When terrorists struck on 9/11, the late Jerry Falwell claimed that God had allowed it because he was angry at America for putting up with all "the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians" in our midst.
When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, a right-wing religious group called the Columbia Christians for Christ claimed that God had sent the storm to punish Louisiana for allowing abortion clinics to operate there.
The group said that God had already punished California with forest fires and earthquakes, so we've been watching for a reprise of the "it's God's punishment" explanation this week.
Fox News is way on top of this one. It turns out the latest fires in California aren't the wrath of an angry God, but they may be the work of ... al-Qaida.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.