Bachmann might have been trying to be funny, but probably sort of meant it. She isn't exactly the first right-wing politician to blame a natural disaster on human sin. In fact, Bachmann's is just the latest in a long line of right-wingers who've put God's hand behind a tragedy.
City Pages thought it would look back through the years for some of the best examples of a nutjob telling everyone they knew why God did that thing that killed everyone.[jump] A right-wing group from Georgia sent out fundraising letters in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina claiming that the hurricane looked like a fetus. Of course, given this shape, the hurricane was taken as a sign from God. No, really!
For some reason, no one took it as a very aggressive response from their gynecologist.
|Voodoo: Why earthquakes happen.|
2) Pat Robertson and Haitian earthquake voodoo
Pat Robertson blamed the Haitian earthquake from last year on voodoo, saying Haitians had "made a pact with the devil" by practicing voodoo and had been reduced to rubble for it.
If you read absolutely crazy history books, like Pat does, you'll learn that Toussaint L'Overture only led the slave rebellion against the French because he'd made a deal with the devil.
The United States ambassador to Haiti had to go on MSNBC the next night and apologize for Robertson's lunacy on America's behalf.
3) Glenn Beck and the Japanese request for an earthquake
Following on Pat Robertson's analysis, Glenn Beck came out with his own explanation of the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan. Beck said God wanted us to stop doing things "that suck."
"Whether you call it Gaia," he said, "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. What do you say we start doing those things? Because the things we are doing really suck. And they're not getting better."
|Bill Hekman: Christians saved on Christmas from Indonesian tsunami.|
4) Bill Hekman and the Indonesian tsunami
Then, of course, there's the 2005 Indonesian tsunami, which killed a couple hundred thousand people just before Christmas.
People across the globe saw this as a senseless tragedy. But Bill Hekman, a Christian pastor with Calvary Life Fellowship who'd survived the tsunami, along with his followers, knew why they made it out alive. And there was only one reason: Christ. The Muslims, Hekman preached, had forced the Christians to worship atop a high hill which was their saving grace at the end of the day. In this version of events, the Muslims obviously died for their lack of faith -- and their hatred of Christianity.
British evangelist John MacLeod simply called it a divine punishment from God for "pleasure-seekers" who "broke the Sabbath."
|John Piper thinks tornadoes are messages from God.|
5) John Piper's tornado theory
All of these examples have occurred outside our great state, which could lead some people -- like Michele Bachmann -- to believe Minnesota is safe from God's wrath. But those people are kidding themselves. In 2009, a tornado hit Minneapolis, which Bethlehem Baptist Church Pastor John Piper said was a message from God himself.
"Jesus Christ controls the wind," he noted, "including all tornadoes."
For those of you flipping through your bibles to find that passage, godspeed. That's a new one to City Pages. Maybe he's thinking of Linka from "Captain Planet."
"Turn from the approval of sin," Piper went on. "Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction."
If you're having trouble reading bnetween the lines, City Pages can help decode Minnesota crazy talk for you. That whole thing pretty much sounds like a coded message to "Vote Bachmann."