Or has the heat and dry conditions come to the Rolling Plains all too early this spring? River City has seen not one but TWO daily high temperature records fall in the past week, virtually all of Texas is currently under one or another drought stage as determined by those who get paid to know, and as I type more, than 100,000 acres of land across the state are burning.
Bring into this mix an apparent spike in the numbers of natural disasters from Katrina to the current earthquakes rocking Japan, and this is the stuff conspiracy theories are written from. If I did not know better, even I might begin to suspect the Good Lord is a bit ticked off at Her children's behavior here below.
With all the dead still uncounted from the tsunami that swept Japan, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara found himself in political hot water when he opined that the tsunami might be tembatsu, "divine punishment". Of course, Glenn Beck, bless his little right-wing extremist heart, was quick to chime in that the earthquakes might have been "a message from God."
Interestingly, a recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that more Americans pin the causes of these disasters on natural, Earth-bound causes rather than any kind of divine punishment.
Some seven in 10 Americans believe in a personal relationship with God, according to the survey results, and nearly six in 10 believe God controls everything that happens. Nonetheless, only 38 percent believe natural disasters are a message from God, and only 29 percent believe such events are punishment for sins.
"Americans overall resist drawing a straight line from theological beliefs about a personal God to God's direct role or judgment in particular natural disasters," said Robert P. Jones, PRRI's chief executive officer. "Americans have more natural than supernatural views of disasters."
Naturally, that will fall short of convincing Beck and the End-timers crowd, but somehow I feel better.