Yep. Maine's unusually rainy summer is my fault. I never realized I had this superpower until it was revealed to me in a commentary to the Brunswick Times Record, my local paper here in midcoast Maine. Michael Heath, who can best be described as some sort of Island of Dr. Moreau hybrid, a cross between Michelle Bachman and Fred Phelps, has become the gift that keeps on giving:
In May, our elected officials overturned a law of nature, and in its place paid honor to evil and unnatural practices. Our leaders allowed a cloud of error to hide the light of reason, and then the rain began. How fitting that this eclipse of human reason is mirrored by the disappearance of the sun!
Meet me below the fold for more zany right-wing hysteria.
Our crops are faring like our moods. The potato crop is blighted, and corn and fruit fields wither. In one historic building in Augusta, rain flooded the basement, as water from another source poured down through the ceiling and extinguished a century-old chandelier.
In April, thousands of people, supporters and opponents, converged on the Augusta Civic Center for a public hearing on same-sex marriage. Supporters, wearing red, far outnumbered opponents.
Some of the things I heard that day were offensive to my core: "We must stop this bill so that more Maine kids won't be molested." "If this bill is passed, what's next? A mother marrying her son? A man marrying his dog?" You get the picture.
So the bill was passed, the Governor signed it, and marriage equality comes to Maine. Sort of. Now we have to contend with "the people's veto" and the likes of Michael Heath:
What darkness equals the error of saying a family should be headed by two mothers or two fathers? What error equals saying that two women can be married, or two men?
But in recent days, we are all taking more notice of the sky for the simple reason that all is not well with the weather. Friends known for their high-spirits seem remote and gloomy. Our gardens droop low as if worn out and saddened. Bird and beast stay close to home, and when they do venture out, they too, seem peevish and sullen.
So, I decided it was time to take Mr. Heath to task and fired off my own commentary to The Times Record.
Cause and Effect: A Response to Michael Heath
Well, he finally did it. On Friday, August 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm EDT in a commentary titled "A ’cloud of errors’ hides the ‘light of reason‘ ," a screed that can only be characterized as coming straight out of the dark ages, Michael Heath "jumped the shark," losing all credibility and becoming completely irrelevant.
According to Mr. Heath, gay people and their supporters are evil, and control the weather. Who knew? This is reminiscent of Jerry Falwell’s infamous and highly ridiculed accusation about the terrorist attacks on 9-11: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen." Michael Heath, in his commentary, pointed his finger in the face of Maine’s gay and lesbian community and called us evil. He accused us of causing potato crops to be blighted, corn and fruit fields to wither, a basement to flood, and a century-old chandelier to be extinguished. And he accused us of causing, wait for it... "endless rain and gloom," Well, I point my finger at Mr. Heath and say that he is only one short step away from Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, who had this to say about Hurricane Katrina: "New Orleans, symbol of America, seen for what it is: a putrid, toxic, stinking cesspool of fag fecal matter. ... Pray for more dead bodies floating on the fag-semen-rancid waters of New Orleans."
These cause and effect claims aren’t merely reductio ad absurdum, they are squarely in the realm of reductio ad ridiculum. How would Mr. Heath explain the glorious weather we’ve been having lately. Could it be because he wrote an article for the newspaper? Or could it be that God is pleased that a majority of Maine citizens support fairness and equality? If we take Mr. Heath’s "little cloud that watered a small patch of
parched forest" tale one step farther, maybe God was alleviating the drought and low water tables that Maine has been suffering from for quite some time. A U.S. Geological Survey study showed that the drought of 1999-2002 was the most severe drought on Maine rivers in more than 50 years.
Cause and effect? Before the Democratic convention in Denver in 2008, James Dobson of Focus on the Family put out an internet video asking people to pray for rain during Barack Obama's outdoor acceptance speech. Not just regular rain, but "network-cameras-can't-see-the-podium rain." Ooops! Big miss. Denver was perfectly dry, but the Republicans considered postponing their convention due to Hurricane Gustav bearing down on Mississippi at the same time their convention was scheduled. Apparently God doesn’t use MapQuest, or answer petty partisan prayers, or something.
Cause and effect? What about the endless gloom of the last ice age? Perhaps the manly Neanderthals being outwitted by the sissy homo-sapiens was just too much for the Almighty. Of course Mr. Heath probably believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old, flat, and the center of the Universe so the last ice age, which occurred 20,000 years ago, didn’t really happen.
Cause and Effect? In a September 25th, 2008 blog post titled 'The Nation Will Right Itself If It Fixes Sex', Mr. Heath blamed the financial crisis then facing Wall Street on America’s sinful sexual culture, including the acceptance of gay unions.
But don’t fret, he also outlined a prescription for stronger finances, and better weather:
- Put Maine on record as being against abortion the nanosecond the Supreme Court releases the Roe shackle.
- Defund the Family Planning Association of Maine.
- Amend Maine's Constitution to define Marriage.
- Eliminate domestic partnerships and ignore pleas to create civil unions.
- Unleash Maine's private sector to make Maine energy independent.
- End discrimination against private religious schools and homeschools.
So there you have it. The next time you check your IRA and it has declined in value, or the next time it’s raining when you have planned a day at the beach, don’t say he didn’t warn you.
Cause: Michael Heath calls gay people evil and accuses us of causing "...the sun to hide it’s face in shame."
Effect: Michael Heath loses all credibility and becomes irrelevant.
Jerry Falwell eventually backed away from his ridiculous accusation and apologized: "I would never blame any human being except the terrorists, and if I left that impression with gays or lesbians or anyone else, I apologize." Michael Heath, after losing the fight for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, apologized in March of 2004 for requesting, on the Christian Civic League’s website, that supporters provide information about the sexual orientation of legislators and other political leaders.
How long before we can expect an apology from Mr. Heath this time?
If you feel at all inclined to help us defeat these Heathens, you can donate here to Vote No on 1 / Protect Maine Equality.
I will leave you with another of Michael Heath's greatest moments, from his blog - which I refuse to link to:
The end to this fascination with sexual perversion can't come soon enough for me. I'm afraid it is likely we will be dealing with
more, not less, violence before this religious conflict plays itself out.