South Dakotans in the Hands of an Angry God: Howie Blames Weather on Sin

I woke last night to the sound of hail. According to Gordon Howie, Aberdeen must have sinned:

Grapefruit sized hail battered parts of Western South Dakota. Wind storms have taken grain bins and buildings. Tornados and flash floods have caused significant damage.

Does it make you wonder what is going on?

The God I know and serve is a loving God. He also has a history of dealing harshly with those who refuse His love and reject His principles. If you don’t think so, you should re-read the Bible. Both the Old Testament and the New have documentation of the wrath of God.

At the very least, it wouldn’t hurt for us to look around and examine the way we live [Gordon Howie, “Is God Mad?” The Right Side, 2015.06.21].

New Orleans, Haiti, now South Dakota… come on, Pat—er, Gordon! Blaming adverse natural phenomena on angry supernatural beings is primitivist bushwa. Humans have had a tendency to project their childhood fears on the vast unknown since prehistoric times. Unlike our remote ancestors, Howie doesn’t have the excuse of not knowing the science behind weather to leave a vacuum into which he may pour his fears that the Father will come home to the cave or hut and find his children broke the gourds.

Howie’s hail hypothesis also mocks his own God as an arbitrary, capricious being. For an omnipotent being, surely capable of accessing advanced targeting technology, Yahweh is a poor marksman. I more explicitly refuse God’s love and reject more of his principles than most of the South Dakotans who’ve gotten hailed, tornadoed, or flooded in the past month, and last night’s spotty hail didn’t break any of my windows or dent my car (which is sheltered now in the garage of our newly acquired house! Whoo-hoo! Blessings of Prosperity Gospel without a single prayer or tithe to Joel Osteen!). God’s wasting ammo on the Black Hills when he could be decimating ISIS.

And if we are all sinners, and if sin really provoked bad weather, then we ought to expect another Noachian flood, not these isolated little tempests erasing tiny prairie towns. Of course, even the Pope will tell you that flood is more likely to come from human action than divine grouchiness.

Weather happens. Rain falls on the just and the unjust. Warning people to get right with God lest earthly disaster befall them is a cheap trick that reflects childish fears and medicine-show chicanery, not solid Christian theology.

29 Responses to South Dakotans in the Hands of an Angry God: Howie Blames Weather on Sin

  1. Like all good grifters, Howie shines. He is a wannabe like his hero, the late Fred Phelps. Howie pouts and spouts about all kinds of goofy things to his flock. Take a look at them and you will see why he is successful, geesch, what a bunch of misfits.

  2. larry kurtz

    Howie is right but spelled her name wrong.

  3. Bob Newland

    “The God I know and serve is a loving God. He also has a history of dealing harshly with those who refuse His love and reject His principles.”

    Sounds like a primer for an abusive domestic partner. “Love and obey me or I will break your face. If I make a mistake and punish you unfairly, it’s because I love you. That’s what I learned from god.”

  4. I know this might not fit Howie’s model, since this event happened about 66 million years ago – but one must wonder what the dinosaurs and other earth life forms did to piss off God back then to guide that killer asteroid into the Yucatan Peninsula area.

    It must have been something really objectionable.

  5. My car got hailed on again last night so I guess this was another reminder that I’ll be in the Crispy Critter Club after I depart from this Earth.

  6. To Howie’s “credit”, he didn’t specify the type of sins that are causing this weather.

    did he mean: unjustified wars? draconian laws that inhibit women’s freedoms? sins of doing nothing about gun violence in this country, while sending billions to other countries to aid the industrial war complex? politicians (thus this country) being bought and sold by the gazillionaires here?

    Yeah, that must be what he meant.

  7. Thank you Gordon. The family of Wilfred Wind, Sr. will be comforted knowing that God killed him for a reason.

  8. I’ll see you on that bench, Lynn.

    El Rayo, Mr. Wind was “a very humble man, he was also a ketecha, a warrior, he was a veteran.” His sin must have been fighting in the unjust wars of a colonizing empire that Dana mantions.

