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Tongue in cheek, a Connecticut religion writer watching Hurricane Irene’s advance up the East Coast mused: “Maybe we’ve infuriated God with our gluttony and our wicked, sinful ways.”

Tracy Simmons is editor of, a Connecticut online magazine. She covers “the consumer aspect of religion in Connecticut, reporting on the good deeds being done at different houses of worship, where they are falling down.”

In other words, her focus is not on devotions nor how to build up personal faith; it’s more of a review on whether local faithful are doing what the writer thinks they should be doing.  Saturday, she pondered: “Maybe it’s a sign that the rapture is near. I mean God is supposedly returning in October right? Harold Camping said so, and he’s wrong almost, well…almost always, actually. Maybe, just maybe, we should stop overreacting. Whenever Mother Nature flexes her muscles some preacher, somewhere, plays the judgment card. That, or it’s the Book of Revelation coming to life.”

She continues:

This week Evangelist Pat Robertson said the earthquake in Virginia was a sign that we’re closer to the second coming. You may recall that he’s also the one who said Haiti suffered its earthquake because they “made a pact with the devil.” And he’s the one who said Hurricane Katrina was a result of legalized abortions.

Evangelist Jerry Falwell (now deceased) had the nerve to say that the 9-11 terrorist attacks was God punishing our country for homosexuality and feminism.

And of course we can’t forget Glenn Beck who said the earthquake in Japan was God’s way of sending us a message.

“Whether you call it Gaia, or whether you call it Jesus, there’s a message being sent and that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well.’ Maybe we should stop doing some of it,” he said.

“Very insightful, thanks Glenn,” says Simmons. “And it’s not just the big dog televangelists making these claims.

Just this week a Connecticut pastor, who shall remain nameless, e-mailed me about the earthquake. After quoting numerous biblical scriptures about earthquakes, wars and famines, he wrote, “My prayer is that you bring this up in your conversations today and help make the point that they can have a home in heaven. Strange earthquakes and all the rest that nature and man may dish out are just a part of the signs. All they have to do is to accept Jesus Christ in their hearts (first)…”

“These preachers can only be described as spiritual bullies,” writes Simmons. “If I’m worshiping a God who sweeps people off the Earth into the ocean to get a message across, then I must be the one who’s confused because I always thought God was a big-picture kinda guy.”

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