Volcanoes have elicited religious veneration for thousands of years, but talk show host Rush Limbaugh may be among the first to ascribe a political agenda to one, Think Progress reported.
After an Icelandic volcano continued to spew ash into the sky Saturday, halting President Obama's planned flight to Poland, conservative icon Limbaugh said the surprising strength and timing of the eruption suggests a God displeased with the passage of health care reform.
"You know, a couple of days after the health care bill had been signed into law Obama ran around all over the country saying, 'Hey, you know, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m looking around. The earth hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t opened up. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no Armageddon out there. The birds are still chirping.' I think the earth has opened up. God may have replied," he said on his radio show Friday.
The volcano's activity halted many travel plans Friday and Saturday as the volcano continued to erupt longer than scientists anticipated. President Obama was forced to cancel his plans to fly to Poland for a memorial in honor of Polish leaders, including the country's president, that were killed in a plane crash last week.
Aviation experts say the volcanic plume has caused the worst travel disruption Europe Ã¢â‚¬â€ and the world Ã¢â‚¬â€ has ever seen.
"I've been flying for 40 years but I've never seen anything like this in Europe," said Swedish pilot Axel Alegren, after landing his flight from Kabul, Afghanistan, at Munich Airport; he had been due to land at Frankfurt but was diverted.
"The activity has been quite vigorous overnight, causing the eruption column to grow," Icelandic geologist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson told The Associated Press on Saturday. "It's the magma mixing with the water that creates the explosivity. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight."
One Christian blog post suggested the volcanic eruption was a sign from God that the End Times are near.
Limbaugh was quick to capitalize on the unexpected drama.
"Earth has opened up," he said. "I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know whether itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a rebirth or Armageddon. Hopefully itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a rebirth, God speaking."
The talk show host also made headlines earlier this week for his reaction to President Clinton's remarks during the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma city bombings. Limbaugh said a future bombing in Oklahoma City should be blamed on President Clinton and President Obama.
"Clinton says that right-wing talk radio has made money off of anger, aided by the Internet," Limbaugh stated. "They just can't get away from it. We are living in their heads rent free. We are in their heads and on their minds. They -- and I'm going to throw the in there -- are out to destroy western civilization, folks. Why do you think the tea party people are so reviled? Why is it that we can sit there and accuse nonviolent tea party people of committing terrorist acts?"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.