On Saturday I had a conversation with Jesus (on another of my blogs not in person) and Jesus asked (I wrote) this…

Why are you assuming that people will respond ignorantly and use the hurricane as a way of criticizing the government … the sins of ObamaCare bringing down the Wrath of God?

Then came Michele Bachmann’s statement on Monday, August 29…

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,”  Bachmann said to supporters. “We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He  said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?”

Wow! I was a prophet. But not really.
People have been using natural disasters as a way of pointing out the sins of others since Bible times and probably before.  But surely rational people are ready to give up this view of God as the sender of boils and blight.  Then again what has reason got to do with politics, or religion? Sometimes nothing, apparently. And to be fair, don’t we all secretly ask the same question when something really annoying or really catastrophic happens to us: Why me?  What did I do to deserve this? Everything from zits on the nose on the day of an interview to debilitating disease and untimely death, will raise this question. And in the absence of a rational, just explanation, we are left wondering about God. Is God good after all?

Catholic practices have often promoted this view: if you attend 8 masses in a row; if you wear the scapular when you die; if you repeat the Chaplet of Divine Mercy..!  As if God can be manipulated or bought off by ritual acts. Amos saw through that in the 8th century BCE. It’s time we caught up with him.

To believe that our prayers will divert a hurricane or remove a cancerous growth seems pagan to me.  I am more comfortable with a far distant God who isn’t involved in my sh… stuff. But that could be because my prayers weren’t answered and I am just pissed off. That’s the crux of the matter isn’t it. What does God do for me

Many evangelicals preach that God will reward good people with financial security and good jobs and health. And if you don’t get those things either you don’t have enough faith, you have sinned and are hiding it, or you just didn’t plant a big enough Seed of Faith (make a big enough donation to the Minister). Job’s friends all over again.

Catholics don’t officially buy into that Prosperity Gospel theology, but yet we are often guilty of the same kind of thinking: If I have been a good person, done my best (most of the time), paid my taxes, and supported my Church, why is God doing this to me? Well maybe God isn’t doing it to you any more than God was doing it to the politicians over the weekend.

Time to let go of the “God of boils.”

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