The LORD saw that Governor Abbott’s heart was hardened against social justice, the realities of climate change, the truth of health care and science, the murder of Texans by agents of the state in the name of “policing”, the murder of Texans by radicalized young men with unfettered access to weapons, inherent racism and misogyny in existing state laws, and the evils of cronyism and putting money before the lives of his constituents. Even though Governor Abbott claimed to pray to the LORD every day and seek His council, the Governor would not accept the truth before his eyes to help guide his policy and actions.
And so the LORD sent unto the United States and the state of Texas, by his own hand, a massive, life-threatening plague with unknown long-term health effects. The country had to shut down entirely to prevent the spread of the plague, exacerbating existing inequities in health care access and affordability. The plague ravaged the people of Texas for more than two years, infecting nearly seven million and killing nearly 90,000 Texans in that time.
The LORD sent a respite to Governor Abbott in the form of advice from the CDC and other health authorities, telling him the truth of scientific fact: that wearing masks would help reduce the spread of the virus and that a vaccine would provide protection against the virus. And still Governor Abbott insisted that “personal liberty” was more important than preventing death, and that “economic openness” was more important than public health. The Governor continued to put corporate profits and his re-election campaign above the good of the people who had elected him to lead, and the LORD saw this and was not amused. Governor Abbott also struck down any local law that tried to protect citizens by mandating masks in public spaces or encouraging vaccines. The LORD was again troubled by Governor Abbott’s complete disdain for human life.
The LORD saw that Governor Abbott was also unmoved by the murder of his own people by agents of his state paid to “keep the peace”. And so the LORD planted in the minds of those who seek justice that it was time to stop putting up with the murders and to use the methods of the state against itself. Civil unrest spread across Texas and the U.S., breaking a few windows and burning a few state-owned buildings, but mostly calling leadership to account — a place that leaders like Governor Abbott are highly uncomfortable being. The LORD organized large marches to remind the Governor of his ability to stop the unrest by enacting justice reforms. But the Governor’s heart was unmoved and was, in fact, further hardened against his own people.
The LORD also saw that the Governor was unwilling to recognize the consequences of climate change in favor of enabling his cronies in oil and gas to make money off the health of his own constituents. The Governor lied about the health consequences of stripping the earth for fossil fuels, and ignored the effects of blackening the skies and poisoning the water. And so the LORD sent a plague of extreme drought paired with one of extreme heat to wither the Governor in his home. But the Governor was unmoved.
Seeing that the Governor would not accept the reality of climate change as a human-caused problem and take steps to mitigate it, the LORD sent darkness in the frozen cold through a polar vortex that shut down the entire power grid in Texas for five days and five nights. Texans perished by the handful and suffered immensely. The roads went unplowed and the entire state came to a complete standstill. But still the Governor was unmoved.
So the LORD sent a pestilence of gnats to eat the rotted agaves that had fallen during the freezing storms. The gnats got drunk off the tequila-like properties of the rotted agave and terrorized the people of Texas for weeks. But still the Governor was unmoved.
So the LORD sent a storm to rain down on Texas, with damaging hail, gail-force winds, and epic flooding. Texans had to file insurance claims galore. But the Governor was unmoved.
So the LORD sent a pestilence of mosquitoes from the flooding, which bit the ankles of Texans and made them miserable. West Nile virus spread alongside the COVID-19 plague, and hospitals which were already overwhelmed continued to be overrun by the sick.
Instead of addressing the health care issues, the Governor saw fit to outlaw women’s health and keep women from terminating pregnancies where a heartbeat was detected. The LORD saw Governor Abbott’s hypocrisy in saying this was a “pro-life” move while also choosing to execute a prisoner within the same breath.
The LORD knew that Texas women, who had seen that their potential offspring would never receive the health care, education, or basic human dignity that their mothers would want for them, let alone the childcare and health care that would allow these mothers to live dignified lives, had elected to raise dogs as pets rather than have children of their own.So the LORD sent a plague of blue algae to the waterways of Texas, killing the pet dogs of the families who loved them. The entirety of Texas wept.
And still Governor Abbott’s heart was unmoved.
The LORD saw that Governor Abbott also refused to stop gun violence from ravaging his community by enacting any laws to make it more difficult for domestic abusers, criminals, or any man on an egotistical power trip to get a weapon with which he could kill as many people as he wanted.
And so the LORD let these empowered men murder. He let them murder people in their churches. He let them murder children in their schools. He let them murder their families, colleagues, friends.
And still the Governor’s heart was unmoved.
It remains unmoved to this day.
How many plagues must the LORD send to soften his heart? How many of the Governor’s own choices must be shown to be faulty and catastrophic for him to relent? How many of those he has charged to protect must suffer die before he sees the power he has to stop the carnage and repents before the God he claims to serve?