Hurricane Florence is no joke. There have been false alarms in the past with storms, but there’s no doubt with this one. It’s coming, and it is going to be incredibly destructive. The storm is currently a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds over 209 kilometers per hour (130 miles per hour). The storm is reportedly entering warmer waters right now, and may briefly jump to a category 5 (winds over 252 kilometers per hour/157 miles per hour), and the waves are expected to be 20 feet tall. It is going to make landfall Friday morning, there will be at least 2 days straight of rain, and if you’re in the area, you need to stop reading this article and get the hell out.
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But the East Coast of the United States can rest easy, because Pat Robertson is on the case. That’s because Robertson thinks he’s some type of wizard who can cast shields of protection over his church’s campus in Virginia, and the East Coast as a whole.
Robertson asked the congregation to assist him in casting the spell, by raising their hands whatever direction the Atlantic is (he appears to not know in the video), and shouting loudly into the microphone:
In the name of Jesus, you Hurricane Florence, we speak to you in the name of Jesus, and we command the storm to cease its forward motion and go harmlessly into the Atlantic. Go up north away from land and veer off in the name of Jesus. We declare in the name of the lord that you shall go no farther, you shall do no damage in this area. We declare a shield of protection all over Tidewater, and we declare a shield of protection over those innocent people in the path of this hurricane. In Jesus’ holy name, be out to sea! In Jesus’ name!
He then asked the crowd to praise and thank god, but didn’t specify what to thank him for. I have to assume the full statement would be “thank you god for creating this massive storm capable of causing hundreds of millions of dollars in destruction and likely killing many who choose to not evacuate, you must really love us!”
Then, he promises that the crowd will remember the day that they thwarted the angry cloud monster. But, he offers a caveat to his promise. He says that the spell will only work if those present don’t doubt it in their hearts. So it gives him a convenient explanation for why the spell didn’t take when, according to every indication from the scientific and meteorological data available, the storm smashes into the Carolinas in a couple of days.
Above: satellite imagery of Florence, taken the night of September 9th into September 10th. If we’re going to thank a god for anything, it should be for NASA and all the satellites they’ve launched to give us ample warning for storms like this.
Robertson then says how “hilarious” it is or hurricanes to “try” to make landfall near his campus in Virginia. “It’s almost hilarious to see them try. They try to get in and they can’t, and then they go north and they turn around, try to come back in. They can’t do it.”
He credits a shield that god has put around the campus for this. Because while he’s a merciful and loving god, god says “fuck every single person who isn’t Pat Robertson.”
What makes this all the more amusing is the fact that the NOAA hurricane hunters announced just a few minutes ago, at 11 am, that there is no wind shear, and the water ahead of Florence is warm, meaning Robertson’s spell has fizzled, and there is absolutely nothing to stop the storm from smashing into the coast.
This is not only laughably stupid rhetoric from Robertson, it’s also dangerous. It’s a perfect example of confirmation bias. Many other con artists like Robertson make similar claims that are just as ridiculous. Somewhere out there, possibly even on the East Coast, someone honestly thinks that this will work because they believe the cascade of bullshit that Robertson word vomits.