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(Bad) acts of God

March 15, 2011 | 11:57 am

Glenn Beck[For the Record, added at 1:15 p.m.: The original post had a photo of Bill O’Reilly, who would be mortified to be confused with Glenn Beck. We replaced that photo with one of Beck himself.]

[For the Record, added at 6:45 p.m.: A previous version of this post asked: "What is it about religious conservatives and natural disasters?" 9/11 was not a natural disaster, but just a disaster.]

What is it about religious conservatives and disasters? Who can forget the post-9/11 comments by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell? (Falwell: "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.' " Robertson: "Well, I totally concur.")

Now Glenn Beck is suggesting, even as he denies suggesting it, that God was taking out his frustrations with the human race through the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. "I'm not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes," he said. "I'm not not saying that either."

He added that whatever name you use for God, "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.'"

The idea of God smiting his (and other) people is not new, of course, but even religious people acknowledge that it's a relic of a less sophisticated theology. Unless you're a celebrity Christian conservative.

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The right to be vile

--Michael McGough

Photo: Glenn Beck. Credit: Alex Brandon / Associated Press

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