More religious views/responses on the tsunami
(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 010905)

Excerpts, with replies from yours truly, the son
of a Baptist minister who no longer believes in
God, said disbelief occurring many years ago
for innumerable reasons, addressing the com-
ments from those of faith, in bracketed inserts
[-]:

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Jan. 7, 2004
http://www.floridatoday.com/!NEWSROOM/peoplestoryL109WHEREGOD.htm
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Pastor at Faith Viera Lutheran Church, Ron Myer:
"Where is God in all this? There are times in our
lives that question is not answered. It's hard to
wrap your mind around it. ... This is where faith
begins, it should not be where faith ends."

---
[Insert/reply -- No, faith does not begin in the death
of over 150,000, over 50,000 of them children,
faith begins when little children are inculcated in
the faith, by parents and authority figures, before
they are old enough to be able to distinguish the
difference between claims worthy of doubt, and
claims having relevance due to testable and veri-
fiable facts which are both doubtable, and testa-
ble.

As for faith ending, yes, this horrific disaster will
be the place where faith ends for uncounted num-
bers who see no point in believing in mythical be-
ings who, per religious leaders, either caused this
tsunami -or- who were powerless to prevent it -or-
who chose to allow it to swallow up the lives of
over 150,000 precious human beings, without so
much as a hint of warning or one iota of evidence
that a caring all-powerful prayer-answering deity,
of any stripe, actually exists. --end insert/reply]
---

Pastor Ron Myer, continued: "There needs to be
a redeeming factor. We need to turn something
bad into good. That's what we can do with our
prayers and support."

---
[Insert/reply -- See December 26, 2004, in the Indian
Ocean (December 25, 2004, in America) for a clear
indication of the futility of prayer. And as for turning
something bad into good, that's a human character-
istic which humans who don't depend or believe on
a God of mass death or mass torment or mass re-
venge are much better suited for than are the God
threat types which are widespread in religious cir-
cles. --end insert/reply]
---

It was so hard, that Summer Turner, 26, of Palm
Bay, broke down into tears.

"It really has shaken my faith a good bit," said Turner,
the daughter of a Baptist preacher. "I don't know how
to think of it yet. I haven't worked it out yet."

"I honestly struggled this weekend. I remember Sat-
urday morning at the house, I watched 10 minutes of
the news, called a friend, really freaking out and cry-
ing."

---
[Insert/reply -- Your empathy and sympathy for your
fellow humans on the planet is a perfect example of
how the natural response to a disaster of this kind
is to mourn loss, and in the case of those who have
been led to believe in a benevolent and caring God,
to yearn for answers as to why the supposed God
condemned so many to such a horrible, unforeseen,
and unavoidable end, with no warning, and little to no
chance of escape.

The clearest answer possible, the answer which you
have likely suspected but have put aside for reasons
having to do with your upbringing and social-religious
influences, the answer you've more than likely been
avoiding 'til now is that God is myth, and it's up to us,
only us, to make the most out of this one and only
*sure* chance at existence.

The *only* hope for those poor and unfortunate victims
was -if- humankind would've had the foresight and wis-
dom to both detect and warn of the danger of a tsunami.
We failed, and in that failure, the countless human lives
that could've been saved, were not.

To prevent such a travesty from occurring in the future,
humans must create a well-thought-out means of both
detection and warning that spans the entire globe, from
the Indian Ocean all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, the
Gulf of Mexico which has a history of a landslide which
sent a 25-foot tidal wave onto the shore of Texas, some
5,000 to 10,000 years ago, said landslide a possibility
to recur.

To do nothing, to depend on God to protect us, is naught
but folly, both in this life -and- in a supposed next life.

By the way, the Pacific Ocean region is, per reports, al-
ready protected by a tsunami warning system, though
the degree of protection no doubt could be improved.
--end insert/reply]
---

Although his faith has remained strong, Peter Bailey of
Melbourne Beach also is having difficulties explaining
the situation.

"I've heard people say, 'How can there be a God?' I can't
answer. I don't know why it happened to them," he said.

These lingering questions are to be expected.

---
[Insert/reply -- Naturalism and humans are simply a conse-
quence of physics, energy, and matter, and to the extent
that humans can act in the best interest of humankind, it's
up to humans, not God, to do so. --end insert/reply]
---

Rabbi Richard Margolis of Temple Beth Sholom in Melbourne:
"I think we're all shaken by the magnitude of the devastation
and tragic loss of human life and what we know is going to be
ongoing human suffering. I think that would shake the most
faithful of people."

---
[Insert/reply -- Shake is an understatement, and apologetics
from religious leaders along with statements of God doing it
are in no way helpful as far as alleviating the doubts that many
had regarding blind faith, before this tragedy occurred, and
that many more have after it has occurred. --end insert/reply]
---

Rabbi Richard Margolis, continued: "Has it ever occurred to
anyone that God might be found in the response to the tra-
gedy? Why is it that millions of people throughout the world
suddenly feel the need to respond with various ways, pro-
visions, funds, logistical support, when a tragedy occurs?
I consider that to be a work of God."

