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.