Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Hurricane Irene, Earthquake and Other Disasters: Blessing or Warning from God?

Hurricane Irene may not have wreaked quite as much destruction as initially feared — my family and friends are all OK, if a bit waterlogged and powerless, but that’s typical after any big storm in the New York suburbs — but let’s remember that we all briefly breathed a sigh of relief when Hurricane Katrina appeared to have spared New Orleans, too. And Tropical Storm Katia is now on the horizon. (For what it’s worth, Irene means “peace” in Greek; Katrina and Katia are derived from a word that means “pure.”)

In any case, there’s been some damage, including at least three dozen deaths, so far. And given that we’re in a faith-filled Republican primary season, and the East Coast also had that unusual earthquake last week, the faith news stories pretty much write themselves:


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posted August 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

Texas has had a record drought. I don’t know if it’s killed anyone but it’s ruined a lot of people’s lives. What’s God telling us by this? If I had to hazard a guess it would be that it’s Gopd’s message to Texans that they’ve been electing terrible governors for way too long.

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Phillip Smith

posted September 1, 2011 at 7:02 am

Without wanting to be pompous or trying to be right, can I just say that these disasters, in my view are not “acts of God”, as you suppose. To the contrary, this, to me, “makes a mockery of the God of Love”(paraphrased from Joan Chittester in her interview with Michael Dowd on “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity”). Rather it is a wake up call from the Divine, to look after the earth, and thus to do our part to both reducing our impact on God’s Greeen Earth, and to make this planet a more inhababitable place for all, in particuarly the next generation. Heaven is here ohn earth, and thus is the place where we must as human beings, make a concerted effort to look after the Earth.

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