Tag Archive: Hurricane

Seven YearsCNN journalist Bill Weir has been traveling with the migrant caravan traveling from Mexico’s’ southern border to the U.S./Mexico border. While traveling some social media idiots aren’t sharing messages of hope or prayers, they’re actually laughing at the fact that Hurricane Willa is headed straight for the migrant caravan. Some making these racist comments call themselves Christians. This post is reflective of many.

@sxdoc: “Willa is from the word William which means Valiant Protector..God has sent Willa into the path of the caravan as his protector of the USA. What are the odds that at the time of a invasion a hurricane would form..the weather service would be into the W’s, and Willa would be it!”

As Weir posted on Twitter:

Scooping jaw off of floor after reading the replies to this tweet. It seems a whole bunch of your American neighbors are praying for a hurricane to kill thousands of families fleeing poverty, corruption and violence.

Make The Old Testament Great Again, I guess. https://t.co/ZNwcb3kDB7

Got to be God. Of course. No other way to explain it. Right? Right.

Idiots like blogger Deplorable Suzi Super Elite, whose ancestors put their trust in (Psalm 22:4), have determined God is using Hurricane Willa to send a message. As such, I have have a few questions.

  • On September 20th London news outlets reported a tourist died after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff from Storm Ali. What message did God send this woman?
  • October 23rd, firefighters reported a mother and child were among five killed in ‘biblical’ storm Florence while looters began to raid abandoned homes and stores. Was God’s message to the mother and child or the firefighters?
  • Continuing with ‘biblical’ theme of Hurricane Florence, what message was God giving a 61-year-old South Carolina woman when the vehicle she was driving struck a tree” Was it “Hey! You hit a tree?”
  • And lest we forget when Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico. Island officials raised the death toll from 64 to 2,975. Obviously a message from God? Yes? No?

The Mexican government said authorities had given “priority attention” to elders, children and women — some of whom were pregnant. Authorities stated there were 2,200 migrants remaining on the bridge connecting Guatemala and Mexico. Yet, for some Christians like Deplorable Suzi Super Elite, our form of assistance is to pray Hurricane Willa destroys asylum seekers. WTH?

We often talk as if there is some formal plan – as if God was the great arbiter, when in reality, we use any natural disaster, even Hurricanes, to hide our prejudices. As Rabbi Brad Hirschfield stated one year after September 11th:

You want plan? Then tell me about plan. But if you’re going to tell me about how the plan saved you, you’d better also be able to explain how the plan killed them. And the test of that has nothing to do with saying it in your synagogue or your church. The test of that has to do with going and saying it to the person who just buried someone and look in their eyes and tell them, “God’s plan was to blow your loved one apart.” Look at them and tell them that God’s plan was that their children should go to bed every night for the rest of their lives without a parent. If you can say that, well, at least you’re honest. I don’t worship the same God. But that at least has integrity.

Such hateful prayers against poor immigrants have nothing to do with Christ, looks nothing like Christ, and is not at all what Christ would have taught or wanted followers to do. I am embarrassed for you. And I am embarrassed for Christ.

I close with a quote from Heinrich Harrer’s character in Seven Years in Tibet, (with slight modifications):

A man who betrays Christ in this fashion shouldn’t preach about love. I wish shame be your torture and that torture be your life. May both be long. 

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 7.03.23 PMIn the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I assisted several hospitals in restoring their information technology resources.  In the midst of all the mental stress, anguish and pain inflicted, I look at those who passed and ponder the most basic, yet futile, question: “Why?

In October 2012, a New York Times story detailed about 39 people who died in the storm. The following is an excerpt:

  • A Manhattan woman whose only sin appeared to walking her dog and was killed by a falling tree.
  • There was the woman whose iniquity was to take a picture of a downed power line. She did not see the puddle in front of her. Her body remained engulfed in fire for half an hour before rescue workers could salvage what was left.
  • A young Jewish couple killed walking a dog in Brooklyn.
  • Two boys killed when they walked just outside their house to briefly peer at the storm.

In true form, all of us have seen we have seen God’s people serving as God’s hands and feet in the aftermath of many natural disasters. The true image of one’s faith can be seen in all who have selflessly reach out, assisting the poor and downtrodden. All of this may be true, but still I query, “Where was God when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines?

Hurricane Katrina survivor and retired pastor William Mackintosh stated “God doesn’t send suffering, he allows it and God enters into suffering and shows us how to use it.”  Mackintosh believes suffering and disaster allow believers to learn and practice trust in God, as well as provide a chance for people to be heroic and to help others.  From my perspective, while it may be true that evil (e.g. the death, misery) gives us the opportunity to express kindness, concern and generosity, but could not God think of a less cruel way? Is it fair to inflict suffering just so society has the opportunity to serve?

These are nice thoughts, but personally, it’s bullshit. Ask anyone from the Haiti earthquake, the December 26, 2004 Asian Tsunami, the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku or the 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan Province about God entering their suffering and seeing if they found a positive way to use it?  Is this what we are to say to the Philippine mother, “God will positively show you how to use the death of your daughter, son and father?

Maybe it’s time to concede to the fact that God is busy. Or as the Philosopher Sam Harris so eloquently quoted after the Tōhoku earthquake, “Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.”

Why God allows so much suffering is beyond me. Frankly, I don’t really care. I’ve seen too much misery in life, of natural disasters, the inhumanity of mankind and that within myself.  As a Buddhist I do not need evil to be good, to understand what goodness is or to strive to be good. Disasters and God’s strange approach towards His creation can prod me to do good but more often it is the beauty and joy of goodness itself that moves us. It is the Buddha, Christ, God or our faith in humanity and of each other that should inspire us to a higher virtue.

In short, to my friends of faith, if you knew that the above mentioned disasters were going to happen and you had the power to stop it, would you have done so? Undoubtedly most would answer ‘Yes.’ The obvious question that follows from this is, ‘Then why didn’t God?’ How one answers this question will depend on what one’s religion is or whether one has a religion.

As Sam Harris would say, “Take your pick, and choose wisely.”