Glenn Beck says maybe — just maybe — the recent earthquake in Japan was caused by people failing to follow the Ten Commandments. Let's take a look back at some other ridiculous right-wing claims about disasters.
Jerry Falwell blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on gay people, feminists, and the ACLU, among others. He said:
The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'
Hurricane Katrina was a real doozy for Ridiculous Claim Artists. According to Media Matters, Pat Robertson blamed it on abortion (apparently one of the top causes of hurricanes) and Justice Roberts's confirmation hearings:
You know, it's just amazing, though, that people say the litmus test for [Supreme Court nominee John G.] Roberts [Jr.] is whether or not he supports the wholesale slaughter of unborn children. We have killed over 40 million unborn babies in America. I was reading, yesterday, a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood. And he used the term that those who do this, "the land will vomit you out." That — you look at your — you look at the book of Leviticus and see what it says there. And this author of this said, "well 'vomit out' means you are not able to defend yourself." But have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected in some way?
Charles Colson, meanwhile, said Katrina was God's wakeup call to the US about the necessity of winning the war on terror:
Katrina gave us a preview of what America would look like if we fail to fight the war on terror. "Did God have anything to do with Katrina?," people ask. My answer is, he allowed it and perhaps he allowed it to get our attention so that we don't delude ourselves into thinking that all we have to do is put things back the way they were and life will be normal again.
The Icelandic Volcano
Rush Limbaugh suggested that healthcare reform might have caused the volcano in Iceland:
You know, a couple of days after the health care bill had been signed into law Obama ran around all over the country saying, 'Hey, you know, I'm looking around. The earth hadn't opened up. There's no Armageddon out there. The birds are still chirping.' I think the earth has opened up. God may have replied.
The BP Oil Spill
Fundamentalist blogger/wingnut Joseph Herrin said that the BP oil spill was caused by abortion:
It has been widely broadcast that the largest Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in the nation has been built in Houston, TX. This six story tall (six is the number of the flesh man) abortion supercenter was opened in May, just a short time before the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster began.
Herrin also blamed abortion for 2008's Hurricane Ike.
Mass Bird Deaths
Cindy Jacobs, a "prophet" with Generals International, said the large numbers of birds falling out of the sky were caused by gay marriage — and possibly the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. She said,
According to biblical principles, marriage is between a man and a woman, so we have to say "what happens when a nation makes a decision that's against God's principles?" Well, often what happens is that nature itself will begin to talk to us — for instance, violent storms, flooding.
The blackbirds fell to the ground in Beebe, Arkansas. Well the governor of Arkansas's name is Beebe, and also, there was something put out of Arkansas called Don't Ask Don't Tell by a former governor. This was proposed [by] Bill Clinton.
Glenn Beck said, "I'm not saying God is causing earthquakes - well I'm not not saying that either!"
What God does is God's business. But I'll tell you this...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.' I'm just saying.
Specifically, he was saying people should follow the Ten Commandments, or "10 rules of thumb."