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God did it

September 4, 2005

Some comments are too good to bury in a previous post.  I’m bringing this one up from “AuntDottie” to the top:

Dear Old Fool:  You referred me to this site so don’t get upset if I quote from it…

Upset?  I’m delighted you stopped by.  It gives me a chance to address the moral question in more detail.

(quotes from Agape Press article about how God smote New Orleans for sin) “New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion—it’s free of all of those things now,” Shanks says. “God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there—and now we’re going to start over again…  It’s time for us to stand up against wickedness so that God won’t have to deal with that wickedness”

Think back, old fool.  The epicenter of the California earthquake was Northridge, which was also an epicenter of pornography production.  Think back some more.  The tsunami slammed Thailand, famed for its homosexuality and cross-dressing.

Is it any wonder that some folks think maybe God is fed up? …

No wonder at all.  Do you remember what people thought caused the plague back in the middle ages?  They thought it was God’s wrath.  Later it turned out to be fleas from rats, easily prevented by good sanitation.  Apparently God’s wrath can be thwarted by picking up the garbage.

We know what causes Earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes now, too. 

That point about morality…

Don’t forget, satellite warnings allowed most of the population of New Orleans to escape harm.  They had already left by the time the hurricane arrived.  But who was left behind?  Mostly the poor.  They really took it in the shorts this time.

The Bible has hundreds of verses about caring for the poor, but only about ten that directly mention homosexuality and a couple that mention cross-dressing.  Jesus’ ministry focused relentlessly on mercy and he never once mentioned homosexuality or abortion.  Apparently God isn’t reading His own book; He just reached out and smacked the poor while the rich escaped.  If that weren’t bad enough, His aim is terrible.  He smote the whole coast, millions of people.  And our nation’s economy, which hits the poor, the hardest.

The alternative (if you prefer not to believe this of God) is that the hurricane is a natural phenomenon, like any other weather.  It is seasonal, geographically specific, and increasingly well-understood by scientists.  Just like the plague.

If the poor people in New Orleans were punished for anything, it was an unfair punishment for the incompetence of the government that was supposed to protect them.  Scientists have been saying for years that the erosion of barrier islands and marshes needed to be reversed, that global warming would increase the intensity of storms, and that the levees around New Orleans needed to be reinforced.  Everyone in the know has been calling for a real evacuation plan, which was never created.  It had nothing to do with what anyone does in bed.

… But I don’t expect you think there is a God or that there is anything that is a sin.  Speak to your auntdottie.

Just remember, you asked for it:

You’re right, Dottie; I don’t believe there is a god.  But it is certainly a sin against humanity to let ignorance foster poverty around the world.  It is a sin for “leaders” to breeze from one black-tie event to another in limousines while ignoring clear warnings from scientists and engineers.  It is a sin to let people suffer and then sanctimoniously huff that some imaginary man in the sky was punishing them when the real reason was completely clear.  That is “wickedness”.  You should be ashamed of yourself, but you probably aren’t.

Updates below the fold…

No, wait… it wasn’t God, says Nick in _________ is to blame for Katrina.  It was the Palestinians.  Bush.  White Supremicists.  Abortion.  This is good stuff… go read!

Corsair the Rational Pirate says; Right on schedule, the ignorant tools appear.  He has a good collection of missives from Mouth Breathing Morons on how it’s God’s smiting in action.  Among them is a Kuwaiti official who informs; “The Terrorist Katrina is One of the Soldiers of Allah . . .”  Yeah, pal… next time your country gets invaded, you drive out the invaders. 

Corsair wonders, “On Friday morning, a freckled, skinny 18-year-old named Serena Bane stood in the driveway of her home at 1006 Rue de LaSalle, watching in disconnected shock as her mother, father and two brothers were pulled from their home in body bags. How do you bury four people, at just 18?”  And how delusional would you have to be to rationalize that it’s a good thing?

Pharyngula notes that The Godless are NOT celebrating.

Washington Post: Where most see a weather system, some see divine retribution

More as I find them.

Categories: Religion
  1. AuntDottie
    September 4, 2005 at 11:08 | #1

    Dear Old Fool

    Since you don’t think there’s a God I guess there’s no point in saying that God could use fleas to cause a plague or an earthquake to shake people up.  (You know, that “no atheists in foxholes” thing.)  But you do think there are things that are sinful – like greed, I suppose, and not caring for one’s neighbor. 

