Why did Houston bear the brunt of Hurricane Harvey?

Why did Houston bear the brunt of Hurricane Harvey? August 29, 2017

A quick trawl through fundamentalist Christian threads today provides the answer: Houston, in Harris County, Texas, gave their vote in 2016  to Hillary Clinton.
If that weren’t bad enough, in 2010 it voted to make lesbian Annise Parker, above, its 61st mayor. Parker, whose tenure of mayor ended last year, was Houston’s second female mayor (after Kathy Whitmire), and one of the first openly gay mayors of a major US city.

And the city itself has a large and diverse LGBT population and is home to the 4th largest gay pride parade in the nation.
So there you have it – not content with collapsing a a church ceiling in Malta, the gays have brought death and destruction to Houston, and surrounding districts.
But one  conservative Christian commentator, Ann Coulter, is out of step with the “wrath of God” brigade:

“Proof” that the tropical storm is God’s way of pointing Texas towards more pious lifestyles comes in this report of the “miraculous” preservation of a Virgin Mary statue in Corpus Christi, 426 miles from Houston.

A family in Robstown, just west of Corpus Christi, lost their homes to a fire just as Harvey was hitting the area. The Rojas family had evacuated their three houses on property they own. They returned to a distressing sight: all three houses destroyed by fire.
But the statue was undamaged.
Natali Rojas said:

Some may blame God and some may blame the hurricane but the only thing standing were holy things. As you can see this statue is the only thing that survived. I dug in there for things and all I found is a Virgin Mary.

She added:

Appreciate what you have, listen to the warnings, hug your children and thank God for today and yesterday, and pray for a better tomorrow.

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  • barriejohn

    It’s virgin in the ridiculous.
    I must say I’m shocked – yes, shocked, I am! So many Christians – including St Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz of Nonsense – prayed earnest and sincere prayers to divert Hurricane Harvey Wallbanger from America’s shore, yet the Omnipotent One seems to have ignored their entreaties. I can only surmise that he has some profound and inscrutable lesson that he wants to teach them through this, as there can surely be no other reason why their prayers failed on this one occasion.
    In the authority of Jesus, with hearts that are clean, in humility, and in total surrender to you, we take the authority you have handed to us and we say, “Storm be still!” You have told us that if two of us agree on earth concerning anything we ask, it shall be done (Matt. 18:19).

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  • Angela_K

    Reminds me of the wonderful songwriter and Atheist, Randy Newman’s song “God”
    “How we laugh up here in heaven at the prayers you offer me. That’s why I love mankind”.

  • L.Long

    After 2 such occurrences how many of these dimwits are going to rebuild EXACTLY as before with no thought of the next one?? So they will and hope their prayers are answered…and they will be, just as they were this time!!

  • Laura Roberts

    Conservative pundits like Coulter, Limbaugh, O’Reilly et al. remind me of televangelists who pretend to believe utter absurdities yet still manage to convince uneducated dupes to lavish praise and money on them. Surely Ann’s educated enough not to believe the infantile nonsense she posts and writes?
    But as with many political pundits, one is faced with two equally distasteful possibilities: either she truly believes what she says and is simply too stupid to know better, or she’s a cynical opportunist who will say whatever it takes, no matter how ridiculous, to make a buck.

  • barriejohn

    Laura: Televangelists motivated by greed rather than their “love for Christ”? How could you even think such a thing!

  • H3r3tic

    Don’t suppose anyone has the time and inclination to produce a graph plotting hurricane incidence against LGBT population stats country by country? I suspect it’ll just show that the big guy upstairs simply has a particular dislike of Americans.

  • Laura Roberts

    @barriejohn: yep, and as always, the key is keeping fear front & center:
    “Sex, more than everything else, scares people who want their children to be safe and to live in a sanctified world.”
    “We had an explanation for all their fears — the lack of personal responsibility, big government, people trying to take from you what really belongs to you…”
    The sad, persistent irony of people who claim to value personal responsibility so highly but rely on someone else to tell them what to think.

