Monday, January 18, 2010

God Hates Haiti?


        With the recent horrible disaster in Haiti, some Christians feel it is the fault of the Haitian people for Practicing Voodoo. According to Lisa Miller at Newsweek, about half of Haitians practice Voodoo as a result of their African ancestry. The televangelist Pat Robertson, as well as a local priest in my area, and numerous others who hold fundamentalist beliefs maintain that the best explanation for this natural disaster is the sinful ways of the people themselves. This position is justified on the basis of the first commandment in the Bible. Pat Robertson claims:

“When the God of Israel thunders from his mountaintop that ‘you shall have no other gods before me,’ he means it. This God rains down disaster—floods and so forth—on those who disobey.

       This statement would have to conclude ‘God’ is vengeful and belligerent since the majority of those who died were Christian; many of them young children or infants. This gets to the heart of one of the bible’s most paradoxical assertions on the ‘nature of God’. If one accepts that God is omnipresent, all-powerful, and caring, it is imposable that any bad thing would happen to a good or innocent person. The only way to maintain a similar belief is to eliminate one of the three attributes and be left with a God that is:

Everywhere, Powerful, Does not care 
Not everywhere, Powerful, Does care 
Everywhere, Not powerful, Does care

This logic is found in the philosophical problem of evil when Epicurus States:

If a perfectly good god exists, then evil does not.
There is evil in the world.
Therefore, a perfectly good god does not exist.

       One must ask these questions before blindly accepting what some consider ‘the true nature of god’. In the face of such horrific disasters I am only reminded that the nature does not have a mind, bad things happen to good people in this chaotic world, and the only compelling case for God appears to be a deistic explanation (non-interventionist God). In times of hardship some people get angry at god; I get annoyed by those who believe there is a God to be angry with.

      With all this said, humans should not think they have figured out the true nature of God. Faith is the opposite of certainty, therefore if someone chooses to have faith, they must be willing to admit they are not certain. People like Pat Robertson need to stop pretending they know the divine reason why random events occur. Here’s a video on his claims, and the Haitian response:

       Here is a recent news update that further emphasizes how out of touch with reality religious groups can be:

Link: Solar-powered Bibles sent to Haiti

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