I hope Hurricane Irene withers and dies or goes out to sea and does no harm to anybody. It is really frightening to see it closing in on Tampa this weekend in advance of the Republican Convention, with landfall timing possibly Monday morning.
If you believe God controls hurricanes and all individual weather patterns and based on Republican nut-case comments from before, one could ascribe either God’s approval of Republicans if it veers off or his condemnation of them if it hits Tampa on Monday.
It is this belief that God causes everything that results in nut-case comments like these:
CHARLES COLSON: Katrina gave us a preview of what America would look like if we fail to fight the war on terror. “Did God have anything to do with Katrina?,” people ask. My answer is, he allowed it and perhaps he allowed it to get our attention so that we don’t delude ourselves into thinking that all we have to do is put things back the way they were and life will be normal again.
Pat Robertson’s comments in the aftermath of the massive earthquake near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince might be his most questionable yet. In a Jan. 13 appearance on The 700 Club, Robertson used a shaky bit of history to imply that the quake was divine retribution for Haitian voodoo doctors enlisting the help of Satan to free their country from the French some 200 years ago.
More Robertson:“It seems to me the Washington Monument is a symbol of America’s power. It has been the symbol of our great nation. We look at the symbol and we say ‘this is one nation under God.’ Now there’s a crack in it Is that a sign from the Lord? You judge. It seems to me symbolic,” Robertson said.
Michelle Bachmann:”I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”
I could list dozens of examples, but enough is enough.
The alternative theory is that weather happens. Could God control it? In theory, I guess, but there is not much in the way of support for this belief from the Christian Bible (no matter what certain televangelists and other nut cases say).
Matthew 5:45—Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong
Ecclesiastes 4: Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. 2 And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive
Ecclesiastes 2: 12 So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! 17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
Again, I could go on, but this seems sufficient.
I do not know where God is in these natural disasters, but I cannot believe that they are caused by God or directed to one place over another by God. If Irene makes landfall, I hope it is not a major event and that no one is injured and nothing is damaged.
God is to be found in how we react to these events, not in their causation.
At least this is what I believe. It would be hard for me to worship any being that was as vengeful and wrathful as Robertson, Colson, Bachmann and many others indicate.
The picture is a a NOAA image of Hurricane Katrina