Conservative Media Firm Pushes Claim That Gaza Withdrawal Caused BP Disaster

Several years ago, when reporting from John Hagee’s church, I was sitting with a woman who told me she believed that Hurricane Katrina had been caused by Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip (or the “Gaza land giveaway,” as she put it). This woman was preparing herself to be part of the “remnant” she claimed God is gathering as predicted in the Book of Ezekiel. The remnant, as interpreted by this woman and many others, will resist the persecution of the Antichrist during his reign during the Tribulation period, and would preach the Gospel to nonbelievers.

“Bad things will happen to America,” this woman added, if America doesn’t follow God’s commandment in Genesis 12:3 to bless Israel. The roadmap for peace, she said, was against God’s word and would bring bad things to America.

If you think this is a fringe view, now comes Special Guests, and outfit that blasts an email to reporters and broadcast media bookers each morning, touting the expertise of conservative guests on the topics of the day. Today they are promoting John McTernan, who claims that the BP oil spill disaster is “Obama’s Katrina” because Obama’s poor treatment of Israel caused the catastrophe. 

McTernan, a former federal Treasury agent, also claims that the Bush administration’s sanction of the 2005 Gaza withdrawal has a biblical connection to Hurricane Katrina. The Special Guests press release adds, “In 2010, the treatment Israel has been receiving from the Obama administration has been, in a word, shocking. . . . Israel has never had a more anti-Israeli president in the White House.” And, McTernan concludes, this has and could cause further catastrophe on the Gulf Coast.

McTernan runs a ministry, Defend and Proclaim the Faith and, according to the site’s biography, is a “pro-life leader” in central Pennsylvania, where he lives. He’s also the founder of International Cops for Christ because “[t]he Bible refers to the police as God’s ministers and God has granted awesome power to the police for the subduing of evil. This power includes arresting people and suspending their liberty, putting people in jail, starting civil and legal proceedings and the authority to use force, including deadly physical force, when necessary.”

Here’s McTernan addressing Tim LaHaye’s 2009 International Prophecy Conference, preaching on Obadiah 1:15 (“For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.”) The nations that curse Israel, said McTernan, are going to be cursed. “The policy of the United States is to divide the land of Israel,” said McTernan, “the policy of God is to unite the land of Israel. So we’re 180 degrees off. . . but there’s warnings in Scriptures not to touch that land.”

Never mind BP’s shoddy safety procedures. It’s really just God’s wrath.

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email