There’s been too much tragedy around here without reasonable explanation, and I think it’s time for a few answers. In the stages of grieving this would be #3 – Anger and Bargaining. Clearly I’m on the upper end of of it and a good four stages away from anything close to Acceptance or Hope.
I guess the horror of Thursday’s campground flood here in Arkansas is the last straw for me. If I were a church-going woman there might be words to comfort during such an event. Here in the South we’ve been inundated by disasters natural and unnatural, and I refuse to believe it’s part of some plan, punishment, or reward orchestrated by a God arranging and rearranging our fates like a macabre puppet master. If That Televangelist (he knows who he is) chimes in to blame us all for homosexuality, Obama, or using the wrong dinner fork, my head will explode. Better yet, I’ll go fetch him so he can dig barehanded in the muddy bank of the Little Missouri River for other people’s children.
The tornadoes, the oil, the flooding. Hurricane season just began and we’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it probably will. When Katrina turned New Orleans into a scene from Dante, we pushed the boundaries of English attempting to create language to describe it. Tragedy, disaster, catastrophe – these won’t be enough to describe what could happen when hurricane meets oil, two, three, maybe four times. People will leave the coast forever.
My heart hurts and I’m angry. The Southern religious litany that makes reasons for unreasonable tragedies is too much for me to hear right now. All that “God’s plan” and “gone to a better place” business only makes it worse. I need to avoid all my Fundamentalist friends for a while – at least until I get to one of those other stages of grief.
11 thoughts on “This Rant’s Been Coming for a While”
We have absolutely been bombarded with tragedy of late. I agree. It's all so pointless and sad. We need some good news here in the south.
Monda, I agree. This is why I can't call myself a Christian any longer. “God” has indeed been used once too often in my life as an excuse, as a reason, and as the judge, jury, and executioner. Bull crap!
I don't have answers for all that is happening, but know that you have like-minded souls who surround you with light and love.
My heart goes out to you! Here in Portland, OR we simply don't have the influence of that type of evangelism around here and so it is all a bit foreign to me. However, you have all been hit so hard and I do find myself thinking about it often. I wish there were simple answers – but there aren't, and that is the most difficult part. And – I agree about that televangelist – he is a sorry excuse of a human. There is no humanity in that man.
I don't know, gals. My church-going friends all seem to have more peace than I do, so they win on that front. I just walk around with my fist clenched.
That televangelist is another matter, though. I remember enough from Sunday School to know that the root of faith is love.
'God's plan' indeed. I'm with you on not having any truck with a god who loves us and answers prayers and at the same time does this sort of thing. Just makes no sense. The religious people must have it wrong.
My heart goes out to all the people and animals affected by the flooding. And by the oil. Good people are doing their best to make things better.
I used to do volunteer work for a 90 year old woman. She believed that God created man and earth, and then sat back and let man do what he wants and will answer to HIM when he dies. This thinking helps when you wonder why God would “let” a young child die of cancer, or in the case of the flooding, “let” so many families die. If natural disasters happen “just because”, and NOT because GOD WANTED THEM TO HAPPEN, I can understand that. I was raised Catholic, and I pray a lot. It is hard to understand many, many things in this world. I don't believe that bad things happen to people because they are “bad” or “homosexual”, etc.
I believe a true Christian loves all people, all religions, all walks of life.
Okay, I'll get off my soap box now.
Monda, I've been waiting for that televangelist to “let us all know” what “God” told him the reason for the flash flood was….it's been on my mind, too. Or maybe Glenn Beck will tell us (he has God telling him stuff directly, he says.) It makes me furious when I think about it too. And all of the horrible things that have been happening down your way make me very sad.
Meanwhile, I specialize in not trying to put words in God's mouth or make up reasons I can comprehend for disasters, I just try to be of help anywhere I can. And, I pray that God will bless you and give you peace.
Years ago, long before cell phones and internet – in fact, my family shared a “party line” in Albuquerque – I attended a week long camp up in the Jemez mountains (I was seven). In the middle of a long anticipated “overnight” under the stars, a camp counselor yanked me, and a half dozen other sleeping girls, out of warm sleeping bags, and hurried us through the mud and rain back to the main camp in the valley. We were confused but obedient – she didn't have time to explain, but she saved our lives. New Mexico is famous for its flash floods, and to this day, I don't know how she was alerted – I lost one shoe in the mud, but not my life.
In the timeline of earth's history, these events are barely a blip, so if there's a god (or gods) running the show, I doubt these were deliberate acts. So much is luck, both good and bad…I hope I'm gifted with good luck this hurricane season.
I feel for those going through such tragic times. History shows that these things happen all around the world, all the time, and will continue to do so until the end of the earth. It certainly is NOT because of something any one person or a group of people did. It is simply the circle of life. I fear for those who follow the teachings of a TV evangelist who spews more evil than truth–they will never find peace with these teachings.
I grew up learning to trust in the Lord when times are tough (and they have been),to be thankful for the blessings bestowed on myself and my family (too many to number), and rejoice in His greatest gifts–forgiveness and everlasting life. This is what keeps me going through all the painful times, and I pray that it will do the same for you.
Remember, amongst the bad times, there are the good things: babies being born, new inventions and technology, advances in the medical field, people that we have never met willing to lend a hand, food and shelter provided, new friends, flowers blooming, people willing to risk their lives to save another, and the list goes on. Please remember to count your blessings too.
So you're an anti-transcendentalist, then? 😉
One can either believe that things tie up all nice and tidy in the end, or that there is no reason for or meaning in anything, and there will be no end to senseless tragedy nor a stop to approaching, inevitable doom. It's common to teeter back and forth.
However, I have personally found that it's much better to not let anyone represent God but God.
I'd love to have every last one of you come hang out at the coffee shop with me. I mean that. If any of you are ever in Arkansas, bring your knitting. We could hold a Peace Conference that might actually BE one.