Monday, October 22, 2007

The Price of Hating America

A home in Poway, CA goes up in flames

-- by Sara

"I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."
-- Glenn Beck, October 22, 2007

My sister is spending tonight on a couch in a friend's apartment. She, her partner, and her two kids got up at five o'clock this morning, packed up whatever they could fit in into the car, and drove away from the apartment that has been their home for over a decade.

Tonight, with brushfires raging throughout the hills of eastern San Diego, there is no way of knowing when they will be able to return -- or if there will be anything left to return to. By tomorrow morning, that couch may be the only home she has.

They are just four of over a quarter million San Diegans who have been forced to evacuate their homes over the past two days.

My sister is a nurse. A highly skilled one, who supervises other nurses in an obstetrical and neo-natal ICU. If you ever had a preemie who lived, it was because someone like my sister kept watchful eyes and skilled hands on that baby, every second, keeping it fed and breathing and loved for however many days and weeks it took for its survival to be assured. (And yes, she went to work today, because that's where she belonged.) She's a stalwart of her union, a loving and fierce mother, and a pillar of her Presbyterian church. She believes in prayer, the Second Coming, creationism, and homeland security.

And Glenn Beck thinks she deserves to lose her house because she "hates America."

Words fail.

Win or lose, my sister will probably view the outcome as a blessing from God; or a sign that she is being tested by him. But, either way, I don't think either God or my sister will thank Beck for presuming to insert himself into that exchange -- let alone attempting to interpret it on behalf of either.

But as long as we're interpreting messages, just what are you saying here, Glenn? That people who live in California's fire-prone areas are somehow more likely to hate America? Would that be all 38 million Californians (considerably more than "a handful"); or is God aiming these fires to smite specific ones in particular? And if so, why would he choose San Diego County -- one of the most Republican areas of the state? Could it be because it's actually Republicans who hate America? (OK -- now we're getting somewhere. But it's probably not where you meant to be.)

OK, snark mode off. Last week, it was the Frosts and Wilkersons. Now, it's a nice Christian Republican nurse in nice Christian Republican San Diego. Who also happens to be my sister. Who may, as I write this, be losing her home and all its contents.

And all Glenn Beck can think of to say is that she somehow had it coming.

Please: Why is this man still on the air?

Crossposted at Orcinus