I don't believe God shot up the substation, but if he did.....

Published December 7, 2022

By Thomas Mills

Two Duke Energy substations in Moore County were shot up this weekend, leaving 45,000 people without power. Duke says repairing the stations could take several days. The sheriff called the attack targeted and said the people responsible, “knew exactly what they were doing.” He imposed a curfew from 9pm to 5am. The governor declared a state of emergency. The FBI joined the investigation since attacking the power grid is a federal offense. 

The sheriff listed no suspects, but that didn’t keep social media warriors from speculating with their usual certainty. Some on the left believe the attack was perpetrated by right-wing activists who opposed a drag show that was scheduled for 7pm on Saturday night, about the same time as the first substation was shot up. An activist and January 6 protester named Emily Grace Rainey posted on Facebook “The power is out in Moore County and I know why.” She then posted a photo of the Sunrise Theater which hosted the drag show. Another activist name Sarah Fields posted on Twitter, “A ‘family friendly’ drag queen event was cancelled in Moore County, NC, due to a massive power outage.” She added the hashtag, #imokwithit.

Those posts led to thousands of shares and a certainty among the left that the attack was right-wing terrorism. Conservatives pushed back, saying leftists made the accusations with absolutely no evidence. And they are right, but we do know that right-wing activists supported the attack. 

The sheriff’s department talked to Rainey and Sheriff Ronnie Fields said that the post was “false.” After the deputies left her house, Rainey posted, “The Moore County Sheriff’s Office just checked in. I welcomed them to my home. Sorry they wasted their time. I told them that God works in mysterious ways and is responsible for the outage. I used the opportunity to tell them about the immoral drag show and the blasphemies screamed by its supporters. God is chastising Moore County.”

Personally, I don’t think God shot up those substations, but if he did, I think he was punishing Moore County for voting for Donald Trump, not the drag show. The county gave Trump an almost 30% margin and a whole lot of those folks in Southern Pines and Pinehurst are smart enough to know better. If He was only targeting the drag show, He would have just shot up the fuse box at the Sunshine Theater. He wouldn’t punish 45,000 innocent people just to get the couple of hundred or so people watching the drag show. 

I think God gave up on punishing the world by indiscriminately killing, maiming, and otherwise inconveniencing lots of people every few hundred years because it wasn’t working. About two thousand years ago, He tried a different tactic by sending a guy down here to tell us how to live, not punish us for living wrong. He narrowed down the Ten Commandments to help us focus. He said our priorities should be to love Him with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. He didn’t tell us what our neighbor might look like or do. I don’t think shooting up a substation and leaving 45,000 innocent people without power follows those commandments. 

Maybe He’s given up on that tactic and is going back to the death and destruction thing. If so, I think he’s targeting Republicans. Think about it. In the last few years, all those hurricanes have hit Florida and Texas, not New York. But when He did send one into the northeast, Sandy hit New Jersey. He might have been punishing them for electing Chris Christie. 

I’m sorry. I got off track. It seems like the sheriff, governor, and FBI believe this was a terrorist attack, even if they aren’t ready to say that without more evidence. It was, they say, intentional, targeted, and carried out by people who knew what they were doing. Sounds like terrorists to me. Their motive is unclear, but I’ve got three possibilities besides God. 

It could have been people who have a beef against Duke Energy or Moore County government. Maybe they were billed wrong or their taxes were too high or maybe they had land taken by eminent domain. In other words, they’re getting revenge for a specific grudge. That seems unlikely to me, but it’s possible. 

Maybe climate activists did it. They don’t like Duke Power and maybe they were sending a message. That seems unlikely because nobody has made any claims like that and those groups generally want people to know what they are doing. Besides, climate activists seem to prefer to attack art work these days and I have not heard of too many ecoterrorists in recent years, aside from animal rights folks.

Or maybe the lefty social media folks got it right all along. I suspect they did. I’m betting the perpetrators are Republican sympathizers. That’s certainly the most plausible explanation. Proud Boys, the knuckle-dragging militia-wing of the GOP, have been active in the area and allied right-wing groups were protesting the drag brunch. Organizers of the drag show say they received threats from right-wing groups. In addition, the attacks occurred at essentially the same time that the drag show was starting. 

Maybe all of that is just a coincidence, but, at this point, it seems the most plausible explanation. I’m open to more ideas. Maybe it was just a really stupid prank by a couple of good ol’ boys who didn’t know what would happen, but that’s not what the sheriff thinks. He called it “intentional” and “targeted.” We’ll find out more in the coming days.