Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival


Karma and the Christian Right: Will Gustav delay the GOP convention?

posted by David Gibson

Earlier this month Stuart Shepard, correspondent for the Focus on the Family network (you know, that OTHER religious gathering in Colorado), had a segment in which he less than half-jokingly asked prayers for torrential rains to inundate Invesco Field during last night’s acceptance speech by Obama. God would want that, Shepard said (as you can see here), given that millions of unborn lives and the institution of marriage are at stake. It would send a message, he said. 

You’d think that after all those Falwell-Robertson et al gaffes over the years about hurricanes as God’s wrath on Florida, or New Orleans, or wherever, they’d have learned. And the criticism was such that Focus on the Family did pull the video a few days later. Perhaps that was a mistake, as the weather was beautiful last night.

Or could it be that karma is more powerful than James Dobson? According to the Washington Post this morning, GOP officials are so concerned with the prospect of Tropical Storm Gustav swamping New Orleans while the party parties in Minneapolis–echoes of Bush’s Katrina debacle–that they may delay the start of the convention, and President Bush could even cancel his appearance Monday night. That could only be a good thing for McCain.

Meanwhile, the Exodus replays itself (my in-laws among the refugees), as we have learned some lessons three years after Katrina, even if we have yet to fix anything.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(17)
post a comment
priceofliberty

posted August 29, 2008 at 8:48 am


Looks like God didn’t think that denver needed rain last night. Dobson should have been praying that the substandard pumps in New Orleans actually work.



report abuse
 

ds0490

posted August 29, 2008 at 9:09 am


I wonder how many of these “Christians” will now pray that God not punish the people of the Gulf Coast too harshly for Focus on the Family’s (and their own) foolishness?
It was good to hear on the radio this morning that the mayor of New Orleans, the governor of Louisiana, the FEMA head and the Homeland Security secretary are all on the scene making sure that resources are in place ahead of the storm, and that people are making preparations for the worst. Perhaps we are capable of learning lessons about weather.



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted August 29, 2008 at 10:24 am


Mr. Gibson, please don’t suggest that the possiblity that the citizens of New Orleans will be flooded out of there homes for the second time in three years gives you any kind of pleasure because it will “stick it” to the Republicans!
To the extent that this is “karma” for global warming, it sticks to us all.



report abuse
 

Reaganite in NYC

posted August 29, 2008 at 10:56 am


David, David, David ….
What a disappointing post. I thought Stuart Shepherd (who I never heard of before) was some kind of nut-job flake when he did that gimmick a few weeks ago about asking people to pray for rain in Denver last night. It was cheap and tasteless.
Et tu, David? I can’t believe you would stoop to this guy’s level with this tit-for-tat commentary. Besides, what’s a Catholic writer doing talking about “karma” ? David, this is not your best work. You’re better than this.
Cheers!



report abuse
 

ds0490

posted August 29, 2008 at 11:13 am


Alicia, nobody here has suggested that to my knowledge. What has been suggested is that the presumption of certain conservative Evanglicals in praying for “a rain of Biblical proportions” to hit Denver on the night Obama was to speak might be why God (if there is such an entity) would do this to our nation.
The Bible does teach us that God will not be mocked, doesn’t it? Maybe this is simply a refresher course in that basic teaching.



report abuse
 

elmo

posted August 29, 2008 at 12:01 pm


David Gibson you and Sharon Stone have one thing in common: neither of you understand the concept of karma and both of you blithely make statements about it that tend to be hurtful to victims of natural disasters.



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted August 29, 2008 at 12:19 pm


So, God is punishing the people of New Orleans because of stupid, vindictive statements by some conservative evangelicals? Please. I agree with Elmo – David Gibson gets the Sharon Stone award for completely misunderstanding the concept of Karma.



report abuse
 

ds0490

posted August 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm


“So, God is punishing the people of New Orleans because of stupid, vindictive statements by some conservative evangelicals? Please. I agree with Elmo – David Gibson gets the Sharon Stone award for completely misunderstanding the concept of Karma.”
Had God unleashed rains of Biblical proportions on Denver, what would you be saying today, Alicia? Think about it…flash flooding in downtown Denver, maybe even loss of life? After all, rains of Biblical proportions invoke images of the great flood. Is that what the evangelical Christians were asking for, that the entire population of Denver be flooded just to keep Obama from speaking?
If the account in the Bible is accurate, then God certainly does punish innocents for the actions of criminals. How many times were the Israelites ordered to kill women, children and even babes in womb in their conquest of the Promised Land?
I’m sorry if you can’t understand this possibility, but it could well be that God has decided to ratchet up his response to the stupidity of his followers. When the evangelical Christians prayed for him to remove some of the more liberal justices from the Supreme Court, he instead took Chief Justice Rehnquist and then, not too much later, took the lives of D. James Kennedy and Jerry Falwell, two instigators of the “pray for the Court” movement.
Apparently the evangelicals did not learn, for they instead decided to call down a flood upon the people of Denver to attack the Democrats. Instead, God is sending a hurricane to New Orleans to remind us about the GOP and their response to Katrina.
Karmic justice? Perhaps not in the strictest sense of the word. But certainly, if you buy the idea of God as a father figure, the actions of a parent who is trying to teach their rebellious, argumentative child a lesson about being careful what you ask for.