"God has instructed us in compassion. I believe that aiding
people in their suffering is part of God's work and part of the
work we share with God."

---
[Insert/reply -- The response to the tragedy is the work of peo-
ple, not God or any other superstitious being. To ignore all
the threats and mass death of the God present in the Torah,
and pretend that religion is naught but a goody-2-shoes ain't
God grand -and- humans wonderful experience, is nothing
short of the most profound D-E-N-I-A-L of what, exactly, reli-
gious faith is all about -- the seductions of a good God -and-
the threats of a condemning God of mass death and torture.
To pretend otherwise is both denial of your foundational reli-
gious text, and deceit you've been called on in this reply.
--end insert/reply]
---

Dr. Fred Fourie, minister at Cocoa Beach Community Church:
"If my God-image is, for example, a being that would cause
a tsunami, . . . then my God would be in serious trouble at this
time. The deeper issue is not the tsunami, but our expectation
for our God. For myself, after 40 years of living theology every
day of my life, I never think God would ever manipulate nature
to cause a tsunami. My God wept when Jesus died on the
cross."

---
[Insert/reply -- Your religion preaches that a God of mass death
exists, and a God of mass revenge/eternal torment exists, whe-
ther you buy into those concepts or not. Unless you have an up-
dated version of the bible that has expunged all the anti-human-
ism, your bible is stock full of examples of God invoking mass
death -or- encouraging his followers to do so.

Either you buy into all that mass death by God and mass torment
by God, or you don't. If you don't, then why in the name of human-
ity do you carry around a document that does, and preach from
it as if all the anti-humanism isn't there? --end insert/reply]
---

Muzaffar Shaikh, spokesman and past president for the Islamic
Society of Brevard County: "I think we have a grand opportunity
to explain to the Muslim world that we are very generous and
humanitarian, and we help in times of need. And we're doing
that. ... the tsunami is "one more sign of the existence of God."

"A very important saying of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be
Upon Him, that so fortunate are Muslims they thank God
Almighty in times of happiness, and in times of calamity they
are patient, and in both times, praising Allah, God Almighty."

---
[Insert/reply -- Thanking and praising God is idiotic and the
utmost in stupidity when your family, your life partner, your
children, your babies have drowned. Cursing God, that would
be a most appropriate and understandable response on the
part of former and disillusioned believers. --end insert/reply]
---

Muzaffar Shaikh, continued: "In Islam, these types of natural
calamities, heavy rains, hurricanes, are really a lesson for
mankind to pay heed to the word of God. Do what he has
asked you to do. It's an indication. In fact, some of us, in-
cluding myself, say this is one more sign of coming of the
last day."

---
[Insert/reply -- Last day? What a load of superstitious non-
sense. The disaster was clearly the result of living on a dan-
gerous planet which we most often ignore, simply because
humans are so deeply steeped in ancient myths, they to this
day struggle to take responsibility for owning up to the myth-
ical nature of the God stories, and acting forthrightly and
responsibly to deal with our one and only *sure* chance at
existence in the most pro-human way possible. --end insert/
reply]
---

Pamela Marriott, a Jehovah's Witness: "If you read the Bible,
it tells you we are living in the last days. These are some of
the signs that we're living in the last days. I believe that Jesus
will come as a warrior king. This just proves that man cannot
rule without God."

---
[Insert/reply -- Last days? See above. Warrior king? Jesus the
lover and Jesus the warrior, I suppose you've been spending
a lot of time in Revelations or some such area of myth. You
do realize that the founders of the Church, Catholics, in Roman
times, came close to leaving Revelations out of their aggrega-
tion of myths called the Bible, don't you? Too bad, so sad, that
they included such a deluded pile of sheer ___ (searches for
words ... how should I put it ... let's just say, if you were tripping
out on LSD, cocaine, heroin, speed, amphetamines, barbitur-
ates, marijuana, alcohol, and you tried to come up with the same
degree of insanity as presented in Revelations, you'd be hard-
pressed to do so).

Sheesh, what some people will believe all because it's called
holy and preached in a so-called holy building with so-called
holy people doing the preaching. Clue -- the ancient myths
that you've been taught are reality are not reality. They are
naught but delusion, superstition, and manufactured mythos-
gone-wild. See the tsunami for a clue regarding naturalism
and the way it's up to humans, only humans, to protect our-
selves and those we love. --end insert/reply]
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Patel, a teacher at the Chinmaya Mission Temple in Orlando,
said that although Hindus grieve for the loss of life, they are
comforted by the ancient scripture, Vedanta, which acknow-
edges one supreme, omnipresent consciousness. "Almighty
God gives us courage to face (tragedy)," she said. "The cre-
tion (Sansar) goes on, what comes to life has to perish and
is ever-changing."

---
[Insert/reply -- Courage is part of the genes of the evolved ape
known as human. Life perishes, daily. Ever-changing is obvi-
ous to those with a clue. God is myth. It's up to us, only us, to
take care of one another and make this one and only *sure*
life experience last as long as is pleasantly possible. --end
insert/reply]
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