Sunday, September 25, 2005

Amazing Disgrace

As we hear the amazing stories of survival from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we ought to consider just why God has saved those poor souls whose homes were destroyed. Our heart strings play a familiar sad song as Joan Doe stands before the rubble, the debris, and the tattered remains of her home. A fallen tree smashed her bedroom ceiling. Brown water pools around her and mold grows up what remains of a wall.

"I am lucky. God saved me. Thank God I'm still alive."

Should we? Thank God? What about the thousand plus who died? Why didn't God save them? What about the ones who were seriously injured or who lost family and loved ones? Are they lucky?

The hurricanes blow us right into the Problem of Evil, solved by the likes of Billy Graham and son who tell us that we shouldn't judge those who are killed or hurt, but just be glad for the good things that the rest of us receive. You know, God works in mysterious ways. We cannot understand the mystery. Just be good and you will get to heaven. Maybe.

For a definitive grasp of the philosophical Problem of Evil, click. What concerns me now is the immorality of thanking God for saving me when so many others are suffering or dead. It is the ultimate selfishness in the moment of crisis. It is no better than the athlete-- who has just won a competition-- thanking God. Why, we wonder, did he make losers of all the others?

Of course, if one really does believe in heaven and the blessed afterlife, one should logically thank God, the Christian-Judeo God that is, if ones loved ones do die. "Thank God. My wife died and now she's happy in Heaven. I wish He'd chosen me as well to go to that blessed Home in the sky." How cruel of God to leave all these good Christians in the swamp-- still prey to the Devil and the alligators.


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