Monday, October 10, 2005

It’s Only Natural

Over the weekend an earthquake hit Pakistan. Reports are that there are over 30,000 dead.

Hurricane Stan went through Central America and killed over 650 in Guatemala.

New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey were hit with floods.

Some of the religious right say that these natural disasters are signs of God’s displeasure with humanity; Hurricane Katrina was punishment for the decadence and debauchery of New Orleans and that our tolerance of such things as homosexuality only incur the wrath of the supernatural. So far, however, these prophets are silent on why then God would bury an Indian village in the mountains of Central America under ten feet of mud, kill 250 girls in a school dorm in Islamabad, or flood out the main street of Keene, New Hampshire. As far as I know, none of those places are hotbeds of gay frolic.

The truth is that nature is just that: nature. It neither knows about or cares about what happens because it isn’t a force under the control of a sentient being. Only human arrogance or cynical exploiters of fear and ignorance would ascribe it to anything other than just the natural occurrences of the planet, and only the most dastardly of those would use it to gain power and profit from those fears. If there is a divine lesson in any of it, that would be that we need to be constantly reminded that we are all at the mercy of a force that cannot be controlled. It puts things in perspective.