Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A prayer for the Japanese

It was the headline that caught my attention first. "Even Religion Can't Make Sense of Japanese Tragedy", it said and once again I am left wondering, WTF is that supposed to mean? "Even Religion"?! I mean, we know about the Earth's tectonic plates and how they move and catch against one another, and that earthquakes can be caused by these plates slipping against one another. Japan lies partly on the North American plate and partly on the Eurasian plate, and the Philippine plate is just to the south and this is all called part of the "Ring of Fire" because of all the tectonic activity - Japan has had more than it's fair share of earthquakes over the years. We as humans know all this, and a whole lot more, so what, exactly, does religion have to do with it? Beyond the apparent inability to make sense of it all, that is.

Bishop Michael Ingram, speaking at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Vancouver said the Japanese earthquake and tsunami were examples of "natural evil". "Natural evil is the result of things over which we have no control", and "we call them evil because they are evil", the Bishop also pointed out, and that is a couple of odd things for a Bishop to say. For something to be "evil" doesn't there have to be intent? Is the Bishop saying that nature has intent? I would hope not because that would be stupid, but he does come across as slightly apostate, doesn't he? As a good christian shouldn't Mike believe that that monotheistic capital 'G' god of his is in control of the Earth? Now I am not expert on myths and superstitions or their self contradicting belief systems along with the casual "cherry picking" of what bits of the various holy books to believe, but it seems to me that if Mike's god actually made the Earth then would that particular god understand about plate tectonics? Wouldn't that particular god have made the Earth without plate tectonics thus nipping the entire question in the bud? That is unless this god is just fine with earthquakes and tsunamis and the resulting tragedies, and is ok with it, or is that the evil the Bishop was referring to?

I do get the feeling that christians, like Mike, tend to want it both ways. His god allows thousands to die (or in the case of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, hundreds of thousands), but if one person is found alive buried in the resulting rubble, that's a miracle. Wouldn't a better miracle be not to have the tsunami in the first place? And then there are those babble-heads who say crap like, "Free will", or "sometimes it is good to suffer", or the even more thoughtlessly revolting, "everything happens for a reason."

"Free will" - that's were everybody has the opportunity to live as they see fit, as long as they kiss a bunch of god-ass for their entire three score and ten or they will burn in eternal torment in Hell. Yeah, that's free will. If you believe in this sort of stuff that is. Peace and love, god-style!

"Suffering can be good for you" - I would bet that a Japanese family that has just lost a child or other family member to the tsunami, or will be losing a family member to cancer from all the radioactive stuff that is floating around in the air there now from the leaking reactors would disagree with that particular sentiment.

"Everything happens for a reason" - So, children have died for a reason? Entire towns have been wiped out with a resulting high death toll for a reason? Radioactivity is covering the land and contaminating the food and water supplies for a reason? Right, good one.

"Even Religion Can't Make Sense of Japanese Tragedy"? I find it hard to believe that anyone would even bother to think that religion could. It really boggles the mind, again.

Anyway... Humouroceros

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