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This is an excellent article that appeared on todays New York Times website. For anyone who believes, as I do, that historical events only repeat themselves [with new scenery and actors] but always teach us a host of new lessons each time that they occur, it might be worth discussing how humanity progresses in the light of such processes.

I am of the opinion that disasters such as Katrina always establish new ways of seeing and believing in the realities of nature and what modern civilizations have attempted to impose upon it all.

 

 

By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN

 

Published: September 8, 2005

 

 

In the history of humankind, there has rarely been a disaster like the New Orleans flood without a theodicy to go along with it. The word "theodicy," coined in the 18th century by the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, derives from Greek roots invoking the "justice of the gods." A theodicy is an attempt to show that such justice exists, to prove that we really do live in what Leibniz insisted was the "best of all possible worlds."

 

So theodicies have been plentiful after earthquakes, floods and droughts. Explanations are readily offered: disasters are the wages of sin, they herald an apocalyptic age, they cleanse the earth of evil. Theodicies aim to demonstrate that devastation does not really disrupt or overturn our understanding of the moral and social order. Instead, disorder provides evidence of order. The theodicy is that order. It explains forces that seem to lie beyond human powers, evils that lie beyond human cause.

 

Theodicies are not casual matters, and in the weeks after Katrina, they are bound to evolve, even in secular culture, even when they may not resemble the ones that Leibniz had in mind. So they need to be better understood.

 

The classic theodicies in the West are biblical. The flood of Noah's time, for example, is a reflection of the divine will, cleansing the earth of humanity's evil. A more powerful theodicy later evolved out of the trials of the ancient Israelites, in which destruction and exile were treated not as random accidents of history, but as forms of retribution for violating the Mosaic law and its ethical consequences. Suffering could become proof of divine attention and not its opposite.

 

Scholars like Norman Cohn have shown how in medieval Europe the worst human trauma could be interpreted as proof of imminent apocalypse and redemption, inspiring millennial expectations and movements. Meanwhile, the theodicy of divine retribution still thrives today and was invoked by some fundamentalist believers after Katrina.

 

But between medieval Europe and contemporary America something profound changed in the way natural disasters are interpreted and the kinds of theodicies they inspire. And one of the turning points, as many scholars have argued, was the 1755 earthquake in Lisbon. It destroyed perhaps a third of the city's population, with deaths in the tens of thousands. It overturned the confidence of European royalty and seemed to drive a wedge between the earthly and divine realms.

 

For the growing forces of the Enlightenment, it also seemed to overturn the very idea that a theodicy could account for the disaster. Voltaire, who had once seen nature as benevolent, was whipped into a rationalist fury by the experience. Leibniz, he believed, had been refuted by nature. Voltaire wrote a "Poem on the Disaster of Lisbon" in which the quake's victims are called "Tormented atoms on a heap of muck/ That death devours and that fate trips up." His character Candide watches the earthquake from a distance, seeing it as morally blind, killing the good and preserving the wicked.

 

In a sense, the earthquake actually ended up strengthening the hand of the Enlightenment, as if a replacement theodicy had fallen into place. Kant wrote about the quake. Scientific investigation took place. The response of Portugal's prime minister to the disaster was practical, not religious. "We will bury the dead," he said, "and take care of the living."

 

Recently, the philosopher Susan Neiman argued in "Evil in Modern Thought" that the Lisbon earthquake also destroyed an ancient idea that nature could itself be evil. After Lisbon, she argued, moral evil was distinguished from natural disaster. Earthquakes and floods could no longer be fitted into traditional religious theodicies.

 

But this did not mean, of course, that theodicies faded away. Ms. Neiman argued that for philosophers theology had been replaced by history. The fates of peoples and nations reflected other forces, and disruptions were given other forms of explanation. Hegel saw history as an evolutionary series of transformations in which destruction was as inevitable as birth. Marx believed other kinds of economic and human laws accounted for destruction and evolution. This mostly left natural disasters for the growing realm of science: if they couldn't be prevented, at least their origins could be understood.