    Bob, you spotlight one of the many ways in which Gordon’s storm-theology is not just unhelpful in understanding God but downright dangerous.

  9. …and then there’s all those sinners in Garretson:

  10. Phil Schreck

    If I could just get a list of the towns that have the most sinners, it would make my job of forecasting severe storms SO much easier. Thanks in advance!

  11. Phil,

    Will future weather forecasts include warnings “Tonight may be another bad night for sinners with more details coming up at 6 and 10.” :)

  12. Donald Pay

    God may bring you hail, but only the Devil can bring you nuclear waste.

  13. mike from iowa

    Too easy. You can bet someone,somewhere was doing someone or something that is sinful. Most sinners must live in the so called “bible belt” since that is where the majority of tornadoes happen. That and trailer parks,too. Kinda wonder what babies have done to elicit such a response from god.Maybe they were born from original sin.

  14. Howie must be paying attention to what a lady rep out in CA is talking about. She believes Ca’s drought is the punishment for abortion out there. TX is also in trouble, all their flooding is due to their abortion issues as well. Not sure how that works out, since TX has shut down the majority of their Planned Parenthood sites.

  15. Oh, Phil, if we could please, please, please get that data during the next tornado watch, we’d all find it fascinating. Let’s get that correlation between sinners per capita and severe weather!

    Perhaps it’s time for Gordon to join Johnny Cash and Moby in recording his version of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down“:

  16. What’s next? Will Gordon start protesting alongside Westboro Baptist Church at Veterans funerals?

  17. mike from iowa

    Diana-five of the remaining clinics in Texas that are up to ambulatory,surgical center regs are co-owned by former Guv Rick Perry’s sister,who Perry just happened to appoint as head of the ambulatory,surgical center board. Keeping it in the family,the wingnut way.

  18. mike from iowa

    OH OH! Florida is in line for some old testament biblical wrath of god stuff

  19. Roger Cornelius

    Gordon has got me curious.

    What sins did the 9 Black Christian leaders in Charleston commit to cause their brutal assassination in a church of God?

    Obviously they were murdered for teaching and learning the word of the Lord and God.

  20. Barry Smith

    Howie is always good for a chuckle. Especially when he depicts his god as having the coherence of a toddler that strikes out in anger because it doesn’t like it’s spegettios.

  21. Roger Elgersma

    If there is a God and the Bible says many things about many different circumstances, it is definitely not easy to judge. The Bible says that he lets some sin for a season and enjoy it before they realize they have to quit, it says he has wrath against sin, it says he has mercy and it says that he rewards the righteous and also shows examples of the righteous suffering. Jeremiah had to go along and lament with those bad guys in his final days.
    So to take one verse and apply it to someone else is just way to risky. The Bible also says, do not judge. That is probably because it is way to easy to misjudge. So if Gordon could not pay his real estate taxes when he was running for gov, he should look first if God had not blessed his ranch for a reason. Looking at ones own situation is far easier and more accurate than looking at others situations.
    And if there is no God, why is not anarchy and survival of the fittest the only thing that happens?

  22. Ray Tysdal

    If “ignorance” is a sin then Howie, the Republican legislature and Governor in South Dakota should start wearing helmets.

  23. Barry G. Wick

    So, do you suppose his next suggestion will come from a study of Aztec sacrificial practices? Get out that alter, Mr. Howie. There are people lining up now to have their hearts cut out to satisfy you gODD.

  24. bearcreekbat

    I think you all have overlooked the key sin of today – wearing clothes made of mixed fabrics and getting tattoos. I would bet that virtually everyone in the USA who experiences bad weather probably violates the mixed fabric rule. And an awful lot of military and young folks get tattoos.

    Leviticus 19:19 and 28.

  25. Gordon,
    Maybe God is mad at the right wing! The right sure doesn’t follow His word.

  26. So many bonus points for the “rain falls on the just and the unjust” reference. Truth and poetry.

  27. larry kurtz

    Gordie is clearly on to something: the End Days are certainly gunning for South Dakotans.