God is at it again, folks! Last week, He flooded many places in the US. Those close to God (evangelicals) say that The Almighty sent the natural disaster as punishment for our immoral society. According to the Right Reverend Graham Dow, a Bishop of the Church of England and leading evangelical, “This is a strong and definite judgment because the world has been arrogant in going its own way”.
Critics are quick to point out that the floods occurred in America and, this may come as a surprise to some, America is not the world, though Dow seems to think so.
But the Right Reverend Dow is undeterred by his detractors. He blames the God-sent disaster on three things: God’s pissed that we are ruining the environment, God’s upset with our wide-spread greed, and of course, God hates gays.
There are so many problems with the belief that God uses natural disasters to judge society, it’s tough to know where to begin. First, natural disasters kill and injure indiscriminately. Everyone was affected whether or not they were believers or non-believers, moral or immoral, straight or gay. An all-powerful and righteous God would be more targeted in his wrath.
Secondly, any natural disaster can be interpreted as judgment from God. Just yesterday, lighting struck a Baptist Church in Baltimore. The resulting fire utterly demolished the building. Apparently God hates baptists as much as he hates gays (thank God I converted!).
Thirdly, if God punishes behavior He disapproves of, it is reasonable to suppose that He rewards behavior He approves of. In the Western World, our life-expectancy and quality of life have undergone enormous improvements over the last few centuries. This must be a reward from God! What else happened in those last few centuries? Let’s see, Western society has become much less religious and more rational. That’s it! God is rewarding us for using rationality. What other explanation can there be for our prosperity and comfort?