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted August 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm


ds0490, if God exists, I can’t believe She would punish a group of innocent people to get even with a bunch of big-mouthed idiots. Yes, that may have been (at times) the view of Jehovah in the Old Testament. The only thing stupider (in my opinion) than those conservative evangelicals praying for rain, is someone who should know better saying that Gustav is God’s judgment on the Republican National Convention.



report abuse
 

Marie

posted August 29, 2008 at 2:23 pm


The weather was perfect in Denver last night, but there was a massive and frightening thunderstorm in Phoenix. HAH! HAH! HAH!



report abuse
 

Paul, seeking wisdom

posted August 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm


While I don’t think that God is attacking New Orleans to punish the Religious Self Righteous, I am afraid that if Gustav hit Louisiana and/or Texas this week end, the GOP Convention will take a back seat and they will lose the chance to bluster and rave about how bad Obama would be.
I can not imagine how the GOP could top the fun that the Democrats had and how they could ever match Hilary or Biden in their speeches. McCain is as dry a talker as they get. Even though he is a man of conviction, many are wondering to whom is he convicted to.
I don’t want New Orleans to be hit again, but it is a reminder that Bush still has been able to fix the “Big Easy” and if it is hit again by a Cat. 3 hurricane Monday or Tuesday, it will remind people of how the Republicans have failed America over and over again.



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted August 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm


Paul, from what I’ve heard, the GOP is considering postponing their convention if Gustav hits New Orleans. The last thing McCain and the Republicans would want is to be celebrating their “Grand Old Party” while New Orleans floods again, reminding Americans of why they don’t want to elect another Republican President in 2008.



report abuse
 

Reaganite in NYC

posted August 29, 2008 at 6:55 pm


That stunt by Stuart Shepherd was tasteless. But, frankly, so is this entire post. David Gibson, I’m sorry to say this but while you do a lot of great work this whole business is beneath you. You’re better than this.



report abuse
 

ds0490

posted August 29, 2008 at 8:25 pm


“You’re better than this.”
Actually, Reaganite, this is worth exploring. If, as many conservative Christians believe, God answers prayers, then there is also the possibility that he answers prayers in the negative. Certainly we have read of such instances in the bible.
For evangelical Christians, who believe that theirs is the ONLY path pleasing to God, the issue of God answering prayer has to be quite important. So also does the issue of God chastising his children, much as he did the nation of Israel according to the OT accounts.
When one of their members prays very publicly for a hurricane to move away from his town, and then it “miraculously” does, this is proclaimed as a miracle of God.
Here we have a group who prayed for rain “of biblical proportions” on their political opponents. We see instead a storm of potentially biblical proportions heading towards New Orleans, a town that several evangelical Christian leaders said was deserving of Katrina for their sin.
The question of whether or not God is using Gustav to teach his children a lesson is every bit as interesting and appropriate to look at as any other alleged act of God. Why is it that when God fails to do the bidding of the evangelicals, they insist that the results have nothing to do with their actions, but when God “answers” their prayers it is trumpeted from the highest hills?
If God exists, he could well be giving his people a lesson in using his name in vain, couldn’t he? Or does God only bless evangelicals and never punish them?



report abuse
 

Deb

posted August 30, 2008 at 12:02 pm


ds, I agree with you. I am a Christian and I do believe that God says “no” and sometimes God is telling us that we are wrong.



report abuse
 

Anthony

posted August 30, 2008 at 9:04 pm


Greetings,
Without either applauding or decrying some of the above posts, I would just weigh in with this: I believe, if Christians want to pray about the upcoming election, from the president on down, then they should pray that everyone – that includes evangelicals – gets his or her backside off the couch and away from the boob-tude long enough to get to the voting booth on election day, and vote his or her conscience.
Just my two cents worth…



report abuse
 

micglo

posted September 1, 2008 at 1:26 pm


God loves all people no matter of party affiliation…But to have a so called voice for Focus of the Family to ask all republicans to pray for rain to destroy the sinners of the democratic conventions is EVIL!! Yes I believe God has had enough of republicans telling the world that unless you are a Republican Christian God will strike you down. If I were a Republican Christian right now I would be worried. A Christian is a Christian we are not divided by party.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Progressive Revival. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!  

posted 2:50:10pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Why Jews Around the World are Praying for the Victory of the Egyptian Uprising
Originally appeared on Tikkun Daily BlogEver since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of the Egyptian people over their cruel Mubarak regime.&nb

posted 1:48:39pm Feb. 01, 2011 | read full post »

When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish
The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on websites either directly or more subtly (e.g., Sarah Palin

posted 2:44:04pm Jan. 19, 2011 | read full post »

The Spiritual Messages of Chanukah and Christmas -- and Their Downsides
Christmas and Chanukah share a spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair. But whereas Christmas focuses on the birth of a single individual whose life and mission was itself supposed to bring liberation, Chanukah is about a national

posted 12:59:53pm Dec. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Obama (and Biden) Have No Clue About What's Bothering Their Political Base
Shortly before the California Democratic primary in 2008, the San Fransisco Chronicle invited me to write a short article explaining why I, chair of the interfaithNetwork of Spiritual Progressives, was supporting Barack Obama. Like most other progressive activists, I understood that a pres

posted 1:44:11pm Sep. 30, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.