 

Now though, with the prospect of thousands of dead becoming plausible with reports from New Orleans, other forms of theodicy also taking shape. Much debate is taking place about the scale of human tragedy, about procedures and planning and responsibility. And none of that should be ignored. But it is remarkable how this natural disaster has almost imperceptibly come to seem the result of human agency, as if failures in planning were almost evidence of cause, as if forces of nature were subject to human oversight. The hurricane has been humanized.

 

I don't want to push this too far, of course; human actions, as the Portuguese prime minister knew, are crucial. But this is still an important change in our views of the natural world. In a way, it inflates human knowledge. It confidently extends scientific and political power into the realm of nature. It doesn't really explain catastrophe, but it attempts to explain why we are forced to experience it: because of human failings.

 

There is a theodicy at work here, in the ways in which the reaction to natural catastrophe so readily becomes political. Nature becomes something to be managed or mismanaged; it lies within the political order, not outside it. Theodicy, if successful, does not overturn belief but confirms it. So, for some commentators, the flood and its aftermath provided confirmation of their previous doubts about the Bush adminstration.

 

Actually, in some respects, this theodicy has gone even beyond the political: just as a religious theodicy might have shown natural catastrophe to be the result of human misdeed, many of the early commentators about the flood did the same, creating a kind of scientific/moral theodicy in which human sin is still a dominant factor. Last week, for example, Germany's minister of the environment, Jürgen Trittin, said: "The American president has closed his eyes to the economic and human damage that natural catastrophes such as Katrina - in other words, disasters caused by a lack of climate protection measures - can visit on his country."

 

All of these explanations are subject to examination and debate of course, but in the heart of a secular age, they are also something else. They are theodicies. And in the face of nature's awesome and horrific powers, the prospect of political retribution is as prevalent as the promise of divine retribution once was.

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The Sojourner wrote today about how the "natural disaster" was in many respects augmented by the "acts of humans". Everythign from the increase of more violent storms as predicted by global warming (and our governments lack of response to it-- or even acknowledgement that it exists to any extent); the loss of wetlands that acted as a sponge for storms of the past; the levees protecting New Orleans, etc. take space from wetlands (and also the government has refused to fund about 90% of the money needed to shore up wetlands, etc.)

 

The Sojourner also spoke of the poor suffering most-- being unable to escape. (I believe that sage, Rush Limbaugh, commented "why don't these people have cars?)

 

I might add the action of the federal government this time has been very slow and weaker than it might have been had more of the National Guard actually been in the US. Also FEMA has been relegated to the dept. of Homeland Security with money going to terrorism and funding cut for natural disasters.

 

 

--des

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Attaching blame could be seen as a degenerate impulse toward meaning, so too the taking of political responsiblity, and the search for human safeguards and technological cures against destruction reveal a core search for meaning. Destruction = Death, and death is meaningless to us; Our search for meaning has as its ultimate impetus the natural disaster we experience as Death, and meaning is essential for us.

 

I observe my own mind darting about; my own mouth speaking nonsense; my efforts to orient myself around a core of belief that provides meaning in the face of change, chaos, and destruction. In all this I am making effort to maintain a "horizontal awareness" as well as a "vertical awareness" and to locate my consciousness where they meet. In some ways this requires a suspension of judgement, and, paradoxically, a relinquishment of meaning as formed by belief. It requires an effort to simply be aware of things as they are, and to resist the very strong impulse to turn my face away by attaching blame, affixing responsibility, or finding a cure. To yield to this is awkward; to have nothing to say and to maintain no certainty of position. Psychospiritually it is the archetypal situation of suspension; a crucifixion upon the poles of human accountability and power, and Heavens own mandate. If we are a part of the Whole, then the two are in Reality one occurence. We are both responsible and powerless at once; Death and Destruction are imminent, and inevitably we who are here today witnessing will become the witnessed.

