Please, Lord, Cut The Microphone . . .

While praying for the people devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I have to admit that I’m also asking the Lord to rid the airwaves and print media of evangelical Christians who say stupid things about God smiting Japan because of its purportedly rampant Buddhism.

Or Shintoism. Or something he doesn’t like . . .

Many of us believe that God’s anger at sin was poured out on the cross of Jesus Christ, but even the few who cling to the image of Angry-God-With-Thunderbolt have to acknowledge that if he is hitting Haiti, New Orleans, Indonesia and now Japan with hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis because of their sin, his aim is more than a little off.

I would contend that the locus of institutionalized sin today is not in Haiti, where Christian churches have prospered for decades, nor in Indonesia, whose people are so poor that purposing to offend the Creator they depend on for sustenance likely isn’t on the agenda. If the Almighty intended to rip into New Orleans for its debauchery, he missed by miles, destroying instead the predominately Black and very Christian areas of the city and barely touching the intersection of Sodom and Gomorrah. And I think Japan is no more, nor any less, sinful than other nations; it’s certainly not the bastion of devout Buddhism the pundits-for-Jesus suggest.

A sinful world, and perhaps a sinful world in its last days, is subject to horrific natural disasters. One would hope that it would not be afflicted yet more by the bellicose pronouncements of those who appear to know less about the character of God than they do meteorology. The only weather stuff they know is “windfall,” as in “financial” — the kind of thing that happens when the frightened faithful catch wind of how others are suffering and then take their stand for the Lord by supporting those who pile on.

When a natural disaster strikes the headquarters of one of these brave Gospel ministers, I won’t declare that it’s straight from God, retribution for careless speech and hateful hearts. The thing is, I don’t think they’ll think to do that, either.

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