So Glenn Beck said Hurricane Irene is a blessing.
Stop. Just stop.
I’m tired of hearing from religious bigots how natural disasters are wonderful developments. Or a referendum on our behavior. Or a justification for all the paranoia a certain nutcase pundit has foisted upon his audience.
As far as apocalyptic scenarios goes, hurricanes tend not to register that high. Even Katrina got an assist from poor levees and an apathetic, hyper-partisan government — two accomplices, I might add, fostered by the strain of politics Beck advocates.
Whenever stupid comments like Beck’s bounce about, I like to put myself in the shoes of someone who really believes them. It’s not so much the idea of a blessing in disguise (which I’d define as something bad leading to something good; for example, someone getting rejected for a job and finding a better job as a result), but that everything happens for a reason if we just try to see it God’s way.
Such thinking gets vicious pretty quickly. Every disaster becomes a referendum on abortion, gay marriage, sex or any other game-ending factor that subtracts from our Christian high score. (Apparently, God approves of our aggressive foreign policy and regressive tax code, because no disasters ever get blamed on that.) After trying to understand that line of thinking, I always need some Advil, which I usually borrow from a Beck acolyte’s stockpile.
At least Beck takes a different tack on this “blessing” than most, one that combines his religion with his bottom line. As a Mormon, he professes to follow the values of the religion, among which is the idea that you should “prepare every needful thing.” That’s not bad advice. But it meshes perhaps a little too well with Beck’s “Stock up on Bibles, bullets, beans and bullion in case Obama gets re-elected because ZOMG ACORN TIDES FOUNDATION APOCALYPSE!” philosophy. All the world’s an ad buy, and the target audience can’t get enough. I guess if you sink all of your money into food stockpiles and gold, you want to feel like it was justified.
So Beck deserves credit for using Hurricane Irene merely to promote his agenda and business interests, as opposed to actively cheering the hurricane to kill the unrighteous a la Pat Robertson. That’s a low, low bar — pretty much on the ground — but he clears it. Congrats, I suppose. Glad a potentially devastating storm smashing into a wide swath of the U.S. not often hit by hurricanes makes you feel better about yourself, Glenn. I trust you’ll be sinking some of your gold into relief efforts. Or would that defeat God’s warning to end wickedry and welfare?
I wish we knew for sure so that there wouldn’t be any more hurricanes ever again. Deliver us, Glenn.