Tornadoes are not very funny. Neither are superstitions taken to the extreme. As a gay man of a certain age, I’ve seen a lot of modern-day superstitions levied at my people. I’ve lived through them but a lot of my friends have not…
At the height of their powers I witnessed televangelists, specifically Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Fallwell blame AIDS on the evils of the homosexual lifestyle equating it to a punishment from God for being gay. Pat (crazy as a shit-house rat) Robertson even blamed the Katrina and Haiti disasters on libertine lifestyles.
If that’s true, then why are all the pious religious bible-belt states forever being blasted with tornadoes and floods? Is God annoyed with them for their lack of tolerance concerning the private lives of people who’s affairs are of none of their Goddamned concern? Just sayin’ – the bible-belt sure does get hit with an awful lot of ‘Acts of God…’
Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa have all been hit hard over the last couple days. Survivors on TV all say “The good Lord was with me.” Was he with the poor souls who didn’t escape the wrath of the storms? What makes the survivors so smug in their survival? Surely we’re not to assume those who didn’t survive did something to ignite the wrath of a higher power? I certainly don’t think so.
Last year, Rick Perry, governor of Texas and proven dimwit par excellence, went so far as to organize a rally to petition the Lord for rain during a Texas drought fraught with wildfires. His thinking was, that a bible-thumping tent-show might give him a boost in the GOP presidential polls. Before you could say ‘gobbledegook,’ neighboring Arkansas and Tennessee were having a flood. Apparently Governor Perry’s prayer calculations were a might tad off… Perhaps a little too far to the ‘right’ as you view the map. Inaccurate as well were all of Harold Camping’s rapture predictions, except for one bible-belt town that was completely decimated on the same day he predicted rapture – but let’s chalk that up to coincidence and climate change and cut through the crap.
If AIDS is God’s punishment for gays – AND – recent studies at the University of Rochester indicate that most homophobes hate homosexuality because they secretly fear they, themselves are suppressing similar desires – well then – we have new dynamic to add to the mix… In other words, “The ladies doth protest too much, methinks.” So perhaps the bible-belt is being blown away because God can see through a hypocrite and all those flag-waiving, fag-hating he-men are on the down-low and probably wearing women’s underwear. Don’t knock it ’til you’re tried it…
Really, the researchers at the U of R didn’t have to go to all that trouble. They could merely have placed a phone-call to me – and in rapid-fire story-telling I could relate countless encounters with married men who after a cocktail or two want a cock-up-their-tail, or two. I’ve lost track over the years of all those “can we sit down and talk” discussions with men I was prospectively considering getting romantically involved-with… (ALWAYS after kicking their tires and taking them on several test-drives, first) only to discover those men (plural) had wives and children. In some cases more that one marriage under their belt and grandchildren to boot. If someone can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt there’s a rational God to whom one can petition, my guess is: He, She or It would be more upset with lying-hypocrisy than with following your sexual instincts which are not personal preferences – they’re sexually preassigned desires (no matter what the ill-informed choose to espouse to the contrary…)
But I don’t think ANY all-knowing, all-seeing deity is levying punishment on people for their sexual orientation any more than I believe massive tornadoes are purposefully hitting religious hypocrites. If that were the case, the Vatican would have been swallowed-up by the earth centuries ago in a fiery display of special effects that would leave Hollywood explosion-specialists breathless. By the way, did anyone hear whether or not the Westboro Baptist Church is still standing in Kansas? Inquiring minds want to know…
What humanists worldwide can agree-on, is people stricken with an illness of any sort deserve mercy, care and respect. Likewise, people who’ve lost their homes and loved ones to natural disasters deserve to be clothed, fed and given shelter so they might get back on their feet. The American Federal Government has been assigned with the task of remedying both of these sorts of crisis’s, paid for by our tax dollars. Curious how the Tea Party is all “anti-government and anti-taxes” up until their own safe little world is rocked by disaster… Then it’s suddenly about “What is our government doing to help? Where’s FEMA?” Prayer may soothe the soul for those to ascribe to it, but if your fellow man is sick or displaced, it’s up to us to take matters in our own hands. Be your neighbor’s savior and your brother’s keeper.
Take a lesson from Newark, N.J. Mayor, Cory Booker who risked his own life last week to save a neighbor’s life by pulling her out of a house on fire. Would I have the courage to do that…? Would you…?