Saturday, September 17, 2005

Where was man?

I was led to this story

ven as the political debate split between those who focused on who was to blame and those who moved straight to What Must Be Done?, so did the spiritual debate as well. You can reliably expect, as the initial shock of a disaster passes, a revival of the familiar question, Why God Lets This Stuff Happen. The survivors often say God saved them—how many baby girls will be named Katrina?—but if he chose to save the living, did he choose to kill the lost? It is an occasion for atheists to remind believers of the flaws in the case for a benevolent God, and even the most mainstream pastors acknowledge that at times like this they are pressed for answers about how a loving God lets hateful things happen. "Of course, this makes us doubt God's existence," declared the Archbishop of Canterbury after the Asian tsunami, before calling his country to deeper prayer. The search for answersis part of the natural journey of faith; it is a mystery beyond our understanding, or a part of a larger plan, or the price we pay for free will, or God's tap on the shoulder, calling us to attention and mercy.

With the deepest sympathy for those who are suffering, you still have to wonder why this debate erupts so violently every time the winds howl and hurl water out of their way; God whispers as well as shouts, and mystery comes in all sizes. On any given day in between, an innocent child somewhere is struck by lightning or disease or drowns in the soft frozen river or starves in the drought-wracked desert. Do we only wonder why God lets people die en masse but are content not to ask so long as they die quietly, one at a time? Or wonder how we are called to help only when the need is so pressing it squeezes us out of our very chairs?

While it's standard Time pseudo-profundity, the answer is really quite simple, and Bill Maher (follow the links below) got it.

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