Republican Official Claims God Is Punishing California With Wildfires

Image via Facebook

"[I]t’s how I feel about liberals, but did I mean that God is going to punish everyone who lives in California? No."

A county Republican Party chairman in Ohio is facing calls for his resignation after he posted an image on Facebook claiming that God is punishing liberals by causing deadly wildfires in California.

Via Newsweek:

> The image, posted by Columbiana County GOP Chairman Dave Johnson on Sunday, read, “Hell on Earth, brought to you by the Liberals in California!” It also contained smaller writing in the upper left-hand corner that said, “Welcome to Hell! God’s punishment to Liberal California.” The image featured a background image of a burning forest.

Johnson has since deleted the post, but Democrats immediately called for his resignation:

> “I think his demented comments disqualify him from holding positions of public trust,” neighboring Mahoning County's Democratic Party Chairman David Betras said on Facebook. “He should, therefore, immediately resign from all the public positions he holds.”

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> “Johnson owes the victims, their families and the heroes who fought the fire and participated in rescue efforts an apology,” Betras said.

But Johnson is resisting demands that he resign, defending the post on Monday as merely employing a “figure of speech.”

> He said the post was made after reading an article and because of his feelings that California Democrats had mismanaged the state. In a statement to the local Ohio newspaper The Vindicator, Johnson said Betras was exploiting the point of the image “to cover his miserable performance in the last election.”

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> Johnson said the intent of the post was “in the eyes of the beholder,” and that if he “offended anyone that had a loss of life, then I’m sorry.”

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> “Look, that’s a meme,” Johnson told Cleveland.com of his posted image. “And it’s how I feel about liberals, but did I mean that God is going to punish everyone who lives in California? No. It’s a figure of speech, and I probably shouldn’t have done it. But I did, and it doesn’t change how I feel about what’s happened in California.”

The fire currently raging across California has killed at least 79 people — with several hundred more still missing — and damaged thousands of homes and businesses.

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Comments (2)
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FrankSterleJr
FrankSterleJr

General Judeo-Christian belief and practice follows that God is angry and retributive towards a rebellious humankind. Over the last three decades I’ve listened to many (what I term as) institutional Christians interpret various Biblical passages (in both literal and figurative contexts) in an attempt to reconcile the conspicuously contradictory pacifist practices of Jesus in comparison to those of the wrathful, vengeful, and even jealous nature of God the father. The latter, for example, is widely believed to require the shedding of Jesus’ sin-free blood—in place of that of anything-but-innocent Man—as atonement for His consistent disdain for any sin whatsoever. But is God really both the angrily retributive as well as compassionately loving creator as Judeo-Christianity generally perceives Him to be, as the ideal human father might be seen to behave towards his wayward, disobedient child? What if angrily predisposed Man insistently made our God out to be in our own image? I sometimes contemplate whether our own individual instinctive need for retribution or ‘justice’—regardless of Christ and great spiritual leaders having emphasized unconditional forgiveness—may be intrinsically linked to the same unfortunate morally-flawed aspect of humankind that enables the most horrible acts of violent cruelty to frequently occur on this planet. As for the potential consequences of self-professed Christians publicly behaving little like the Biblical Christ, I wonder how many potential genuinely Jesus Christians have felt repelled from the faith altogether due to the vocal angry-condemnation brand? Perhaps the most worrisome universal human trait is anger—thus the reduced ability for rational thinking—which becomes noticeably even more prevalent in us men in later years due to cerebral changes. I especially witnessed this in a local man who during elections is vocally adamantly opposed to any liberal entity forming government; so much so that on a couple occasions he became so blindly narrow-mindedly angry that he, with his fist tightened before him, uttered to me, “I’d vote for the devil himself if that’s what it took to keep those Godless socialists out of office!”

ScottW
ScottW

In general, it seems like the American brand of Christianity has become much more other's-focused in matters where they are called to worry about their own sins, and less focused on others when they are called to be compassionate and empathetic. I'm guessing that as our society becomes even more individualistic this perverted version of the religion will become even more contradictory to the teachings that are supposed to be the foundation of their moral compass. It's no wonder why these hucksters preaching the prosperity gospel have become so successful.