Saturday, April 30, 2011

Where Are They Now?

Where are they now?  Where are the religious crackpots to comment on the horrible tornado disaster which has killed about 350 people across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia late last month?

Back when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, good Christians like Pat Robertson linked that tragedy to a punishment from God for the United States' position on abortion.  Hal Lindsey claimed that this was the beginning of prophetic times [of God's Judgement] and that the Judgement of America has begun.  Hal's sentiment was shared in the pulpits by lesser known religious commentators too.  Everybody knows the sins which go on in New Orleans, especially during the abomination of Mardi Gras.

(Of course, they neglected to review the facts that it was precisely the more God-fearing neighborhoods which suffered the most, while Bourbon Street remained intact.)

Now, however, this tornado outbreak is a strike to the Bible Belt, a direct hit to its heart.  Having traveled a bit, I can tell you from personal experience that some of the hardest hit areas were also some of the most devout.  These are places where you can't buy alcohol on Sunday, and some places where you can't find a restaurant open on Sunday other than a McDonalds, all in reverence to the chosen Christian Sabbath day.

Will Pat or Hal stand up and say that this is God's Judgement, and that possibly it is directed at them?  No.  Don't count on it.

While people mull about to pick up the pieces of their shattered homes and shattered lives, the pulpit is actively working on a way to spin this into God's plan, to make it so that God's good grace can shine through the tragedy.  No doubt there are already Christian disaster response teams, working to heal the damages souls of believers, and possibly even convert people who are humbled and devastated by their losses.

The truth is that disaster can happen to anyone, and that it happens without reason or purpose.  There is no God who is casting out judgement, nor any supernatural power who can protect anyone.  That's why it is important for us, all of us as we are able, to take action to help our fellow citizens through any disaster, and to try to figure out ways to limit the horrors of disasters like this in any way possible.  This is love.  Real love.  Not praying to an imaginary friend or reveling in that fake friend's wicked wrath.


  1. It is so nice to be taking a break from the mental gymnastics it takes to spin these kinds of things in God's favor. It's exhausting to swing from "this is God's judgment" to "God will glorify himself through this tragedy".

    I've noticed a theme throughout blogdom of love, REAL love. Now if only we'd practice it. :)

  2. Indeed, if only we'd practice that love! I still struggle with it myself...

  3. For once, a post from you that I almost entirely agree with (except for the "There is no God. . ." part, of course). People like Robertson and Lindsey must be exposed as the false prophets and sensationalists they are. They've done *so* much damage to Christianity--more than any atheist could ever hope to do.

  4. Happy to be of service, Ollie. ;-) By the way, I'm not sure if damaging Christianity is truly an an accurate description of the goal of vocal atheists, but I understand what (I think) you meant.