 

Where is meaning then but in embracing Death and Destruction? In our flight from Death we remain deadmen, scrambling for meaning and cures and solutions in a dead world. There is no escaping death and destruction. Our only real choice is to die now or to die later, with all the assurance of faith that in dying we Live. Trace one ill that does not have at its core the fear of death, and one "human" solution that is not a scramble to deny it. Are we not grasping at straws? "squeezing out gnats and swallowing camels"? At the very heart of religion, and, perhaps, most especially our own, is the Truth that all that is corruptible shall pass away, and that it is ONLY from the position of Eternity that the incorruptible reveals Itself to us.

 

lily

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Lily:

Truly, your post was one of the most eloquent things I've read anywhere in a long time. But I'm tired from work, and must retire soon to be ready for the morrow. So I can only reply in brief now, but I plan to be more thorough in a day or two when there's more time.

I believe you have correctly described, however, what the condition of being "spiritual" likely really means. Not religious, spiritual. It reminds me of the underlying principle of spirituality in the Buddha's response when his disciples asked him "what" he was. Not "who" but "what". He answered them, "I am awake."

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I know there has been blame flying about, but I am talking about blaming God vs the acts of humans-- and I think that was the point of the Sojourner article.

 

Perhaps without global warming, loss of coastal area and islands, loss of wetlands, and for funding for ways to conteract those things, things might have been different. We don't know of course. But it is reasonable to assume so.

 

(Note: there is already talk of Haleberton rebuilding New Orleans. God forbid.)

 

--des

Edited by des
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THis goes back to our discussion on evil. I don't believe that death (while sad) is evil. The hurricane is neutral, a part of nature. Where evil comes in is in how people react to it (or in some cases do not). I'm working 3 days a week at a school where the children live in poverty. Yet they are collecting money to donate to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Last year in about 2 weeks these same children collected over $3,000 to send to the victims of the tsunami.

 

OTOH

 

If in fact the violence of these storms comes from the global warming caused by emissions, etc. then it is the consequences of our own actions as a human race. If we look at community rather than individuals, that is. SInce many of the victims didn't even own cars (ironically, why they became vicitms) they obviously did not personally "deserve" this.

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What does the dead man lose?

 

Place yourself on the deathbed and think about what in a moment will no longer be "yours". Everything you hold dear will be wrenched from you. Everything. Nothing remains. Lie there for a moment in this emptiness: no likes or dislikes, no preferences, no wife, no child, no husband, no car, no boat, no houses, no rights and no rights to be trampled upon...

 

What is left now, dead man?

 

An unobstructed flow of Life through you. That is all and ALL.

 

 

"...The human machine functions according to the determined

program "maximum pleasure at minimum cost", in a way to lend itself

to precise prediction in its reactions to given circumstances. In

the intellectual domain, it rejects every notion and every idea

which does not harmonize with the intellectual system established in

it; in the psychic domain it rejects all that does not harmonize

with the complex of "happiness" established in it; and in the

physical domain, it automatically follows the orders transmitted by

the complex of "instinct" established in it. It is only the

functioning of the human machine when a rich man declares himself

anti-communist and a poor man declares himself pro-communist. But it

is a miracle- that is to say an act of freedom- when a rich man

abandons his possessions and embraces poverty..."

 

 

 

"There is no freedom outside of the miraculous, and man is man only

in so far as he lives from the miracle, through the miracle, and for

the miracle."

 

 

-Author Unknown

 

 

The only genuine act of freedom available to us is to sacrifice the self to the Self; to die before we die. This is the miracle of true freedom and Everlasting Life. Every seeming choice we make apart from this; every theodicy we contrive, every position we maintain is a knee-jerk response to something hammering on the machine. Only the Justified Men, only the Sons of God, only those who have been Crucified with Christ allow Life to flow unobstructed through them and thereby mediate the Mandate of Heaven upon the Land.

