America's right has weighed in, from Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to pundit Glenn Beck: Hurricane Irene and the earthquake that shook Virginia, Washington, and New York was merely God trying to get the attention of Americans and politicians.
One might think they missed Bible chapters about God's grace, but that's truly what each has said in recent days.
Beck, a leading conservative radio personality, said Hurricane Irene was a blessing from God, while Bachmann, a House Representative from Minnesota who is also a GOP presidential nomination candidate, said God was trying to get the attention of the American politicians with the earthquake and hurricane all in one week.
Beck made his comments last Friday, days after the 5.8 earthquake shook Virginia, Washington, New York and beyond and as Huricane Irene prepared to make landfall in North Carolina before a run up the East Coast.
He said the storm, which claimed the lives of 25 and ravaged some East Coast area while disrupting the live of tens of millions, was a teaching tool from God to enable people to better prepare and encourage them to stockpile food in case disaster strikes.
Beck also said the earthquake was a warning sign to Americans.
How many warnings do you think you're going to get, and how many warnings do you deserve? Beck said on the air. This hurricane that is coming thorough the East Coast, for anyone who's in the East Coast and has been listening to me say 'Food storage!' 'Be prepared!'
Beck was apparently trying to warn Americans in the path of Hurricane Irene to heed the warnings. He said those who delayed were getting a message from God in the way of the storm's strength.
If you've waited, this hurricane is a blessing. It is a blessing. It is God reminding you -- as was the earthquake last week -- it's God reminding you you're not in control. Things can happen. Be prepared and be someone who can help others so when disaster strikes, God forbid, you're not panicking.
Bachmann made a similar statement about the earthquake and Hurricane Irene, though on Monday her presidential campaign said critics were making too much out of nothing in regard to her statement, exploding on the Internet Monday.
Obviously (Bachmann) was just saying it in jest, a campaign spokesperson told Talking Points Memo in a statement Monday.
But the quote, made by Bachmann at a Florida campaign rally over the weekend, hardly plays like a joke. If so, it's not very funny to some of us.
Bachmann's quote, as originally reported by the St. Petersburg Times: I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending.
It's true that a video clip of Bachmann's quote played on MSNBC Monday morning reveals some laughter in the crowd, but the story was not reported as a joke by the St. Petersburg Times, and it doesn't play as a joke to many when they hear it. and maybe some were laughing at Bachmann, not with her.
Nevertheless, Bachmann's campaign says Bachmann was just having a laugh. But neither she, nor Beck, is very funny if such humor is their style. Irene was both deadly and destructive, and that would be a cruel way to teach people a lesson or get their attention.