Monday, September 13, 2010

God with a bad aim?

"First, I pray for those families who suffered in the San Bruno pipeline blast; this is a tragedy that could've been corrected with the right care being applied beforehand. However, on a more divine level: This blast can be viewed as God's divine judgment upon San Fransicko (sic) for its ultra-leftist and anti-normal way of doing things, and for that sad excuse of a judge who overturned the will of the people in his anti-Proposition 8 ruling. God is speaking, folks. Are you listening?" - Lloyd Marshall Jr., Lockport, NY

This little mash note to my home town, San Francisco, appeared in today's newspaper. I found it rather amusing in its blatant stupidity. First Lloyd Marshall Jr. helpfully notes that the San Bruno disaster could have been prevented by taking more care; then he says it was God's judgment. Which is it?

I really, really hate it when Christians proclaim smugly that disasters are God's judgments upon liberals. Today's paper had a picture of a beautiful twenty year-old girl who died in the explosion. Her lovely, expressive face was so full of life and humor, and now she's dead, so young. Her boyfriend is badly burnt, losing all his fingers, and is undergoing the hell of a burn ward and mourning his lost love. And this is because God is mad at Judge Vaughn Walker? I think an omnipotent God could find Judge Walker (a judge who was incidentally appointed by the first President Bush) if He wanted to and would not strike down a pretty heterosexual girl by mistake.

I also think an all-knowing God knows the difference between San Francisco and San Bruno. They are separated by Daly City, South San Francisco, and Brisbane, after all, and the airport makes a pretty good landmark. I live in the Castro, on the very same street where the Marriage Equality people's headquarters are, and I can safely report that there are no signs of divine wrath here. The weather was beautiful all weekend. The gay bars are opening for business like clockwork; my gay neighbors' contractor is hard at work ruining my morning bellowing at his workers. I'm not going to go so far as to say absolutely all is well here, but it's been a lovely few days.

Aside from the question of whether God would send Judge Walker a signal by blowing up middle class families down the Peninsula, what gives Lloyd Marshall Jr. the right to determine which utility failures are divine vengeance and which poor maintenance? Was the BP oil well disaster due to God judging the aquatic birds and fish of the Gulf?

Anyone who lives in Northern California can tell you that PG&E is a notoriously inept utility. It's infamous. Just before the explosion I read a scathing article about how many more outages per household we suffer here, compared to other American utilities. Somehow the plucky utilities keep the lights on in places where blizzards and ice storms truly bring down the power lines, but here, in our mild and even climate, bumbling PG&E ineptly subjects us to frequent outages. This wasn't the only dramatic explosion we've seen, either (there was a very newsworthy one not long ago, with flames shooting out of manholes in the Financial District and suitclad executives running down the sidewalk).

And finally it's truly pathetic how Christians only think disasters are divine punishment when they strike somewhere the Christians don't like. Notice how hurricanes and blizzards and deathly heat waves are never God's ire at work. Hurricane Hugo killed many more people and did millions of dollars more damage than San Francisco's big quake in the 80's did, and no one ever called for South Carolina to repent.

6 comments:

Susan said...

First off, that guy is a goofball. So many tragedies happen every day, and to pull out those that are geographically convenient for spewing hatred is just stupid.

But I do ask one thing. Although this guy is claiming he is a Christian, he doesn't speak for all of us (or even most of us). Nor does the nut in Florida who wanted to burn the Koran. Those people represent Christianity about as much as the 9/11 terrorists represent Islam.

Please don't let the insanity of a few mar the good of the majority... no matter what culture one is talking about.

And yes, I'm dying to read about Camp and Burning Man!!

Silliyak said...

Amen, and may I refer you to my latest blog post?

K said...

'Some' Christians. And them who do say, are those who miss a large chunk of the point of being Christian. :)

Otherwise I totally agree.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most amusing things I have ever read. Captcha: Bartmy signed Joyce

Anonymous said...

Um, the part about the girl dying is not the part I laughed at. Captcha: Munta

Silliyak said...

Reminds me of this quote..
“You can tell you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do”

Anne Lamott