    But it’s all the great religions that have some form of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  You must have been soaking it up since you accept it for no apparent reason.  Why, old fool, should you love me and share your bounty with me?

  2. Les
    September 4, 2005 at 12:16 | #2

    You’d think God would make use of means that wouldn’t be easily attributable to natural phenomena if he really wanted to send a message to the sinful. You also completely missed DOF’s point on how the rich largely escaped while the poor suffered. Are you suggesting that only poor people are sinners worthy of being smote by God?

    As for “no atheists in foxholes thing,” that’s been shown to be false on more than one occasion. I can point you to all manner of essays by atheists in foxholes.

    But it’s all the great religions that have some form of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” You must have been soaking it up since you accept it for no apparent reason.

    It’s not just a paradigm of the so-called “great religions,” that maxim has been a part of just about every religion since they first started appearing on the scene. Religions that predate Judaism and Christianity were promoting that basic idea for a long time. It’s more than just a morality statement, it’s the best way to survive as a species. 

    Why, old fool, should you love me and share your bounty with me?

    Who says he has to love you in order to share his bounty with you? It could be argued that generosity is actually a selfish act with a number of possible motives as explanation.

    For example, there isn’t anyone in New Orleans that I would say that I ‘love’ in any real sense of the word, but I’ve done what I could to help out. You ask why? Because it’s my hope that by helping others in the midst of their disaster that they will feel inclined to help me if I should ever find myself in a similar situation. By lending each other helping hands we increase the likelihood we will all prosper. That and helping strangers feels good and I enjoy that feeling enough that I have a rather selfish need to indulge myself in that feeling when I can.

  3. September 4, 2005 at 20:36 | #3

    Thanks, Les – that sums it up pretty nicely. 

    Dottie said: “But it’s all the great religions that have some form of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” You must have been soaking it up since you accept it for no apparent reason.  Why, old fool, should you love me and share your bounty with me?”

    My reason for wanting a just society may not be apparent to you, but it is simple:  What kind of world do you want to live in? 

    Do you want to live in a peaceful, prosperous world where you can travel anywhere and enjoy all that different cultures have to offer?  Or do you prefer a world where you can’t travel to over half of it unless you get a lot of vaccinations; where you have to hire armed guards to defend you from desperately poor people?  Where your country has to spend huge amounts of the public purse on defense? 

    If you hung out with a different crowd of Christians, you’d have heard the expression; “If you want peace, work for justice.”

    This becomes all the more important given that I don’t believe in an afterlife.  The only life we are sure of having is this one – let’s make the best of it.

    As for ‘loving you’, I don’t even need to like you to want a just society for us both to live in.

  4. WeeDram
    September 4, 2005 at 21:15 | #4

    Aunt Dottie:  Since the drug kingpins in New Orleans had lots of money and the means to escape, along with the owners of bars, brothels, head shops, etc., I guess God helped save them, right?

    I thought the Greek word “agape” meant love, which, I thought, meant unconditional compassion.  Guess I was wrong, eh?

    Have a wee dram and relax, dear.

  5. auntdottie
    September 5, 2005 at 05:07 | #5

    Dear Wee Dram – I had a wee dram (my own interpretation thereof) and relaxed.  God bless.

  6. WeeDram
    September 6, 2005 at 13:25 | #6

    Aunt Dottie:  Cool!  When we all relax (and I needed to do so the other night while finishing putting up tents as the rain came down!) then we can all truly converse.

    WeeDram, former CCC staffer, now unabashedly moving to Buddhism.

  7. auntdottie
    September 8, 2005 at 07:44 | #7

    I’m a little sad that this thread is languishing.  I rather like people who want a just society for us all to live in even if the motive is selfish.  At least the golden rule is still golden.  WeeDram, I wonder why you would turn to Buddha rather than Jesus.  Which would certainly take this thread in a different direction if you choose to reply seriously.

  8. WeeDram
    September 8, 2005 at 11:41 | #8

    Aunt Dottie:  That’s a big question, and I’m inclined to a serious reply, but it will have to wait a bit. 

    You’re right, it would/will take this thread in a whole different direction.  DOF and I go “way back”, and our spiritual evolution, while diverging, has been parallel, to some extent.  I’m pretty sure he will approve if this thread takes a sharp turn, but for my part I will try to relate things back to the topics of natural disasters (i.e., Katrina), the hand of God, and questions of morality and ethics as they apply to the original post.


  9. September 8, 2005 at 11:58 | #9

    I think it would be a really interesting discussion: don’t worry about being “on-topic.”

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