Political Animal


August 27, 2012 4:24 PM Oh No, Don’t Say It!

By Ed Kilgore

Yesterday I was at a church gathering, and several people jokingly wondered if Pat Robertson was going to “pray” Tropical Storm Isaac away from the Republican National Convention (an allusion to Robertson’s claim that his spiritual exertions spared Virginia Beach a hit from Hurricane Gloria in 1985).

Lo and behold, Robertson and his friends are taking credit again, if only through like-minded conservative Christians in Florida:

The religious lifestyle show hosted by televangelist Pat Robertson on Monday suggested that Christians in Florida had convinced God to move soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac away from Tampa, Florida to protect Republicans.
During a segment about how Isaac forced the first day of Republican National Convention to be cancelled, Christian Broadcasting Network’s Paul Strand noted that Current TV host Jennifer Granholm sent out a “snarky tweet” saying that “God has ways to shut that whole thing down.”
“For anybody who’s a liberal who’s part of a party that would like to whitewash God out of America, it’s amazing that she’s acknowledging that God has any part in the storm,” conservative radio host Bill Bunkley told CBN.
“But gratitude’s been a predominant attitude in Tampa’s Christian circles as it looks like the city will escape much of Isaac’s wrath,” Strand reported, pointing out that the group “Pray Tampa Bay” was leading an effort to “cover the party conventions in prayer.”
“We have had lots and lots of people praying around the clock that it would move,” Rev. Jesten Peters explained. “And if you watch from the very beginning where they were saying it was coming up and now where they’re saying it’s going, then it’s really moved a lot for us, and we appreciate God doing that and moving it for us.”

If Isaac ultimately does major damage to New Orleans, I don’t know if we’ll hear echoes of the Christian Right’s claims that Katrina was a punishment for the city’s, or the nation’s, wickedness (Robertson blamed it on legalized abortion). But probably not, because we’ve all been informed that conservatives this year are only interested in economic and fiscal issues.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • bleh on August 27, 2012 4:28 PM:

    So, Pat Robertson and like-minded Floridians are responsible for the disaster that will strike otherwise innocent Mississippians, among others?

    Why does Pat Robertson hate Mississippi so? Why does he wish misery on millions of people?

    I think Mississippi needs to start a Prayer War against Florida. And perhaps Louisiana too.

  • PaulW on August 27, 2012 4:43 PM:

    Don't say "Candlejack"?

  • dweb on August 27, 2012 5:10 PM:

    George Carlin had it nailed from the beginning:

    You pray and get what you prayed for and the response is, "God answers your prayers."

    You pray and DON'T get what you prayed for and the response is, "It was God's will."

    What a system......

  • Anon on August 27, 2012 5:12 PM:

    Any hurricane deaths west of Panhandle are not officially CBN's fault.

  • Anon on August 27, 2012 5:14 PM:

    But unofficially, boogada boogada.

  • anon thoughtsgal on August 27, 2012 5:27 PM:

    Me paraphrasing, not quoting, but the gist of it:
    Just heard Michael Issokof of NBC News report from the Republican national convention that it is all about lobbyists, very lavish/expensive parties, active wooing of government types, etc. ---and funds exchanging tucked away in the many rooms down there, that this is something new, and likely due to the citizens' united decision by the Supreme Court. Issokof said he never saw anything like this so far having attended conventions, and nothing like it before so obvious about money, wooing, lobbying carried out by RNC Consulting Firms and there is money exchanging.
    This he says is organized by lots of so-called consultant groups that plan these "join up" segments that are about money changing, etc.----- and behind these firms are lobbyists.

  • Ron Byers on August 27, 2012 5:28 PM:

    I am sick of those SOBs at the CBN claiming they can tell God what to do.

  • Kathryn on August 27, 2012 5:34 PM:

    @ dweeb, have often thought the same thing, what a system indeed, all bases covered. Truly amazing how many people fall for it. By the by, how old is Pat Robertson? Stephanie Miller's sidekick, Jim I Ihink, does an hilarious imitation of the old coot, they call him evil dr. chuckles.

