On May 23, 2015, Ireland officially became the first country to adopt same sex marriage by popular vote. The referendum, backed by a landslide, marked a dramatic shift in a country where roughly 85% are Catholic, a country that only decriminalized homosexuality two decades ago and massively backed bans on abortion and divorce in the 1980s. Abortion, still outlawed, looms as the country’s next great social policy fight.
The yes vote was well over 70% in Dublin and between 50 and 65 % for most of the rest of the country. On that day in May, supporters crowded into the courtyard of Dublin Castle to watch in “blistering sunshine” as results that trickled in from around the country were shown on a large screen. Residents cheered with joy as the final tally was announced and then burst into a rendition of the National Anthem that in part says: “We’re children of a fighting race, that never yet has known disgrace.” ( I guess it is time for the Irish to change the lyrics a bit!) Meanwhile, government ministers waved a rainbow flag from the stage in front of the crowd and one lesbian senator proposed to her partner on live television.
Exactly forty days after the historic vote for sodomized marriage was announced, very uncommon “Lenticular” clouds, filled the sky over Dublin on July 1st. Could this have been a warning to the people of Ireland? Is forty a significant number in the Bible? Do clouds have Biblical meaning?
The number 40 appears often in contexts dealing with judgement or testing and seems to be a number that helps emphasize times of trouble and hardship. For example, in the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12). In the New Testament, Jesus was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights, (Matthew 4:2), and there were 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, (Acts 1:3).
To see unusual Lenticular clouds hovering over Dublin, a city that just 40 days before had been celebrating sodomized marriage in the “blistering” sun shine, must make one stop and wonder. In the Old Testament, ‘literal’ clouds are invariably linked with the direct activity of God and are described as evidence of God’s mighty wondrous works and inscrutable ways. In the negative sense, clouds are used to symbolize prideful self-exaltation. The literal or metaphorical cloud in the New Testament refers to Jesus’ graphic contrast between his hearers’ ability to interpret the meaning of a cloud rising in the west that a shower is coming and their inability to interpret the present time, Luke 12:54. Jesus calls them hypocrites; “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
On the same first day of July in New York City, as “JULY KICKS OFF WITH THUNDER, LIGHTENING STORMS,” it was learned that conservative Irishman John Dunleavy had been ousted from his 22 year reign as chairman of the New York city St. Patrick’s Day parade for stating that “gays will have a problem” marching in 2016. Dunleavy had been offering TV rights to media outlets other than NBC in retaliation for NBCs marching in the March 17th, 2015 parade under its own banner “OUT @ NBC, the first time gays had marched in the Parade. For years Dunleavy had been at odds with ILGO (Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization), but the AOH (Ancients and Honorables) defined the parade as a “religious procession” and had won rulings all the way to the Supreme Court. Dunleavy said, “It’s not a coincidence that the parade starts with a mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.”
Andrew Brewer of NBC Universal was instrumental and credited with securing the historic first time an LGBT group would march in the NYC Saint Patrick’s parade. At the same time, Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, was announced as grand marshal of the religious parade and wrote he was “very supportive” of the change. Did 25 years of labeling Cardinal O’Connor, the AOH and anyone else who dared defend Christian doctrine not mean anything to Dolan?
On the day of the parade, a parade that had refused a pro-life group to participate because the parade organizers said they did not want to risk taking attention away from the gay group, Cardinal Dolan, a Jesuit, said “I’m as radiant as the sun, (similar to the same blistering sun of glee in Dublin) so thanks be to God for the honor and joy,” as he led 250,000 marchers down Fifth Avenue. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio refused to attend because the parade was not gay enough. It is obvious that the Saintly parade going forward is now in the hands of the devil and should not be attended!
It should come as no surprise that both Dublin and New York City’s newsworthy events involving the Irish took place on the first of July. One is used throughout the Bible to indicate that God himself is “The One True God.” The first and foremost number one Commandment is “Thou shalt have no other gods besides me.” In Deuteronomy 6:4; “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” was to remind the Jews not to worship multiple gods, that one is enough. Is it a coincidence that Deuteronomy 6:4 (6 +4 = 10 and 1 + 0) = 1?
In addition, July is the seventh month, seven a number that can mean completion and perhaps even signify that a divine mandate has been fulfilled. There are also passages in which the number seven is associated with God’s judgement, for example in Revelation, the seven seals on the scroll represent the fullness of God’s punishment of a sinful earth. Is God trying to give a warning to both Dublin and New York City? Only God knows for sure, but to hedge the bet, a good amount of repentance right now in both cities would help cover the odds!
“The Lord is slow to anger but great in power, the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.” Nahum 1:3