 

Any other position becomes just another part of the problem. One begins to see this. It becomes harder and harder to self-identify as either conservative or liberal, progressive or fundamentalist, humanitarian or rank materialist, rich or poor, saved or not saved...One begins to see that they are all flip sides of the same coin, with one defining the other; that they are not different or separate at all, but literally dependent on the other for existence.

 

One wakes up one morn in fear of believing in nothing anymore. And yet a great and undying force courses through. And what could this force be but Love, undying, undaunted, indeed a miracle in and of Itself; the Light that alone shines in the Darkness.

 

lily

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Oh no, I would *never* argue that anyone "deserved" what they got. The victims almost never are the ones responsible. What I was arguing was not the victims responsibility but that humans bear some responsibility for what happened. That wouldn't even be blame or "deservingness". Suppose, as has happened, poor humans cut down the trees for fuel and at some point made their environment unlivable. Are they "to blame" or do they "deserve" what happened? I would say NO. But still you couldn't say God caused it either. You'd have to say something like human activity has/is changing the planet, and as a whole of humanity we have a responsibilty to act to protect the environment.

 

As you pointed to, I think, it's a consequence of community (and sometimes not even the whole of it) and not individuals.

 

 

--des

 

 

If in fact the violence of these storms comes from the global warming caused by emissions, etc. then it is the consequences of our own actions as a human race.  If we look at community rather than individuals, that is.  SInce many of the victims didn't even own cars (ironically, why they became vicitms) they obviously did not personally "deserve" this.

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Suppose, as has happened, poor humans cut down the trees for fuel and at some point made their environment unlivable. Are they "to blame" or do they "deserve" what happened? I would say NO. But still you couldn't say God caused it either. You'd have to say something like human activity has/is changing the planet, and as a whole of humanity we have a responsibilty to act to protect the environment.

 

As you pointed to, I think, it's a consequence of community (and sometimes not even the whole of it) and not individuals.

 

I think that there are Natural Laws and Principles, which if not understood or outright ignored, do result in consequences. I have always seen these Laws as standing outside of the Love of God...by this I mean that Gods Love is steadfast and never-ending and without variance. There is no punishment therefore, no vindication, only consequences or "karma" or Justice according to Laws established before the foundation of the world. This, to my mind, accords us full responsibility without condemnation. One of our biggest responsibilities, I think, is to rightly discern the Principles by which we arrive at our judgement of sin. What Principles undergird our sense of morality and ethics? Why is this or that "wrong"? Which Principle or Natural Law is at play?

 

"The World" mocks the much parodied and bastardized version of Christian sexual morality, for example; and it is admittedly repressive in some instances to an unhealthy degree. But the Principle undergirding sexual morality is that Sex is Sacred; that Sex, as a Principle, is THE Creative Force that manifests ALL of creation, and that full Awareness of this affects and effects our basic attitude and behaviors toward this most beautiful and precious aspect of Life. It has nothing whatsoever to do with "sex" is shameful and dirty, quite the contrary.

 

So, no, people do not "deserve" what they get, as if they are being rewarded or punished according to merit. People reap what they sow, however, and this is nothing but Justice, unerring and fair, and what is more to the point of this discussion, we reap what the Body as a Whole sows because we are One.

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Hello,

 

I'm new to the forum. This looked like an interesting thread to weigh in on.

 

Seems to me that any serious attempt at theodicy, Katrina notwithstanding, has to address several issues. People who share a theological perspective with Robertson or Falwell assume an imminant God who regularly intervenes in history to punish wrongdoers. OTOH, "God brings rain [and presumably hurricanes] on the just and the unjust." Natural disasters affecting Va. Beach or Lynchburg aren't frequent, so there's little puzzling over the fact that God "punishes" cities that aren't headquarters for evangelical religious media conglomerates.

