In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, RELIGION, Social commentary on August 22, 2022 at 12:13 am

In the 1960 movie, “David and Goliath,” the hero and his girlfriend are sitting in a cave during a thunderstorm. David assures her of his undying love, and they share a passionate kiss.

Then, amidst the sound of thunder, she says, “I must go—I cannot tarry.” 

David tries to talk her out of it, but she rushes out of the cave into a nearby flock of sheep—and is struck dead by lightning.

David is horrified—and grief-stricken: “Why, Lord, why?”

In the ancient world, lightning bolts were seen as the arrows of Zeus—or Yahweh (the Hebrew name of God). There could be no clearer sign of Heaven’s anger at a particular person that s/he was struck by lightning.

Today, we know that lightning, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory, is “a giant spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground.”

At least, those who believe in science—not superstition—know this.

And if you are the tallest object around, or are close to water or trees or metallic objects, you are likely to be struck. It doesn’t matter whether you’re good or evil.


Yet millions of superstitious Americans continue to believe that their lives are ruled by forces of Good (as symbolized by God) or Evil (as symbolized by Satan). 

One of these is Assemblywoman Shannon Lee Grove, who represents Kern County in Central California. A Republican, she served as the minority leader of the California State Senate from 2019 to 2021.

Grove has a unique explanation for California’s worsening drought: Climate change/global warming has nothing to do with it.  It’s God’s wrath over legalized abortion.

Speaking before the California ProLife Legislative Banquet held in Sacramento on June 8, 2015, Grove said:

“Texas was in a long period of drought until Governor [Rick] Perry signed the fetal pain bill,” she told the audience. “It rained that night.  Now God has his hold on California.”

Grove was referring to House Bill 2, a Texas bill banning abortions 20 weeks after fertilization, four weeks earlier than the standard set by Roe v. Wade. It was based on the unproven assertion that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks.

In addition, the bill: 

  • Required all clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers, even if they did not provide surgical abortions; and
  • Mandated that abortion clinics have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility.

Shannon Grove.jpg

 Shannon Lee Grove

“This is the infallible word of God,” Grove said, holding a Bible above her head as attendees clapped. “I fear Him more than I fear anyone.”

Among her audience at the Grand Hotel were anti-abortion activists and clergy, including Catholic Bishops for Life, Pray California, Californians for Life and the California Republican Assembly. 

Apparently, God still has his hold on Texas, even though Texans passed a rabidly anti-abortion bill. 

Almost all of Texas is facing a severe level of drought. Only a few parts of the state—such as El Paso—aren’t abnormally dry.

The website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the drought was primarily caused by natural climate variability and climate change caused by human activity. 



Asked specifically about her comments, Grove refused to expound on the relationship between abortion and drought.

But on June 11, 2015, she issued a statement on her Facebook page: “I believe—and most Americans believe—-that God’s hand is in the affairs of man, and certainly was in the formation of this country.

Is this drought caused by God? Nobody knows. But biblical history shows a consequence to man’s actions.

“We do know for sure that California’s water shortage crisis has been compounded by liberal politicians’ poor decisions—not properly managing our water resources and refusing to build water storage for decades.”  

Clearly embarrassed at being unable to prove her own statement, Grove retreated to a safer line of attack: Drought is the fault of “liberal politicians.” 

Even some anti-abortion activists didn’t agree with Grove’s theory. 

Pro-Choice Kern County called her comments “absolute lunacy” and created a mock-up of a T-shirt: “I made a desert with my abortion and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”

Grove isn’t alone in believing that God’s displeasure lies behind natural disasters.

Another is Bill Koenig, the conservative editor of World Watch Daily. God, he asserts, is righteously enraged at California’s acceptance of same-sex marriage and abortion.

“We’ve got a state that over and over again will go against the word of God, that will continually take positions on marriage and abortion and on a lot of things that are just completely opposed to the scriptures.”

Abortion isn’t mentioned as a sin in the Bible. Yet it’s a ready culprit for natural disasters—in the sermons of fundamentalist preachers.

Evangelist Pat Robertson blamed abortion for Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

And Steve Lefamine, the director of Columbia Christians for Life in South Carolina, agreed with Robertson that abortion caused Hurricane Katrina.

In an interview with the Washington Post, he claimed that when he viewed the full-color satellite map of the hurricane, he saw an eight-week-old fetus in the image.

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