  • clearly anonymous on August 27, 2012 5:43 PM:

    they're wishin' ill on libruls while waitin' for the rapture, and leaving us their cars

  • Leopold Von Ranke on August 27, 2012 5:58 PM:

    One must then assume, then, that these sweet, forgiving christians graciously "prayed" that the full power of the tropical storm/hurricane come down on someone else's head. Strongly wish I had the power to "pray" misfortune on others. I know where that would go. And I ain't neither sweet nor forgiving.Unfortunately, I'm stuck withnature as it is.

  • Leopold Von Ranke on August 27, 2012 6:04 PM:

    clearly anon.

    "Leaving us their cars?" Fervently to be wished for. Love the best designs --pure art -- though the smell of gas and oil leaves me a bit cold.

  • JackD on August 27, 2012 6:19 PM:

    It's God punishing Mississippi for turning down the personhood amendment.

  • Whippet Good on August 27, 2012 6:57 PM:

    I thought God had a plan. These yahoos think they convinced her to change her plan? Awesome.

  • Milt on August 27, 2012 6:59 PM:

    If Robertson and his followers are so sure of their closeness to the almighty, why did the Republican cancel the first day of their convention? Oh ye of little faith. You bunch of yahoos, I hope you fall head first into a portapotty.

  • buddy66 on August 27, 2012 7:34 PM:

    Another Isaac (Aguigui)is going to be the one to do the damage.

  • Bobby Goren on August 27, 2012 7:53 PM:

    Apparently God hates Haley Barbour and ain't none to thrilled with Bobby Jindal neither. Maybe God hates giving public money (vouchers) to whacko religious schools.

    Just sayn'

  • clearly anonymous on August 27, 2012 7:55 PM:

    a comment i saw--
    ....and the fundamentalist base at the Tampa convention are busy gathering two of every animal...wonder which multi-billionaire donor there will lease them his mega-yacht.

  • David Martin on August 27, 2012 8:37 PM:

    For a long time, there seemed to be a prevailing belief in Pensacola that their overall righteousness fended off hurricanes, so they didn't need any fancy building codes from sinful southern Florida. They finally had a hurricane, a nasty one.

  • exlibra on August 27, 2012 10:25 PM:

    [...] Christian Broadcasting Network’s Paul Strand noted that Current TV host Jennifer Granholm sent out a “snarky tweet” saying that “God has ways to shut that whole thing down.”

    Well... Todd Akin said it first, in exactly same words, if in a different context. And if the GOP putzes are going to compare their Convention to a one huge vagina... Who am I to object? Wonder who's going to be the ultrasound probe, though.

  • Skip on August 27, 2012 10:36 PM:

    Wow, such vindication. Prayers sparing the Republicans ostentatious convention while driving another storm toward New Orleans.

  • boatboy_srq on August 28, 2012 8:49 AM:

    I'm sure Gov. Jindal is overjoyed that the whingnenuts at CBN pushed Isaac toward his state. This'll cure NOLA's seven year itch for sure.

    But y'see we've got it all wrong if you pay close attention. It wasn't Gawd moving the storm Himself; it was Gawd impressing on the dastardly evil Democrats who run NOAA (and control our weather) how bad a storm over Tampa would be, so they moved the track of the storm Westward out of guilt. Because in a flat world made in six days, where the UN black choppers are due any second to take away Teh Faythful and throw them in FEMA camps, a Big Gubmint bureau to control the weather (and, incidentally, punish all the Teahadist farmers out west with drought and record heat) isn't all that far-fetched. Remember, there IS no AGCC - just a bunch of pencil-pushers in Washington with nothing better to do than screw with the planet's meteorology.

  • Dredd on August 28, 2012 9:43 AM:

    "Pray on this ..."

    An ex-prosecutor who is now a criminal defense lawyer wrote a piece entitled "The Startling Accuracy of Referring to Politicians as 'Psychopaths'".

    It aptly fits grandiose religionists and captains of industry as well (The Peak of Sanity - 5).

  • boatboy_srq on August 28, 2012 11:15 AM:

    You'll notice that none of the FundiEvangelicals prayed for the storm to dissipate, just change track. An All-Powerful Gawd, intent on blessing the Party of Righteousness[tm], would have blown the storm out before it hit Tampa Bay. Instead, however, these cretins only wanted it to move. Message: it's perfectly OK to hurt other people, so long as Teh Blessed of Gawd are spared.