 

I think the deeper issue has to do with God's prerogative not to act. One helpful approach to theodicy is the idea that in order for there to be any free will in human behavior, there has to be randomness in the universe. A lack of randomness would indicate a deterministic world in which everything happens for a reason - and while many people seem to find comfort in such an idea, it would actually be a disaster. Sometimes things just happen without any particular reason, random occurances in a random world. God is self-limiting; God chooses not to intervene, at least most of the time. We get to choose how we respond to what happens, and God gets to choose, too: we can't really be certain that God never intervenes in history, since we can't assign God less free will than we assign ourselves.

 

The story from Luke 13 addresses some of these issues, I think:

 

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

 

I don't hear Robertson, Falwell & Co. preaching from that passage. Things are going to happen, Jesus seems to be saying; the state of your heart and soul when they happen is more important that who they happen to.

 

I think God is immanent and transcendant. God may intervene, but more often chooses not to. God allows disasters because to refuse to allow them would interfere with the right to choose God has granted to human beings, and that right is the cornerstone of authentic relationship between God and human beings. People shake their fist at the sky and question how God could allow something like this to happen; God sees our response and asks the same question of us.

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God is like a person who clears his throat while hiding and so gives himself away. - Meister Eckhart

 

God gives us just enough to seek him, and never enough to fully find him. To do more would inhibit our freedom, and our freedom is very dear to God. - Ron Hansen

 

In order to be a person, exercising some measure of genuine freedom, the creature must be brought into existence, not in the immediate divine presence, but at a distance from God. - John Hick

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I recently had someone ask me "Since the U.S. the most Christian nation in the world, why would God have sent Hurricane Katrina to us?"

My responses were as follows:

================================

I disagree with two of your premises:

1) Though the U.S. may have a high percentage of people who claim to be Christian believers as well as Sunday church-goers, this is hardly the same thing as following Jesus' radical way of the Cross.

 

2) Even if we were all goody-goody perfect Christians, the Bible reminds us that God is "no respector of persons" and that God causes rain and sunshine to fall upon the righteous and unrighteous alike. Being a Christian is not an innoculation against becoming a victim to the nastiness of this world. Indeed, Jesus taught us that when we start following Him, its likely that we'll face even more difficulties than before.

 

Moreover, IMO, God did not "send" that hurricane to us. Indeed, hurricanes and the like are not "acts of God" (despite what many insurance policies might say) - at least they're not any more so than are calm and pleasant sunny days. It's just Creation doing its thing.

 

God created Creation in such a way that the laws of physics must operate. As a South African proverb puts it, "When a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa, it impacts the winds in Asia." The fact is that our earth is still in formation. Tectonic plates still shift, fault lines still quake, and volcanoes still erupt to release pressures.

 

Likewise, when cold air masses meet up with low pressure masses and warm air masses, passing over warm watters, storms often arise. And God is not in the business of micro-managing weather patterns. When it comes to natural disasters, they're just that, NATURAL ones. Moreover, it is not God's fault that people live along fault lines or in locales that are prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, or flooding, etc.

 

However, this Katrina disaster was both a massive natural one as well as a collosal human one. There were many human factors that greatly magnified the tragedy; e.g.

- that certain people allowed developers to put up houses and shopping malls on the vital wetlands that had served as a natural buffer to flooding;

- that certain people cut the funding for FEMA;

- that certain people cut the funding needed to complete the levees;

- that certain people failed to respond in a timely manner to the urgent requests of local government officials in those regions;

- that certain local leaders failed to do all that they could to try to evacuate as many of their citizens asap;

- that certain people abused their free will by choosing to remain when they could have left;

- that certain people abused their free will by engaging in raping, looting, and various acts of violence; etc.

 

If someone gets violently raped, it is in NO way their fault; it is also in no way God acting to "punish them" or to "test" them; or to "strengthen" them.

 

Yes, God may strengthen them and find a way to put that horrible experience to positive use in that person's future (perhaps to help others, etc.) - after-the-fact, but this is very different from God intending to inflict harm upon them. It's more a matter of transformation and resurrection; i.e. when life hands us lemons, God makes lemonade.

