Maybe it's the bleeding from the eyes that has pushed so many people over the emotional edge. That's the image we've been given about Ebola patients who've passed the point of no return. It seems like something out of a horror movie. Bleeding from the eyes seems like a plague straight from Hell.
Maybe that’s why another pastor has decided to warn us that this, too, is a sign of the End of Days.
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(Others have crazy ideas, too, about Ebola but blame racism, not God. Louis Farrakhan believes Ebola and HIV were designed to kill black people and spare whites.)
He believes God so hates the idea of gay marriage, now legal in more than half of America, that God is unleashing punishment on this country.
I would ignore him if his way of thinking was a part of a fringe. But it is not. I know many people who think the same way. If you get sick, it's because your relationship with God isn't right. If a bad thing, like the Sept. 11 terror attacks, happens, it's because God is angry.
I've heard this type of preaching from a variety of people, local and national, people who have followers numbering in the hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands, and even the millions.
I've also heard rational, sensible people argue that 9/11 was proof, not that God was sending bad things our way, but that he was removing his protective cover from us because of our sins, because of things like no longer hating gay people, or treating them as second-class citizens. If that's true, that means God was pleased enough with us to protect us while we enslaved people and later lynched them and implemented laws and customs to treat some horribly based on race. All of that was cool with God, apparently, but allowing two adult gay people to enter into a legal union based on love and responsibility was just too much.
I wonder if people ever stop to think about what they are saying about such things. Every generation since Jesus walked Earth - including the one Jesus was a part of - claimed it was the so-called terminal generation, the one during which the end would manifest itself. Of course, everyone of them was wrong. And remember, bad things have been happening on this planet since before modern-day humans showed up. There has never been a time bad and seemingly scary things have not been with us.
Maybe it's time to stop trying to read "the signs" and just living the way you know you should any way, the End of Days or no End of Days?
And, yes, as “The Daily Show” clip above points out, the media has been fueling too much of this type of hysteria. Remember, thousands of people die every year from the flu - the average is somewhere between 23,000 and 32,000 and it is much more contagious than Ebola - which has claimed very few lives in this country.