The Lodgepole Pine
by: John Tyrrell
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Two Colorado Christian preachers got together on their weekly radio show to discuss the reasons for a recent spate of forest fires hitting the state.This was over a week ago, so Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner did not have the DOMA decision to blame. But still, as proper Christian preachers with their own radio show they had absolute certain knowledge that God had personally set the fires. The only question was why.
Now the fires were worst near Colorado Springs, the most conservative and religious area of the state, and home of Focus on the Family. So you might think they'd link the fires to excess fundamentalist zeal.
No - if you're a regular visitor to this site, you'd know they would not make that link at all - because liberal preachers who conceivably might make such a link are generally too intelligent to make such stupid claims about their god. And these two guys are fundies. They are not about to suggest that God would punish excess fundamentalism.
According to Swanson and Buehner the forest fires are linked to Colorado's reasonably liberal abortion laws.
God: Abortion in Colorado! Jesus, rub a couple of sticks together - we're going to set a fire!
But wait, there's more: According to Swanson and Buehner the forest fires are linked to Colorado's law on civil unions.
God: Same-sex civil unions in Colorado! Jesus, get some matches - we're going to really set a fire or two!
And still, there's even more: According to Swanson and Buehner the forest fires are linked to the Denver Post publishing a photo of a leading Colorado politician kissing his same-sex partner.
God: A picture of men kissing in a Colorado newspaper! Jesus, get my Zippo and fill it up - we're going to set a lot of fires!
You'd think that was enough excuses for God's rampage, but there's more: According to Swanson and Buehner the forest fires are linked to feminism, specifically, women wearing hats and pantsuits.
God: Women wearing pantsuits in Colorado! Jesus, get my blow torch - we're going to have to burn the entire state!
God: Women wearing hats in Colorado! Jesus get my... Hold on Jesus - am I listening to a pair of loons? Women and hats goes back thousands of years. Feminism has nothing to do with it.
A pair of loons? Maybe so. Swanson went on to talk about a flight he'd taken back home from Australia where he'd somehow been forced to observe what other passengers were watching on their seatback screens: “I’ve never seen so many breasts in all of my life. Every form of aberrant sexuality and women’s breasts are shown in front of me almost nonstop for fourteen hours.”
Perhaps, gentle reader, you were wondering about the title of this piece. The lodgepole pine was not mentioned once until now. About 7% of Colorado's forest area consist of lodgepole pines. They are a strange tree in that they have evolved to require fire to germinate. The existence of lodgepole pine forests is evidence of forest fires in the past; forest fires in Colorado before civil unions; forest fires in Colorado before legalization of abortions; forest fires in Colorado before men were willing to be photographed kissing; forest fires in Colorado before pantsuits. Probably before mankind ever arrived in Colorado.
Forest fires were part of the Colorado scene long before any of the so-called sins that Swanson and Buehner credit for the current fires. The lodgepole pine forests prove it.
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