Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dear Lord, Could you just write us a letter instead?

Throughout history every natural disaster has been explained by blaming it on God’s wrath. For example; A couple of years ago Michele Bachmann declared that the earthquake in DC and the damage done by Irene are a message to politicians from God. A Muslim militant posted a blog on the internet declaring the same thing, of course he felt God’s reasons were a little different then Michelle did. After Hurricane Katrina we heard religious fanatics saying exactly the same things.

I remember back in the ‘70’s we had a bad drought in the San Francisco Bay Area. A singer, Anita Bryant (the face of homophobia in the late '70's), had made a name condemning the Gay Rights movement and declared the drought God’s punishment of San Francisco for its tolerance of Gay people. –of course, in that case, the same day she made that declarative speech in Florida, it rained in San Francisco. So much for that explanation…

How do we determine which disasters are messages from God? Governor Perry held a day of prayer in Texas to alleviate that state’s crippling drought. How’d he know that wasn’t a punishment from God? Wouldn’t that just make God madder, like, “Hey dumbbell. This is a punishment, fix things or suffer more.”

And how do we figure out just what got God so mad? Is he mad about promiscuity, abortions, gays, drugs, war, murders, gang violence, not controlling the border, tolerance of the wrong religions or what?

Even if we can figure out that God is sending a message and what the message is about, how do we know who the message is to? Is it based on wherever the disaster takes place? If the location is a reflection of what God is mad at – one of the hardest hit places during Hurricane Irene was New Jersey (where a trillion gallons of water fell on one day). Is that because God’s mad at Chris Christie? Even Michelle Bachmann’s own Minnesota was declared a disaster area in 2011. What did she do to cause that?

In the Old Testament examples of Sodom and Gomorrah, God gave the righteous an opportunity to escape his wrath and he destroyed the evil doers. Does that mean that everyone who survived Irene is righteous? If so, we Americans did pretty well compared to the earthquake that hit Western China a couple of years back.

Of course, there’s also Genesis 9:11, in which God – following the Great Flood pledges that he’ll never again destroy the Earth with a flood. Does that only apply to floods, and the Earth as a whole, and not just parts of it?

That brings up the question of scale. Does the severity of the disaster indicate the degree to which God is angry? If so, why was God so much madder at Joplin, Missouri, than at the entire East Coast? And what does that say about the earthquake, which did very little lasting damage? Of course that would mean he was really pissed off at Japan, hitting it with that earthquake and tsunami.

You know, maybe he’s mad because politicians aren’t fixing problems – like unemployment and the economy? If so I can certainly understand his anger.

It would be nice if some of these people would explain these things to us, instead of just making declarations of religious doom and gloom.

I guess I can be a little smug about all this because in my religion we are encouraged to develop a personal relationship with the All Mighty. I talk to him all the time (I admit I'm am a little bad at hearing and understanding his answers). After hearing an Evangelist give one reason for the Earthquake and Hurricane Irene, and reading the Muslim militant’s explanation for the same events, I decided to ask the Good Lord who was right.

He did not answer, but he did get a good laugh at my question (he really does have a good sense of humor –and, fortunately for me, a lot of patience and tolerance).

Today's Reflection:
If you love a woman, you shouldn't be ashamed to introduce her to your wife.

Live Long and Prosper...

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