Last Friday, New Year’s Eve, I was shocked by the spring-like weather that rolled through the area. The unseasonably warm weather was a nice break from the usual chill, but I was saddened to hear of the deaths in Arkansas and Missouri caused by tornadoes, spawned by the warm air. To make matters worse, there were at least twenty tornadoes reported, the most for that time of year in the past 50 years.
The next day, news stories on the internet reported that, in Arkansas, 3,000 birds inexplicably fell from the sky. Now, I’m no friggin’ scientist, but I’m thinking “tornado maybe?” Educated guesses, and by educated I mean Scientific Types in Lab Coat shit, included the possibility of a lightning strike. (Another was the equally ludicrous “Fireworks.”)
A lighting strike? Killing 3,000 birds at one time? Now that would have to have been one hell of a lightning strike. But, as with most things, I don’t know shit about birds or lightning, so I went busily about my queer way.
This morning, I was greeted by more creepy assed news from Arkansas. Just days after the 3,000 birds inexplicably fell from the sky, 100,000 drum fish have washed up on river banks dead. The educated types I mentioned earlier were quick to pronounce the two events as “unrelated.”
Okay, within days of 3,000 birds falling from the sky, the nice, mostly white people of Arkansas suddenly have to deal with 100,000 bloated and stinky dead fish clogging their rivers AND THIS IS IN NO WAY RELATED?
Now, unlike the 86% of Arkansas’ population, I am not a rabidly conservative Christian, but the New Year’s Eve tornadoes, dead birds and fish struck me as one thing and one thing only:
PESTILENCE AND PUNISHMENT OF BIBLICAL PORPORTIONS.
But why, I had to wonder, would God (yes, with a capital G) punish a state that is 86% Christian, 75% white (aren’t they His favorite?) and who voted 75% (check it out…just like the white demographic!) to ban same sex-marriage, that institution blessed by Lucifer himself? Hell, even Article 19, item one of the Arkansas constitution disqualifies atheists from holding public office or as serving as witness at trial. And there is already a law on the books banning abortion in the event that Roe versus Wade is ever overturned. Surely, this moral high road that Arkansas rides must mean that the Big Guy Upstairs favors our Wal-Mart shopping, gun-toting, NASCAR watching, sister fucking hillbilly cousins to the south. Then, it dawned on me:
God hates hypocrites. I’ m not saying He hates Christians or white folks, I’m saying He fucking hates hypocrites. I mean, it’s right there in the Bible in black and white and, where the Big Guy’s Kid, JC speaks, red. Remember the story from Sunday school (think back, you can do it. Further, further…) when Jesus kicked the money lenders from the Temple because they were charging really high exchange rates and (I assume) getting goat and pigeon shit all over the place? JC must have stepped into a steaming pile of camel dung because He went ape shit on the dudes, knocking over their tables and attacking them with a fucking whip. I don’t know if you’ve ever been attacked with a fucking whip, but it’s not pretty.
You’d have to have known my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Brand. That dude was one crazy old fuck.
Anyway, the way I see it, God decided to attack the very people WHO NEVER THOUGHT HE WOULD ATTACK THEM. Sort of like a Biblical Pearl Harbor attack, just with Hillbillies and birds falling from the sky like some twisted Alfred Hitchcock movie. Not even Sarah Palin with her high powered rifle could save them.
Fucking brilliant. Sad, but brilliant in a creepy, Machiavellian sort of way.
But why would God do such a thing to such obviously devout followers? Because He’s the Creator of the fucking Universe and fuck holier than thou types, that’s why.
Now, before anybody gets their proverbial panties in a twist, I’m truly sorry for everyone who died. It must suck hard to be yanked from your mobile home and whacked by a nativity scene first thing in the morning. And I’m not saying God sent these things as a punishment. These are merely observations of what appears to be a pestilence of Biblical proportions. In fact, I don’t even believe in the concept of Divine Wrath. So why, you might smugly ask, sitting at your desk, do I even bring up the topic if I don’t believe?
Because the 86% of self-professed Christians there do.
Remember Sodom and Gomorrah, anyone? Or, I know, how about the time the Big Guy got all pissy and flooded the planet killing every living thing that couldn’t capsize the Ark in their last, drowning moments?
Not to worry. It’s a sure bet sure that, as I write, the blame has already shifted to the state’s less than 1.0% of Muslims or 1.0% of Jews. Or maybe even the state’s terrified homosexuals or Illegal Aliens. Or President Obama. Just rip a page from the Tea Party’s Enemies List and you’re sure to find the scapegoat.
And I’ll bet there’s a lot of sackcloth and ashes wearing going on, wondering why, so closely on the heels of JC’s birthday, God would let something like this happen.
Because He can. And that’s scary as shit.
I should repeat here that the New Year’s Eve tornadoes ventured into Missouri, too, so it makes me wonder what’s next. I mean, Missouri banned same sex marriage, too and we’re 86% white and 77% Christian. Meaning, especially when you venture out in the Hinterlands and Meth-burgs of our fair state, we’re not much different from our cousins to the south. So are we next on God’s list? Will the Mississippi flow backwards once again? Will the New Madrid fault swallow up vast areas of farmland? Will the new smoking ban in St. Louis be suddenly repealed by the Anti-Christ himself?
This morning’s late breaking news that more fucking black birds have died in Louisiana makes me want to build my own goddamned ark.
As I said earlier, I’m no Bible thumping snake handler and don’t believe in Divine Wrath, so I don’t have those answers.
Late breaking news: I just learned that the same thing has now happened in Europe. Yep, more dead birds and fish. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s actually God or Stephen King who’s behind all of this.
I’m just sayin’, you better watch your back.
Curtis Christopher Comer is the author of “Midnight Whispers: the Blake Danzig Chronicles” (Bold Strokes Books, 2010).