First, during the October 31st Reformation Day gathering in Dallas, Texas, Dennis Lindsay of Christ for the Nations prayed for Sandy's victims. While his sorrow appeared sincere and heartfelt, his ideas about the storm's origins made me ill at ease. At the 42:42 mark of the rally video, he suggested that the "enemy" and sin were to blame for the hurricane.
"Americans and internationals who live on the East Coast are suffering at the hands of the enemy. We know you are a good God. We know it didn't come from you, but it came from our sins, my sins, that came upon the land and hit part of our family. And so we pray for your angels to come and sovereignly meet the needs of those people who have lost everything."Next, the Washington Blade reports that Pastor Luke Robinson of Quinn Chapel AME Church in Frederick, Maryland blamed support for LGBTQ equality for the storm. In an audio segment from an anti-Question 6 rally at Baker Park on November 4th, Robinson blamed several culprits for the hurricane: New York City's pride, Mayor Bloomberg's $250,000 donation to a same-sex marriage campaign, and the northeast's alleged rejection of truth.
"On October 28th, a storm hit New York, and one of the things that we have discussed and learned from New York is that New York is a proud city ... The Bible said this very clearly. Before a fall, pride cometh! And so here was the mayor of New York giving a quarter of a million dollars, coming down to Maryland discussing the matter. While he’s here, somebody whispers in the ear, you better go back home and protect your stock, because God is sending judgment ... God sent a storm that tore the place up, up in Massachusetts and all up in that lot because they have rejected the truth and the knowledge of God ... For all of your money you still can’t win if God says he’s on our side and we are on the side that can win and must win."Later, Robinson claimed that this "mess" would not have happened if Christian pastors had been "on watch." It was unclear if the occurrence that would have never happened was Hurricane Sandy or an increasingly pro-LGBTQ cultural climate.
"To our shame, the church, where are they? To our shame, the pastors, where are they? This would have never happened if the pastors of this country had been on watch. But since they aren't on watch, we always got to play catch up ball. One day, you'll not be able to catch up because God will have had enough of this mess."Every time a natural disaster devastates the land, I'm amazed at how quickly fundamentalists blame real or imagined human flaws. Some, like Lindsay, are well-meaning people whose theodicy leads them to unfortunate conclusions. Others are only too eager to blame groups they dislike for the devastation, relishing other's suffering and their own self-righteousness. Whatever their reasons, fundamentalists need to stop blaming disasters on human victims and alleged "sins".