Some of my fellow atheists like to point out that if God is punishing America with tornadoes and hurricanes and so forth because he is angry with us for things like gay marriage, abortion and secularism, then why do these natural disasters frequently afflict parts of the country where so many Gawd fearin' types live.
After all, if God hates homosexuals, then why not cause gay men to spontaneously combust whenever they engage in acts of sodomy? Why not strike down abortion providers with bolts of lightning whenever they are about to perform an abortion?
Then I had that "Eureka!" moment. There's a reason why God afflicts the good Christians of America with natural disasters. And that is because he is just like the drill sergeant in the movie Full Metal Jacket. When Private "Pyle" continues to mess up in spite of the drill sergeants constant badgering and cajoling, the drill sergeant tries a new tack, as shown in the scene in the Youtube clip above. He announces to the platoon that he will no longer punish Pyle for his mistakes. Instead he will punish the rest of the platoon, which causes them to beat poor Private Pyle with bars of soap wrapped in towels. Consequently, Pyle becomes a better Marine, well, at least until he ends up shooting the drill sergeant and then himself.
So maybe that is why God punishes the Bible Belt states of America with wild fires, droughts and other natural disasters. They are not doing their job to get the rest of us sinners right with Jesus. He is just trying to motivate them to try harder to ban abortion, roll back same sex marriage and eliminate access to contraception. If that is the case, I think God needs to give them some more motivation.
On a different note, I recently received the 25th anniversary edition of Condé Nast Traveller magazine. The magazine has a fold out page with some travel related facts, including comparison of some statistics from 1987 and 2012. For example, in 1987, there were 701 million rolls of camera film sold in the United States, whereas just 15 million rolls were sold in 2012. While the number of rolls of film sold has obviously plummeted, the year 2012 still had 5 months left to it as the magazine went to press, so the total for the year could go up to maybe 25 million.
The foldout section also lists the five highest and lowest states by percentage of population with passports.
The five highest states by percentage are:
New Jersey: 50%
New York: 45.2%
New Hampshire: 43%
And the five lowest states by percentage of the population are:
West Virginia: 13.9%
The top five states are all located in the northeast of the United States. I was surprised that California didn't make the the top five, as I would imagine that states with a high percentage of foreign born U.S. citizens would be more likely to have a greater percentage of passport holders, as foreign born Americans and their families would travel frequently to their countries of origin.
The bottom five states are mostly rural with less ethnic and religious diversity in their populations. Citizens of these states also travel abroad less, which also minimizes their exposure to peoples of other cultures. Maybe that is what Sarah Palin meant when she spoke of those little pockets of what she called the "real America."