The Wrath of God

The planet has had its share of earth-shattering events lately.  Think earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes and the like.  Is God sending his wrathful vengence, is He signaling the Last Days?  Apparently, fewer and fewer of Americans think so.  According to Stephen Prothero, writing for CNN:  “American society as a whole no longer interprets natural diseaser as sign of some coming apocalypse or evidence of some past misdeeds.”

He goes on to state:  “Those that do (Pat Robertson, for example) we generally regard as cranks and outliers–relics of a bygone era.  Unfortunately, one of these “cranks” is high-profile Mormon Glenn Beck.  According Dan Gilgoff, writing for CNN, Beck told his listeners that with Hurricane Irene “God reminding you–as was the earthquake last week–it’s God reminding you you’re not in control.  Things can happen.”

While Beck is right in encouraging advanced preparation for natural disasters, his suggestion that God is sending a reminder with hurricanes and earthquakes is Old-Testament bizarre.

Prothero alleges that with earthquakes and hurricanes “the language of science has almost entirely routed the language of religion.”  But I’m not sure that’s the case with fundamentalist Christrians and latter-day Mormons.  I think many members believe the hurricane Katrina was God punishing the wicked of New Orleans.  And many congregations have prayed for relief from droughts and other natural disasters.

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5 Responses to The Wrath of God

  1. Ian says:

    You’re not sure that’s what?

  2. dor says:

    Perhaps it is not either/or but both/and. There is one segment of the population, rised with science and comfortable with the validity of education, mathmatics and modernity. There is another segment for whom technology and urban society has become alien to their culture and so a rejection of science is an affirmation of the righteousness of their ancestors. How do we learn from each other without giving into theocracy and blindness?

    • rogerdhansen says:

      This is an excellent point! I’m a strong believer in diversity, and certainly other world views like animism are important. But I’m not sure how they fit into a rapid evolving techo-society.

      I love visiting the Navajos, and I deeply regret the lose of their native culture. But I’m not sure how to preserve it in any viable form.

  3. Allen says:

    Fortunately, Glenn Beck isn’t President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Of course, Beck has the right to express his opinion. I just hope people hearing him won’t assume his opinion is official doctrine of the LDS church.

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