Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Quaking for God

Well, today our illustrious Christian apologist paper, The Lassen County Times, published an opinion piece by the prison (High Desert State Prison) chaplain, Bill Ashmore. I'll spare you the details (it's not available online), but the title of the article is "Signs of the Times, Judgement of America" - take three guesses as to what this is all about. In a sentence: major earthquakes and environmental disasters (most notably hurricanes) are increasing because of gays and abortion-rights proponents. In effect, earthquakes are God's warnings that America is going to hell in a handbasket until we kill all the gays (I guess - he doesn't really offer a solution) and prevent all women from making any kind of reproductive decision. He cites frequently from John McTernan's book, God's Final Warning to America, and basically quotes bible verses supposedly foretelling coming disasters and points to not only increasing numbers of natural disasters but also the exact or close occurrence of these disasters with major abortion rights or gay pride rallies (apparently God's pissed off at the First Amendment...).

He drones on for quite some length (and it is doubtful that the Times would permit a rebuttal of the same length as the chaplain was granted), but I was specifically curious about the correlation of major gay and abortion rights events and Supreme Court cases with earthquakes. Ashmore quokes the following data (presumably from McTernan's book):
  • April 23, 1992 - Supreme Court hears the abortion case, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey - a 6.3 magnitude earthquake shakes southern California;
  • April 25, 1992 - during a counter protest in Buffalo, NY against Operation Rescue - a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hits California (God has bad aim);
  • June 28, 1992 - during Gay Pride Day the fourth and ninth most powerful earthquakes hit California;
Well, if God is angry with gays and abortion rights activists and He's trying to show it with earthquakes not only is He a bad shot, but He also can't seem to get the magnitude right. I looked up major earthquakes to see what some of the patterns might be. Ashmore seems to point to somewhere around 1960 as to when everything in American started to go to hell. According to this table, 19 of 26 (73%) of the largest magnitude earthquakes in the US occurred prior to that date. Also interesting, I see that Gay Pride Day is held on the last Sunday in June (didn't know that Bill Ashmore, so thanks for prompting me to look it up...) - only one of the top 26 actually occurred in June - the one in 1992 cited above. So apparently God doesn't keep great track of Gay Pride events. He seemed to be targeting abortion rights activists in April of 1992, but that one was pretty minor and not even listed on the top 26 list; only two other major quakes are listed as occurring in April, and both occurred around the turn of the 20th century - one being the famous 1906 San Francisco earthquake (I'm sure that's because God has just never liked San Francisco...of course what had His knickers in a twist on April 3, 1868 in Hawaii I'll never know).

Also, you would think that if God wanted to make a point about abortion, He'd at least try to strike on the anniversary of Roe V Wade (January 22)...but the God that people like Bill Ashmore believe in once again proves to be a complete ignoramous when He tries to send a message. Since 1973 only one earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or better hit on January 22: God missed again and punished the people in Coloma, Mexico with a 7.8 mag quake instead of the U.S. (He came close with one in Livermore, CA in 1980 on January 24, but He could only pull off a 5.8).

Of course, we all know this is idiocy. Ashmore and McTernan are frightened men who cannot comprehend straightforward things like science (the fact that all of these earthquakes keep occurring along the west coast is apparently lost on them: I doubt either has heard of plate tectonics, volcanism, or the San Andreas Fault). They seem to prefer a base of knowledge closer to the 14th century than the 21st.


lloydletta said...

Can you scan the article and post it. I'd like to view the complete text of that nonsense.

Pam said...

This is awesome. I'm posting about this (www.pamshouseblend.com) and linking back to your blog, Christopher.

Truthspew said...

Honestly the neo-cons and fundies will try to cast blame for any natural event.

It's already been proven without any chance of a doubt that god doesn't exist.

Hell, I did it during an accidental thought experiment.

So in essense we have all these delusional people. Nice isn't it.

Samuel Luke Johnston said...

God hates you sinners! For the true truth

Click here.


Christopher O'Brien said...

You're kidding me, right?

Samuel Luke Johnston said...

Why would I joke about GOD!

Samuel Luke Johnston said...

Why would I joke about GOD!

Christopher O'Brien said...

Well, the god you and Shelley apparently believe in is kind of joke, isn't he?

patch615 said...

I beleive the only person who would find (thier version of GOD) that joke funny would be the marquis de sade.