  • Daz

    With apologies to Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, as well as music lovers everywhere…
    Don't know why
    There's no sun up in the sky
    Stormy weather
    Since 'ol Clinton's vote was better
    Keeps rainin' all the time
    God is mad
    'cause he's seen us actin' bad
    Stormy weather
    We must all praise him together
    Start prayin' all the time
    Start prayin' all the time
    Since we elected gays the lord got really testy
    And he'll stay that way, angry at us unless we
    Pray away the gay; don't you think it's best we
    Turn to his son once more
    Can't go on
    All we have in life is gone
    Stormy weather
    Since 'ol Clinton's vote was better
    Keeps rainin' all the time
    Keeps rainin' all the time

  • Steve

    Rocks are more important than lives.
    I once again struggle to understand why this god is worshipped.

  • Broga

    Preaching religion is the most profitable racket you can get into. What you need is to be in someone with no shame, too stupid to know how stupid you sound, totally cynical and with the gift of the gab. You don’t have the sweat and strain of spending years of study. Just pitch the lies in the way to con the millions of gullible believers and the millions of dollars will role in.
    The more incredible the claim the happier the believers will be to believe and defend the scumbag who takes their money.

  • StephenJP

    Typical Virgin Mary, more concerned with self-preservation than with the integrity of the property she lives in. Why couldn’t she (or her son, or her supernatural partner) lift a finger to help anyone else?

  • Robster

    This does appear to be another example of this god’s failure. Yet the god besotted sheeple continue “worship” their undesirable fantasy fairy.

  • barriejohn

    God ALWAYS answers prayer. But sometimes the answer is “No”. Ever heard that one?

  • Jobrag

    With planet X due to wipe out all of humanity in the next few days; hitting Houston like this seems a bit petty.

  • barriejohn

    What I want to know is, how do idiots like Anne Coulter gain such widespread acceptance? Coincidentally, Jerry Coyne has drawn attention to a new book by another crackpot, A. N. Wilson (a darling of the Daily Mail), pouring scorn on Darwin and Evolution, which he condemns as “not science”. He is actually being allowed to promote this bilge in the Evening Standard and The Times, and I feel sure that the customary Mail spread is just around the corner. I get that these ridiculous ideas bolster the faith of fundamentalists, and others who have difficulty accepting change and progress, but how do they (and many others) command such respect in society, to the extent that they are even regarded as great thinkers and informed commentators? They’re not; they are just eccentric, obsessional weirdos, and ought to be treated as such!

  • RussellW

    Statues don’t burn,unless they’re carved from wood.A statue of Satan would also have survived the fire.

  • barriejohn

    The “logical and biblical answer” to the flooding from Pat Robertson (and he would know, of course):

  • andym

    At one time, A.N. Wilson was a fairly decent novelist. His Lampitt quintet of books are very readable(with a very good portrayal of a charming psychopath-Raphael Hunter.) I don’t think he distinguishes evidence from products of a novelist’s imagination very well. Add to that how he seems to have spent his whole career lurching from contempt for religious belief to stern defence of it. I suspect this book marks a pro-religion surge.

  • barriejohn

    @andym: Wilson is undoubtedly very clever and gifted, but I’m afraid that, as a “reconverted” Christian, he is now eaten up with guilt, and is another hell-bent, for want of a better phrase, on “atoning” for his past. Religion does, indeed, poison everything.

  • Barry Duke

    Apologies to readers. Unable to update site today as I am en route to Gibraltar for my wedding on Sept 5. Hope to resume normal sevice tomorrow afternoon.

  • barriejohn

    Another wedding on the rocks, then!

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Harvey has returned to sea, and dumped TWENTY-SIX inches of rain on the city of Beaumont, Texas, just yesterday, FORTY-FOUR inches since Saturday.
    Beaumont’s mayor Ames is apparently not lesbian (married to a man since 1983).
    Although perhaps God is “outing” her ?

  • L.Long

    barrie….Anne & co. gain wide acceptance because the number of dimwitted religious bigoted nutjobs are 85% of the country and she & Co. cater to that group. The USA likes to think we are so awesome cuz of the constitution & such but most of them are so stoopid they would like most of it to disappear! And they are the ones that would scream the loudest if it ever happened!

  • sailor1031

    L.Long. What? Not the ‘shining city on the hill”? Not the indispensable nation? Not the ‘greatest nation on Earth”? Not the exceptional people? What is wrong with you?? You obviously need political and cultural re-education so that you too believe the BS.

  • L.Long

    Sailor…Being in the USAF and traveling to other places and talking with them and listening quickly destroys the “America is the greatest” idea!

