April 13, 2020

Christian God Kills at Least 7 in Easter Tornadoes

tornado

It may have been the case that most Christians decided not to attend church this Easter, and I have no reason to think that this only happened in Mississippi. Still, it appears that the Christian god decided to make an example of Mississippi by sending multiple tornadoes through the state on Easter. This wasn't the first time we had been punished on a "holy" day, and I am sure it won't be the last. Anyway, this bit of smiting took the lives of at least 7 people and seemed especially cruel not just because it happened on Easter but because it happened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maybe it wasn't really a punishment for placing the public health of one's community over the desire to be seen in Easter church services. You'd think such a religious state might get a pass on that. Perhaps there has been an excessive amount of fornication around here for some reason. And of course, there's always "teh gay." The point is, nobody ever knows what is going to upset this particular god to the point where it murders people and destroys property. And so, it probably makes more sense not to worry about it but to instead view these events as if they were random and not guided by any sort of sentient being.

What I find interesting enough that I can't resist commenting on it is that there are countless people throughout the Bible Belt of the United States who regularly claim to believe the sort of thing I mentioned above (i.e., their god punishes people through bad weather). Despite these common claims, we never see headlines like the one I used for the title of this post in the news media. We see many praising this particular god but none that make it sound like it harmed people. Why do you suppose that is? If this is what so many people believe, wouldn't you think that the news media would occasionally reflect that?

From what I've gathered from the local Christians, their god is never responsible when anything bad happens to them. When their personal fortune is involved, their god only does good. This changes dramatically when the fortunes of others are involved. When something bad happens to someone else, it is assumed that they probably did something to deserve it. The hand of one's preferred god may be evident here, but the ultimate responsibility always rests with the victim. If they were punished, they deserved their punishment. And if I wasn't punished, then this is evidence that I have pleased my preferred god.

But because there are some tricky cases where this "logic" breaks down that even poorly-educated evangelical fundamentalist Christians may recognize, they have one more card to play: mysterious ways or hidden plans. These are the "get out of jail free" cards on which Christians depend when they recognize that the usual routine is unworkable. "I know my god did it, but I don't know why because [insert either mysterious ways or hidden plans]."

I suppose the real puzzle here is why anyone would want to worship a god that behaved this way. I'm not sure what we'd call someone who believed that one particular god existed but refused to worship it. Many Christians think this is what atheists are, but that's obviously not the case. But if there was ever an argument for why such an approach might make sense, it would be this "evil god" scenario. Perhaps one exists but it is one that is not deserving of anything but hate and condemnation.

Update: The number of confirmed fatalities in Mississippi now stands at 14.