Sunday, July 08, 2012

and the lord smote the wicked with unseasonal rain

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, some American christians said the satellite picture had looked like a massive foetus and the near-obliteration of New Orleans was God punishing Florida. It's a barking idea made even wackier by the fact that New Orleans is in Louisiana.

The Good Lord continues to move in weatherly ways. This summer's flooding in parts of the UK are also the judgment of God, according to senior Church of England bishops.

It's a novel set of skills that have you able to control the weather yet unable use a pen. I have to say, excessive rainfall is a bit ambiguous. Folk might respond better to your holy instructions if you dropped them a text instead.

All this is well and good, the easy pickings of using the gun handed to you by an outsize fish as it climbs into a barrel. But the really choice bit of this stuff, and one that does deserve our conscious attention, is the unironic arrogance of it all.

Firstly the Rt Rev Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle, is certain that he knows exactly what evil we're being punished for. Environmental degradation and gay rights apparently. Gay sex is, after all, unambiguously prohibited in Leviticus 18:22. Yet just three lines earlier the book of Leviticus also prohibits wearing clothes made of two types of fibre. Given the prevalence of poly-cotton shirts in modern society, I reckon the Lord's having a go at us for that. Or maybe it's for eating prawns.

And wouldn't a god of justice, infinite love and mercy act well within the norms of the Geneva Convention? You'd have thought they might want to target just the sinners as opposed to meting out collective punishment. Apparently not, sayeth the bishop.

The principle of God's judgment on nations that have exploited other nations is all there in the Bible

When did environmentally assaulted countries like Ethiopia and Bangladesh do their exploiting of other nations? Did I miss some stuff?

But there's a higher level of unintentional irony beyond the bishop's bilingual fluency in English and meteorology.

In the Bible, institutional power is referred to as 'the beast', which sets itself up to control people and their morals.

Human institutions aren't allowed to make moral rulings. That job is reserved for, er, the church.


merrick said...

Maybe the Good Lord is showing his infinite love for us - the excessive rain has caused the cancellation of a concert celebrating 25 years of Stock Aitken Waterman

Joel M-H said...

Maybe he punishing Ethiopia and Bangladesh for their ungratefulness?

I mean, the lord gave us this infinate supply of coal and gas to burn, so why won't they just accept this from him and use their fair share?