Is God punishing California?
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Yesterday, the wrath of God descended upon California in the form of fast-moving brush fires, hurricane force winds, dust storms, and power outages. Add this to the everyday hassle of living in the Golden State, and some are left wondering if God is punishing the people.
Fires burn across California, consuming homes and lives. This is happening with greater frequency. Are the people listening?
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Houses are burning in California as wildfires continue to scorch the state from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, north of San Francisco. The smoke from these fires has filled the air, and the San Joaquin Valley is choking with it. High winds are blowing clouds of dust across the valley floor, forcing thousands to improvise masks so they can breathe. On top of this, hundreds of thousands of residents remain without electricity because the state's provider, Pacific Gas & Electric, has opted for decades to pay itself dividends instead of improving infrastructure or clearing hazards.
In addition to these immediate concerns, California faces other problems. Chronic drought, a sharply rising homeless population, and skyrocketing rents which render even working families homeless. Gas prices are high, around $4.00 per gallon, thanks to the state's environmental regulations which mandate a special blend of gas during the warm months. Most of California's months are "warm."
Politically, California is a left-leaning state, with a few conservative pockets that threaten to turn "purple." Despite the state's liberal government, the quality of life for residents continues to decline. Trapped between stagnant wages, high taxes, and rising prices for everything, it becomes apparent the reason California is called the "Golden State" is because it costs a lot of gold to live there. It costs even more to operate a business. Thousands of longtime residents as well as their businesses, are fed up and fleeing the state.
Given this confluence of circumstances, one could imagine God punishing California for its abundant sins.
It is difficult to say that God is sending a message to Californians. However, it is obvious that Californians are smiting themselves. California has always been a land of long, hot, dry summers, and mild winters. Wildfires have always occurred. The Sequoia trees of the Sierras actually require the heat from the fires to open their cones and drop their seeds. The Santa Ana winds have always blown, moving hot, billowing clouds of dust hundreds of miles across the state.
Yet, Californians has somehow believed that nature would simply change to suit them. They have built tract homes everywhere, right up the sides of hills and mountain slopes where native grasses are abundant and dry out in the fall, making perfect kindling. They have paved hundreds of freeways to accommodate this sprawl, instead of developing taller cities and mass transit systems. Now gas prices are perpetually among the highest in the nation. Californians continue to elect politicians who are socially liberal, pro-abortion and pro anything to do with pushing the boundaries of polite society. These same politicos are also pro-tax. California residents even tax themselves, passing one tax increase after another by ballot initiative, no legislators required.
Californians have tolerated political corruption, as state boards and legislators are bought off by private corporations. One has only to look at PG&E, which is a legal monopoly in the state and is supposed to be overseen by a public commission. However, the company has done little to improve safety and infrastructure, and now faces bankruptcy from fires dating back to 2017. Its liability continues to grow with each wildfire it starts. At least two current, major fires, are attributed to the utility. More are possible in the coming weeks. And still, thousands of residents, schools and businesses remain closed because their power has been shut off. What has the Commission been doing?
It might be reasonable to ask if California is turning into a failed state like Venezuela.
The people of California need to regain control of their government and insist on moral leadership. In Biblical times, Israel was periodically plagued by disasters, brought on by the people themselves and their immoral choices. Our morals are not there to control us. They are given to us to protect us from ourselves, and the troubles we create when we disobey. What we read about happening to ancient Israel is exactly what is happening in California today.
So, perhaps a better question than, "is God punishing California?" would be, "Are Californians paying attention to God?" Perhaps if we did, we would find better times ahead, instead of the insane new normal that is the "Golden State."
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