 

Rather, God is found in the best of how we respond to each other in times of tragedy. God is found in the doctors and volunteers who bravely enter dangerous waters and flooded attics. God is found in people who donate their wealth so that others might have enough. God is found in the arms of a cop holding a dying infant as she takes her last breath.

 

God is very much actively at work in our lives, but God does so via persuasion not via coersion. God was actively at work seeking to help nudge the leaders of those locales and of our nation to get off their butts and fulfill their duties to the best of their abilities; seeking to get the rest of us to do the same; as well as to try to sway the people of N.O. to head to higher ground. However, as free agents, we humans are free to either follow or resist God's will, sadly many of the folks just mentioned opted to go it their own way.

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I recently had someone ask me "Since the U.S. the most Christian nation in the world, why would God have sent Hurricane Katrina to us?"

 

That is an easy one. The south is getting hit for [a] supporting Bush, and for oppressing homosexual people.

 

Why do people have such a tough time figuring this out?

Edited by October's Autumn
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I recently had someone ask me "Since the U.S. the most Christian nation in the world, why would God have sent Hurricane Katrina to us?"

 

That is an easy one. The south is getting hit for [a] supporting Bush, and for oppressing homosexual people.

 

Why do people have such a tough time figuring this out?

 

 

ROFL!!! Talk about turning things on their head! : )

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I recently had someone ask me "Since the U.S. the most Christian nation in the world, why would God have sent Hurricane Katrina to us?"

 

That is an easy one. The south is getting hit for [a] supporting Bush, and for oppressing homosexual people.

 

Why do people have such a tough time figuring this out?

 

 

ROFL!!! Talk about turning things on their head! : )

 

:D

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That is an easy one.  The south is getting hit for [a] supporting Bush, and for oppressing homosexual people. 

 

Why do people have such a tough time figuring this out?

 

Do Gays Cause Hurricanes?

by Janis Walworth

 

Do "Unnatural" Acts Cause Natural Disasters?

 

 

 

Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, recently warned

Orlando, Florida, that it was courting natural disaster by allowing

gay pride flags to be flown along its streets. "A condition like

this will bring about ... earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a

meteor," he said, apparently referring to his belief that the

presence of openly gay people incurs divine wrath and that God acts

through geological and meteorological events to destroy

municipalities that permit gay people the same civil liberties as

others. (Robertson also warned Orlando about terrorist bombs,

suggesting the possibility that God may also employ terrorists.)

 

Before Pat and his Christian cronies get too carried away

promulgating the idea that natural disasters are prompted by people

who displease God,they should take a hard look at the data. Take

tornadoes. Every state (except Alaska) has them - some only one or

two a year, dozens in others. Gay people are in every state (even

Alaska). According to Pat's hypothesis, there should be more gay

people in states that have more tornadoes. But are there? Nope. In

fact, there's no correlation at all between the number of gay folks

(as estimated by the number of gay political organizations, support

groups, bookstores, radio programs, and circuit parties) and the

annual tornado count (r = .04, p = .78 for you statisticians). So

much for the "God hates gays" theory.

 

God seems almost neutral on the subject of sexual orientation. I

say "almost" because if we look at the density of gay groups

relative to the population as a whole, there is a small but

statistically significant (p < .05) correlation with the occurrence

of tornadoes. And it's a negative correlation (r = -.28). For those

of you who haven't used statistics since 1973, that means that a

high concentration of gay organizations actually protects against

tornadoes. A state with the population of, say, Alabama could avert

two tornadoes a year merely by doubling the number of gay

organizations in the state. (Tough choice for Alabama's civil

defense strategists.)

 

Although God may not care about sexual orientation, the same cannot

be said for religious affiliation. If the underlying tenet of Pat's

postulate is true - that God wipes out offensive folks via natural

disasters - then perhaps we can find some evidence of who's on God's

hit list. Jews are off the hook here: there's no correlation between

numbers of Jews and frequency of tornadoes. Ditto for Catholics. But

when it comes to Protestants, there's a highly significant

correlation of .71.

