Lessons of the fire
If there is a Christian Evangelical “New Jerusalem” in this country, it is Colorado Springs. There are megachurches galore, think tanks, institutions, and of course Focus On The Family. Even the Air Force Academy, located there, is known for evangelizing its recruits in violation of various rules and the US Constitution. It’s a home-rule municipality that seems to attract right-wing evangelicals like a magnet collects iron filings. So if any city in America should have God’s favor, it is Colorado Springs.
Today, Colorado Springs faces the advance of a monstrous wildfire that is burning homes and businesses, and even threatens the Air Force Academy. This is, by any humanitarian measure, an awful thing. At the very least it should teach us; “Install a fire-rated roof and make sure your home has a 25-foot vegetation-free zone around it. And under NO circumstances use vinyl siding.”. It Should, except that evangelical Christians, including some Congressmen, have made such a big deal over the years about natural disasters as bearing messages from God.
Every time there’s a hurricane that strikes a coastal city (there’s always sin in coastal cities) it’s God sending a message about gays, or adultery, or (against) affordable health care. Earthquake? Gays again. Or abortion, or labor unions or whatever. For some reason God only sends messages to places that were already set up for natural disasters – like Earthquakes to cities on fault lines or hurricanes to cities on the Gulf coast. And God never seems to get mad at Wall Street, unless maybe it’s gay Wall Street. Also, you would think God would really go after the Netherlands, a gay-tolerant, secular country located below sea level on the coast of sinful Europe. Or Canada, which has had gay marriage for a while now.
Not to say evangelicals aren’t onto something with the idea of trying to find lessons in natural disasters, however. It’s just that they’re picking up the wrong lessons. For some reason evangelical Christianity has latched onto the idea that anthropogenic global warming contradicts the bible. To me this would be a little like contradicting the mathematical lessons of Star Wars, except that saga makes a far more consistent story than the bible. But if Colorado Springs can burn (and last year, godly Texas) then maybe there’s something to the idea that the extreme-weather dice are loaded by global warming.
The lesson I suggest for evangelicals is this: stop getting your climate information from your pastor or his various analogs. I’m not worried that Gays will destroy society, but it has occurred to me that you might – by using your political power to delay action. This is an all-hands-on-deck situation, and you’re not helping. It is possible to practice Christianity in a way that isn’t an embarrassment to the human community; I’ve seen it done. Take off your damn tinfoil hat for once and listen.
- I started writing this post on Wednesday; by now the fires have done whatever they’re going to do to Colorado Springs. Boulder is threatened, though. And they won’t be the last.
- Grist: Hell and high water, Media misses forest for burning trees
- Monster fire terrorizes a Colorado city
- Focus On The Family reveals how Colorado wildfires are providing a valuable lesson about sex ed I guess they had to spin it somehow but if God wanted to send a message about sex education, why would he burn Colorado Springs? Unless the lesson was; “Start supporting sex ed.”
- Wikipedia: Colorado Springs religious institutions
- Seriously, what is it with the gays that bothers them so much? They spend an awful lot of time worrying about gays, considering Jesus never saw fit to mention it.