Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nature and Religion: Part I

Every time some kind of grand natural disaster takes place there are plenty of religious representatives who pop up and declare to the rest of the world that the end is near or that God is showing his displeasure with man or that some prophecy or other is being fulfilled.

For example, and I encourage you to look this up, less than two weeks had gone by after Katrina had devastated New Orleans when televangelist Pat Robertson hinted on a 700 Club broadcast that the horrifically destructive storm was a punishment by God on America for America's abortion policies. When Disney World in Orlando hosted a gay/lesbian event Robertson hinted that Orlando might expect punishment from God, perhaps in the form of a hurricane.

Hurricanes have a way of crossing over Florida and other states in the region to include Louisiana. However, this has absolutely squat to do with any human action and everything to do with geographic locations that fall within the boundaries where hurricanes may occur. During some hurricane seasons other contributing factors may cause the increase or decrease in the number of hurricanes, or may even vary the intensity of the hurricanes, or may cause development of hurricanes in areas where they are rarely experienced. Hurricanes have absolutely crappy-doo to do with punishment by God for human decisions.

What happens when hurricanes are unusually fierce or occur in areas where they normally do not occur? What happens when severe floods and tsunamis wash away cities and people in droves? What happens when ferocious earthquakes strike, major sinkholes appear, or devastating volcanic eruptions or massive snowstorms occur? You can take such information and interpret it in two very distinct ways:
     1) God is trying to tell people something, teach people a lesson, punish people, or show his displeasure.
     2) Just another example of the natural processes of the living planet we inhabit.

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