occasionally have some valid points, just as those of us on the left need to grant that courtesy to those on your side of the ideological aisle.

    Disagreements, religious and political, are always a good source of amusing argument and discourse. My wife's a Yankee Latina pro-choice catholic and I respect her right to those incongruities just as she respects mine as an overwhelmingly anglo-saxon catholic liberal southerner whose list of heroes manages to include both MLK and RE Lee. Luckily, we both agree on FDR and she's been unable to find any incongruity in that admiration.

    My point? Talk, even amongst those who disagree vehemently, can be civil and should be enjoyed even when "points" are being scored against you. I disagree with the vast majority of the folks here on very important issues, issues involving both life and the course our country takes, but I respect you all and I admire your tenacity. In case I don't make it back here beforehand, I hope everyone has a very happy new year and I think all of our thoughts, left and right, are with our folks in Iraq.  



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