Atheist Prime Minister Blamed for Australian Cyclone

While the midwest is experiencing a massive snowstorm (or, as it’s known in Chicago, Snowprah Windfrey), the northeast coast of Australia was hit by a cyclone.

With winds howling at up to 185 miles per hour, a huge cyclone made landfall in the predawn hours on Thursday along the coast of the already storm-battered state of Queensland, with widespread reports of property damage and power failures.

Of course, this could’ve been prevented if only the Prime Minister would call on God to intervene. But Julia Gillard is an atheist, so a Christian group headed by Pastor Danny Nalliah is blaming her:

“It is very sad that this dark chapter in Australia’s history is led by an atheist Prime Minister in Julia Gillard and an openly homosexual Greens leader… both who have no regard for God nor prayer,” Catch the Fire Ministeries said in a statement today.

“How many more disasters will it take before our nation, starting from the Prime Minister, would fall on our knees and ask for God’s protection and turn back to Him?”

Wouldn’t it be better to ask for God to stop causing all this damage in the first place instead of for protection after the fact…?

And maybe someone can point out to Nalliah that plenty of natural disasters have happened during the watch of religious world leaders.

Anyway, from what reader Stephanie says, Nalliah is known as the Australian version of Fred Phelps, so I take it he’s in the minority. (Even across the ocean, it seems pastors who say absurd things get undeserved media attention.)

At least the comments on this article are overwhelmingly rational.

(Thanks to Steph for the link!)

  • Canadian Atheist, eh!

    Well, maybe Tim Minchin will find cause to write a song about this, which would up the “some good came out of this” ratio a touch.

    Do it, Tim!

  • Ateo Absurdo

    This must mean a certain Hemant Mehta and his rabble of atheist readers are causing the midwest snowstorm…

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    I guess Hemant is to blame for the great Chicago blizzard of 2011!

  • anon

    If belief in God and prayer supposedly can avert Divine Wrath(tm) – aka natural disasters – why do tornadoes seem to have a particular affinity for the Buybull Belt?

  • flawedprefect

    Yeah this guy is so fringe, he rarely (if ever) makes the news. The only times I really hear about him is when searching for “Catch the Fire Ministries”. Nobody takes him seriously, and no politician even responds to this kook, as far as I’m aware.

  • http://thegreenwizard.blogspot.com/ G Wiz

    And the fundimentals have arrived in the comments.

  • dartigen

    Catch the Fire are a bunch of idiots anyway. I don’t think anyone’s ever listened to them seriously.

    My dad had the best reply for Queensland – ‘You moved there, you know it comes with the territory.’ According to him, do not go north of Canarvon (or better yet, nowhere near that far north) between November and March, because you’re asking for a cyclone to come screw you up.

    The floods were unexpectedly severe – but it was the ‘it won’t be this bad, it won’t get *my* town’ mentality that made it worse. In a natural disaster like that, it’s best to assume that yes, it will be that bad and it will get your town. Sure, you might be the idiot who panicks and sandbags their house for nothing – but it’s better than losing everything or drowning.
    But heck, floods happen up there too. It’s not a secret. Everyone in Australia knows it, so if you choose to live then there you must know the risks, in which case, if you don’t like it, then we’ve got 4 other states and 2 other territories for you to live in, each with their own risks. (Kinda like living right in the middle of Tornado Alley in the US – everyone knows and will tell you what happens there, but if you’re willing to live there anyway then don’t complain. You chose to take the risk.)

  • Richard Wade

    At least the comments on this article are overwhelmingly rational.

    It looks like the pious victim blamers are chiming in, so I left this comment over at the Central Telegraph:

    To stanleyvictor, rene13, linten4 and anyone else posing the “What if the Christians are right?” argument:

    This is known as Pascal’s Wager, a logically bankrupt argument which has been used for 350 years by people who don’t really think things through. It reduces the believer to a gambler who is trying to hedge his bet, and reveals a lack of sincerity on the part of the believer. It also assumes that there is only one correct god to believe in (just in case) even though thousands of gods have been proposed, most of whom are said to be jealous of belief in any other gods. If you’re at all interested in why this “what if it’s true” argument will never convince anyone with more than 60 IQ, you can read all about its holes here: http://www.religioustolerance.org/pascal_w.htm

    To the rest of the people who, like Nalliah are attributing this cyclone’s course to God’s wrath against sinners, consider this:

    When in 2004 an earthquake created a tsunami that killed over 150,000 people across southern Asia, several Muslim clerics jumped at the opportunity to blame the victims for not being pious enough as Muslims. You probably heard about that. If you thought that was ridiculous, or cruel, or cynical or arrogant, or just plain asinine, then good for you. Why then do you think that you doing the very same thing by giving YOUR god credit for any slaughter by this cyclone, and giving the victims the blame for their suffering is a proper way for Christians to think and behave?

    I don’t really think that those whom I’m addressing will be swayed, but maybe the in-betweeners reading their bullshit might not be suckered into buying it.

  • jose

    “How many more disasters will it take before our nation, starting from the Prime Minister, would fall on our knees and ask for God’s protection and turn back to Him?”

    This is why poor and unfortunate people and countries are more religious. God is the only hope they’ve got left to hold on to because everything else has been taken away from them. Not turning back to Him is a sign of strength.

    By the way, if they think God is punishing Australia, maybe they should become flagellants or something. Welcome back to the dark ages.

  • Justin

    We’ve had plenty of disaters in Australia when our leaders were god fearing.. and straight. Explaination please…

    Reading the nonsense these people believe makes me feel yucky.

  • Pseudonym

    Ken Ham we have heard of. Fred Nile we have heard of. We have not heard of you.

  • Edmond

    Why is it always called “undeserved media attention”? I say give these people a spotlight and a megaphone! They are always the PERFECT spokespeople for nonsense. People like this Nalliah, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, Terry Jones, et al, thrive in the darkness of ignorance, and the best thing to do is to shine a light on them. They SHOULD be heard, by as many people as possible.

  • ScottDogg

    How many more disasters will it take before our nation, starting from the Prime Minister, would fall on our knees and ask for God’s protection and turn back to Him?

    Our nation would fall on our knees? The latest disaster is Nalliah’s grammar.

  • http://deck16.net nichevo

    I find it strange that, when God is upset at all things (little-L) liberal, He hits the most redneck state we have.

    It seems more sensible to me to throw cyclones at inner-city Melbourne.

    (No offense to Queenslanders. “Most redneck” does not equal “all redneck”.)

  • Aleksi

    Strange, here in Finland we currently have an atheist president Tarja Halonen. Makes me wonder how far will it take for god to get to us for that. She’s been the president from 2000 onwards :)

  • «bønez-brigade»

    Because, as we all know, nothing bad ever happened before Julia Gillard’s reign…

  • Silent Service

    Good call Brigade,

    Bush fires would seem to be the most likely disaster sent by a God that once presented himself as a burning bush on a desert mountain.

  • Tazerin

    I’m actually kind of surprised that anyone’s come out with the whole ‘retribution of God for electing a Godless woman’ thing, seeing as Gillard hasn’t really made a big thing about religion. In one way I admire that her atheism hasn’t been mentioned overmuch, but on the other it annoys me. Gillard tends to ignore the bigger issues and I can’t imagine her handling the atheist hellspawn accusations with any skill…or the disdain they’re worth.


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