Religious Theories on Hurricane Irma


Avi Selk has them all covered at The Washington Post:

A taste:

To dive into the wide-ranging and rarely coherent collection of theories that ascribe motive — be it satanic, godly, Gaian or otherwise — to the movements of Hurricane Irma is to risk being immediately overwhelmed by them. They are endless and everywhere, from the mouth of Kirk Cameron to a mass prayer on Periscope, in which thousands commanded demons to vacate the eye of the storm.

We may as well start on the secular end of this thought spectrum — specifically with that thing Jennifer Lawrence said.

“You know,” she said, “you’re watching these hurricanes now, and it’s really hard, especially while promoting this movie, not to feel Mother Nature’s rage.”

Lawrence was referring to a movie she’d just starred in, which she was talking up in an otherwise innocuous interview with Channel 4 last week when the host asked her about the election of President Trump, and the enduring skepticism about climate change. The actress lamented both — then brought up from nowhere the consequential rage of the sentient planet.

She took a drubbing. For “blaming powerful hurricanes on Trump,” as one critic put it. Or for blaming them on climate change, as the antiabortion activist Randall Terry interpreted her remark, before suggesting another mover of storms:

“These hurricanes are not the result of global warming; they are the Judgment of God because of the innocent blood crying to Him for vengeance,” Terry wrote on Christian Newswire.

Hurricanes for abortions, then. And from this point on in our exploration, God will be dragged into nearly every wild explanation of Hurricane Irma, or Hurricane Harvey before it, or the solar eclipse before that — or the coincidence of all of them, as the more apocalyptic theories elaborate upon.

Read the entire piece here.

Of course none of this new.  Check out these eighteenth-century Puritan/Congregationalist earthquake sermons.



3 thoughts on “Religious Theories on Hurricane Irma

  1. The most prolific way God punishes people for sin is by allowing them to experience the consequences of their sin. God is passively punishing America by allowing America to experience the consequences of our sins against his creation. Doubling the amount of CO2 in the air has consequences, and anyone who believes God is going to save us from the consequences of those sins doesn’t know God very well.


  2. St. Gregory Nazianzus (329-390) taught that Christians who disobey God’s ordinances bring about natural disasters: “Like those who oppress widows and children, manipulate with their profits and for their profits rather than distributiing wealty, the usurer in Gregory’s milieu prospers from the hardships of others like a wicked master. Gregory has set up the perimeters around which Christians must present themselves: those who obey the ordinances, whose behaviors result in beneficial spring showers, and there are those who stand outside the ordinances, whose behaviors bring about natural disasters.” (Brenda Llewellyn Ihssen, Chap. 7, “‘That which has been wrung from tears’–Usury, the Greek Fathers, and Catholic Social Teaching,” p. 135, in Johan Leemans, Brain J. Matz, Johan Verstraeten, eds., “Reading Patristic Ethics On Social Ethics: Issues and Challenges for Twenty-First-Century Christian Social Thought” (2011).) Apparently, the other Greek Church Fathers thought so as well; at least they said so with respect to usury: “. . . . natural disasters will befall a community that allows usury to flourish.” (Id. at pp. 150-151.)


  3. Personally, I believe that the weather extremes are a message from Mother Nature. She is telling us that she most emphatically does not like what humans are doing to her planet. And, everyone knows that when you mess with Mother Nature she gets very very angry. 🙂

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