Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breaking news: Hurricane Sandy caused by the "homosexual agenda"

Well, up here in lovely upstate New York we're about three-quarters of the way through the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, and we only lost power for a short time yesterday afternoon.  Thus far, we've been mighty fortunate -- when I look at the photographs coming in of the devastation along the coast, I'm reminded of hurricanes I lived through as a child in southern Louisiana, of flooded streets, ripped-off roofs, and electricity out for days or weeks.  So all in all, we've been pretty lucky.

Sandy has been a weird storm in a lot of ways.  It's amazingly powerful, for a late-season hurricane; it followed a highly uncharacteristic track; and it merged with an on-land winter storm as it made landfall, causing it to strengthen as it moved over land, not weaken (as most tropical storms do).  All of this, I'm sure, is making you wonder what could be the cause of such a peculiar set of circumstances.  And I'm certain that it will come as no surprise for you to find out that the answer is:


Yes, folks, the homosexual contingent are at it again, according to ultra-religious wingnut Reverend John McTernan.  [Source]  "God is systematically destroying America," McTernan said.  "Just look at what has happened this year.  ...Both candidates are pro-homosexual and are behind the homosexual agenda.  America is under political judgment and the church does not know it!"  He then goes on to explain that god is creating storms to smite the US because of our increasing acceptance of gays.

All of this makes me pretty angry.  I mean, really: give us atheists a little credit, too!  Every time God Smites The Wicked With His Mighty Hand, all you hear about is how he was aiming for the gays.  Don't you think he'd be even more eager to smite us godless nonbelievers?  After all, a good many of the gays and lesbians I know are Christians, and barely any of the atheists are.  It kind of pisses me off that here I sit, as obvious a target as any I can think of, and all god smote me with was a stiff breeze.  It seems kind of anticlimactic.

There's also the problem with this theory that if god is trying to Smite The Gays using Hurricane Sandy, his aim could use some improvement.  One of the areas that Sandy clobbered was rural West Virginia, which saw blizzard conditions including two to three feet of wet snow, knocking out the power and shutting down roads.  And it's not like Appalachia is exactly a hotbed of homosexuality.  Yeah, okay, New York City got hit pretty hard, as did Atlantic City, and I'd expect the Gay Sex Quotient of both of those places is fairly high.  But you'd think that given the tools god has to work with -- tornadoes and lightning, not to mention your tried-and-true method of just having something heavy drop out of a window -- he could take out the gays with pinpoint precision if that was what he was really trying to do.  A hurricane seems awfully broad-brush.

It does bring up, too, the question of why these preachers are so concerned about who is having sex, and how they're doing it.  Is it just me, or do these guys seem a little bit sex-obsessed?  After all, the bible goes on and on about all sorts of other things that are Naughty In God's Eyes, but you barely hear any preachers saying that god created a hurricane because you collected firewood on the sabbath, or because you ate pork, or because you wore clothing made of two different kinds of thread woven together.  All of these are expressly prohibited in Leviticus -- in fact, a guy got stoned to death for the first one -- but these days, god has apparently forgotten about all of the other rules.  Maybe it's because god finds what goes on in people's bedrooms more interesting to watch, I dunno.

In any case, if you live in the northeastern US, I hope you escaped the worst of the damage from the storm.  And whether it was caused by the gays, or by what anyone with an IQ that exceeds his shoe size thinks -- that it was caused by a confluence of weather phenomena -- let's concentrate on helping the folks who weren't so lucky pick up the pieces and put their lives back together.  Because, after all, that's one of the things that the atheists agree with the Christians on; charity is a virtue.


  1. I get the impression that the world would be a quiet, kind of uneventful place were it not for the sins of man... Since every meteorologic, volcanic, or geologic event is in direct correlation to the sins of man.

    To play the Devil's advocate, does that mean that our sins are making life... interesting?

    Yet if you started to talk about the extinction of species at the hands of man, these same prolesthetizers don't have much of an opinion about the "evils of man."
    Which is more important: Gays, or homeostasis (food, breathable air, polar bears, etc)?
    No, no. It is far more important to focus on the superficial, first world problems of modern man (those damned GAYS!).

    Not sure where this phrase was coined, but I like it:
    "Your Christ, I like. Your Christians? Not so much."

    1. I've heard that quote attributed to Gandhi -- "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

      Interestingly, I've heard that some biblical literalists aren't concerned about the environment because they figure that the End Times are close -- so who cares about a few species, or ecosystems, when the whole thing is going to end, and be reborn, soon anyhow? NOT a good standpoint for smart decision-making.

    2. Exactly.

      I'll take it one step further to say that it's a conveniently self-serving attitude.

      Frack, make nukes, burn coal. Make that money.

      Ecological consequences? Well that would cut into our bottom line... oh um, I meant to say: "Why bother? The Rapture is coming anyhow."

  2. "All of these are expressly prohibited in Leviticus -- in fact, a guy got stoned to death for the first one -- but these days, god has apparently forgotten about all of the other rules. Maybe it's because god finds what goes on in people's bedrooms more interesting to watch, I dunno."

    Just so were are all on the same page in terms of what Christians believe, the "rules" as you put it, in the old testament don't apply to us. When the new testament came into being it replaced the O.T. in terms of what we are to follow. Most if not all cardinal sins such as wearing garmet made of 2 threads were removed.

    I only bring this up because, you can't really make a sensible argument based on something that is not true.

    (I know whether or not the O.T. and N.T. are in fact the word of god written directly by him through man, is in itself questionable at best, but for the sake of argument here, that's keep our apples with our apples)

    1. Sorry, I'm not buying it. Jesus himself said, "For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot, or one tittle, of the Law shall pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17–18). It's pretty clear that there was no intent by Jesus, or by the writers of the NT, to supersede the (Mosaic) Law. Christians, or at least the ones who try to claim biblical underpinning for their own prejudices, are picking and choosing, and ignoring the passages they find uncongenial or inconvenient.