Monday, June 21, 2010

God Help Us

Apparently, Sarah Palin has determined that human beings’ efforts to stem the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are futile and that, according to her Twitter feed, the “Gulf disaster needs divine intervention.”


God should certainly get right on that and while He’s at it, I’d appreciate if He’d also do something about the Mariners’ hitting woes, global climate change, and all the war, pestilence, famine, and bad reality television shows in the world, as well.

It would be grand, for sure, if a supreme being could raise up a mighty hand and stick a finger in the gusher a la the Dutch boy in the dike, but I fear it’s not going to happen that way. Human activity got us into this mess; I’m afraid only human activity will get us out of it.

Ironically, it’s catastrophes like the oil rig explosion that have traditionally led people to conclude that an all-powerful, perfectly good, creator of the universe does not exist, as to do so would be incompatible with such evil; this seems to me a sound argument against the traditional conception of the Judeo-Christian god, but might leave open the door to one who isn’t so good or perhaps something of a slacker.

And if that’s the case, will praying to Him really help? Maybe God is just as stumped by the problem of how to stop the leak as is BP. Maybe He’s tried his own “top kill” and failed. Maybe He wants his life back, too, just like Tony Hayward.

I appreciate the sentiment that encourages people to pray for help and it probably can’t hurt to do so. We certainly need guidance here and insofar as propitiating the divine emphasizes human fallibility and encourages humility, it strikes me as a good thing.

But I do fear that believing somehow only God can save us here is a mistake; if He were in to helping, wouldn’t He have started already by disabling Palin’s Twitter?


Post a Comment

<< Home