 

This means that fully half the state-to-state variation in tornado

frequency can be accounted for by the presence of Protestants. And

the chance that this association is merely coincidental is only one

in 10,000. Protestants, of course, come in many flavors-we were able

to find statistics for Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, and Other.

Lutherans don't seem to be a problem-no correlation with tornadoes.

There's a modest correlation (r = .52, p = .0001) between Methodists

and tornadoes.

 

But Baptists and Others share the prize: both groups show a definite

correlation with tornado frequency (r = .68, p = .0001). This means

that Texas could cut its average of 139 tornadoes per year in half

by sending a few hundred thousand Baptists elsewhere (Alaska maybe?).

 

What, you are probably asking yourself, about gay Protestants? An

examination of the numbers of gay religious groups (mostly

Protestant) reveals no significant relationship with tornadoes.

Perhaps even Protestants are less repugnant to God if they're gay.

And that brings up another point - the futility of trying to save

the world by getting gay people to accept Jesus. It looks from our

numbers like the frequency of natural disasters could be more

effectively reduced by encouraging Protestants to be gay.

 

Gay people have been falsely blamed for disasters ever since Sodom

was destroyed by fire and brimstone (we have been unable to find any

statistics on disasters involving brimstone). According to a

reliable source, the destruction of Sodom was indeed an act of God

(see Genesis 19:13) and was perpetrated because the citizens thereof

were, according to the same source (see Ezekiel 16:49-

50), "arrogant, overfed and unconcerned [and] did not help the poor

and needy" - not because they were gay. Now Pat would have us

believe that gays are the cause of tornadoes (as well as

earthquakes, meteors, and even terrorist bombs) in utter disregard

for evidence showing that Baptists are much more likely to cause

them.

 

I say "Kudos!" to Orlando. Despite Robertson's warning that Orlando

is "right in the way of some serious hurricanes" (hardly a

revelation), note that it was not struck by the very destructive

Hurricane Andrew a few years ago. And amid the recent conflagrations

(that's fires) in central Florida, which occurred just after Pat

sounded his alarm, Orlando was spared. Keep those flags waving!

 

As any statistician will tell you, of course, correlation doesn't

prove causation. Protestants causing tornadoes by angering God isn't

the only explanation for these data. It could be that Baptists and

Other Protestants purposely flock to states that have lots of

tornadoes (no, we haven't checked for a correlation between IQ and

religious affiliation). But if Pat and his Christian crew insist

that natural disasters are brought on by people who offend God, let

the data show who those people are.

 

 

 

Janis Walworth - July 16, 1998

 

Sources: Tornado Occurrence by State, 1962-1991; 1990

 

Churches and Church Membership; Population by State, 1990 US Census;

 

Gay & Lesbian Political Organizations, Support Groups, and Religious

Groups from Gayellow Pages, National Edition, 1987.

 

Permission is given to all to reprint this article in its entirety

on a not-for-profit-basis.

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For thoseof you who haven't used statistics since 1973, that means that a high concentration of gay organizations actually protects against tornadoes. A state with the population of, say, Alabama could avert two tornadoes a year merely by doubling the number of gay organizations in the state.

 

ROFLMAO!!! No fair making me shoot coffee out of my nose first thing in the morning! :lol: Hehehehehehe.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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Chuckle, chuckle, snort, snort, guffaw, guffaw!

 

hehe

 

I'm glad you guys liked this. It just goes to show how ridiculous it is to blame any one segment of our society for natural disasters, or to state that "God" is punishing the people of the Earth by sending hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes and etc. The "rain falls on the just and the unjust alike" and it is suffering that unites us. There is not a one among us who does not have dreams and who will not die. There is not a one among us who will not endure something terrible in this lifetime. If you invest in the blame game you will soon be asking God, "Why me?" Even Pat Robertson will suffer and die. Don't pray for this to happen, just sit back and watch.

 

lily

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