  • AgentCormac

    Ann Coulter is happy to believe in a fantasy she cannot see, hear, touch or in any way comprehend without suspending disbelief, yet is equally happy to deny the existence of something which is right there, staring her in the face and causing real, tangible suffering for hundreds of thousands of her fellow human beings. I realise she’s something of an extremist and that she plays to the fears of those who know no better, but shame on her nonetheless. She’s just as dangerous and deranged as the orange idiot president she serves.

  • sailor1031

    L.Long: as a canadian who has lived in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK and visited many other countries – and lived in the USA for 30+ years – I couldn’t agree more with you. I have long thought the only thing “exceptional” about the USA is that they believe their own BS.
    I’ve stayed so long (without becoming a citizen) as my wife is american who, until recent political events occurred, was against moving to a colder climate than Virginia. But that conversation has recently been restarted

  • Brian Jordan

    Congratulations Barry, have a good day.

  • StephenJP

    @andym/barryjohn, AN Wilson is getting on a bit, and having decided to reject his temporary agnosticism, or whatever it was, he is now embarked on “cramming for his finals”. His book has been panned wherever it has been reviewed, and notwithstanding The Times’s silly decision to print an excerpt without comment, I look forward to Matt Ridley or Oliver Moody (or, possibly, Dawkins?) getting their teeth into it.

  • tonye

    Barry – best wishes for your upcoming wedding – and the future.

  • David Anderson

    Calurosa enhorabuena Barry.

  • barriejohn

    We’ll have no speaking in tongues here!

  • 1859

    Congrats Barry! It’s great news! I wish you and your partner the very best (just watch out for hurricanes coming over The Rock!).

  • Angela_K

    Best wishes for a happy life together, Barry.

  • Stephen Mynett

    Best wishes Barry, hope all goes well, although I hope that story you put up last week was not a sign that someone is trying to get you. Think about it Malta and Gibralta, they are in the same region and both end alta, that is pretty accurate for the Christian god as he usually sends a tsunami to Asia to show his annoyance at a vote in Europe.

  • Broga

    Have a great day, Barry. If Gibraltar is riven by an earthquake, or similar catastrophe, then you know who will be blamed.

  • David Anderson

    mea culpa barriejohn.

  • barriejohn

    DA: Tibi ignoscitur.

  • barriejohn

    Don’t worry if you drown in the floods; God knows all about it, “weeps” over it”, and “walks with you through calamity” (Book of St Teresa of Calcutta, Chapter 666).
    And “every rescuer is an extension of God’s compassion and care in these catastrophic days”. Now where have I heard that sort of sentiment before?

  • Broga

    One of the cloying stories about Jesus helping (and I remember it vaguely) is of the man going to heaven and asking why Jesus didn’t help him in life. Jesus showed two tracks in the snow and said that was him accompanying and helping the man and he was always there. Then the man said but you didn’t help all the time as there was only one track sometimes. Jesus said “That was when I carried you.” Yuk!
    I like better the story of the man accusing God of not responding to his prayers. He had prayed all his life to win the lottery and never won. God said, “It would have helped if you had bought a ticket.”

  • barriejohn

    Broga: “Footprints”. I knew many Christians who had a framed copy on prominent display (the same sort who had a “Christ is the Head of this House” plaque on the wall).
    It really is enough to bring tears to your eyes!

  • Broga

    barriejohn: As my granddaughter (aged 5 and with us now) is prone to say, “This is really, really yukky.”

  • barriejohn
  • Broga

    Prayer: asking an omniscient God to change its mind. I’m off to clear my pond of thick weeds. I don’t think I will trust in prayer. Presumably God put them there in the first place.

  • StephenJP

    Gosh, the Texans must be seriously sinful if the Lord has decided to inflict them with such punishment. The New Englanders, say, must be extraordinarily virtuous in comparison.
    But what will the preachers have to say when Hurricane Irma turns up in a week or so?

  • tea

    why on earth wouldn’t all these folks understand that science should be embraced and used to aid life.
    lowlands prone to flood within scientifically proven time durations, and then you’re praying and questioning lesbians?? Have you tried praying that the sun should not rise?
    Pls Houston, relocate from the lowlands permanently. Do not rebuild. People die hoping.

  • barriejohn

    According to Joel Osteen, flood victims should not have a “poor old me” mentality:
    Elsewhere, he has said that God sent the hurricane because he knew that “Houston can handle this”! Do their followers even have a brain?