I was driving home after celebrating my wife’s twin sons’ 32nd birthdays, having enjoyed excellent lasagna, salad, and homemade ice-cream-cake, in the company of some very good people.  Cruising north on Ohio I-77, the powerful, easy grace of my Mustang GT thrilled my senses as we charged north toward Cuyahoga County and home.  What was totally unexpected was the display proffered by an electronic billboard, off to my left.  In bold primary colors, it displayed the Lone Star flag and above that, the message: GOD BLESS TEXAS.

Puzzlement at such a message should only be natural among those who actively engage their intellectual facilities.  If the god proposed by the majority of believers in this country if not elsewhere is the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent being they allege, then he must also be a textbook case of manic-depressive disorder at least and dissociative personality disorder at worst.  What kind of deity would so completely and devastatingly attack such a considerable area as that of southeast Texas, using the mechanism of a stalled tropical depression to draw vast quantities of water from the Gulf of Mexico and then dump them on the cities of that coastline AND THEN come to their aid after the fact?  This is far less the behavior I would expect of a loving, nurturing god than it reflects actions I would anticipate from an abusive spouse, attacking one second then apologizing and offering faux-support the next.

What makes all of the above even more absurd is that there is no sign whatsoever of Yahweh’s direct hand in the recovery process to this date.  No supernatural intervention has shown itself in Houston or Port Arthur or Beaumont or any of the multiple other municipalities which were hammered by Hurricane Harvey.  Whatever hands are involved in rescue or providing food or shelter or managing what I would now hope is a falling tide of water, they are human hands.  Plain folk are flying the rescue helicopters or piloting the boats or delivering people to shelters or making sure they’ve had something to eat and a place to sleep.  Finally, when the flood has receded and residents attempt to reinvent their lives and rebuild, those will also be the actions of ordinary people, helping themselves and each other to reclaim their homesteads and piece back together what had been torn apart.

And just what did that tearing in the first place?  Nature.  A natural force called a hurricane, possibly enhanced by the results of climate change, ripped through those communities and did that damage because that’s what the local meteorological conditions caused it to do.  It was a massive incident of positive entropy, which will have to be met by the positive intention of those hardest hit by it to resist and persist against that force.

We’re talking about humankind against nature here, a contest which has gone on for thousands of years and will continue to do so, whether we like it or not.  It is a truism that, in the final analysis, the universe doesn’t care about us, and if we are to survive, we must care for and about each other.  No unseen, intangible god will make so much as a whit of difference, one way or the other.

The weight is on us.

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Comment by tom sarbeck on April 10, 2018 at 5:35pm

Abraham’s god is a sadist, and Texas gave him too few masochists.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 10, 2017 at 7:05pm

Sadly, Thomas, all it shows is the presumption of Orange Julius, and between dealing with Harvey and now Irma, adding Drumpf's stupidity to the mix just doesn't help.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 6, 2017 at 10:14pm

It's simple, Michael: if it's an act of god, they expect god to clean up after himself!

Lots of luck with THAT one! [VERY wry grin!]

Comment by Michael Penn on September 6, 2017 at 7:35pm

Yes, god is good but a lot of insurance will not cover "acts of god." How do they handle that? They believe it anyway and claim the insurance companies just want to get out of paying.

We live in a strange world.

Comment by Grinning Cat on September 6, 2017 at 1:15pm

... if Yahweh created the world, he created ALL OF IT, good, bad, and indifferent.

Yet believers give him all of the credit and none of the blame. I want his PR staff for myself!!!

Comment by Loren Miller on September 6, 2017 at 8:36am

Michael, you and I are thoughtful enough to observe that, if there's a god doing ANYTHING, there is no positive action he takes that he doesn't undo multiple times over, whether by earthquake, tornado, tsunami, or some other naturally occurring mechanism.  Meantime, the meme that the believers want to promote is that their deity is all good, and if bad things happen, it's a fallen world.  They ignore the concept that, if Yahweh created the world, he created ALL OF IT, good, bad, and indifferent.

I suspect that they shy away from that realization because if they did acknowledge it, they'd have to confess that their most beloved being is an unrepentant bully ... and they are in thrall to it.

Comment by Michael Penn on September 6, 2017 at 8:30am

I seem to remember a song popular when I lived in Texas, and it had the words "god blessed Texas with his own hand." I wondered at the time if god simply moved his hand, or if he removed his hand and threw it at them. Either way, how were they blessed?

Loren, your last paragraph here sums it all up very nicely and it follows that the weight is on us.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 4, 2017 at 7:02am

Randall, the "why" has been pretty much beat to death here and elsewhere.  What floors me is their ability to accept that their god dealt out a horrific punishment in the form of tens of trillions of gallons of water, rained down onto the southeast quadrant of Texas, and is now somehow supposed to "bless" that area through some unseen mechanism.  The concept is beyond ludicrous, yet most swallow it without question.

About the only answer that I can come up with is that they have bought into the whole "thy will be done" routine which their main boy laid on them, mostly to their own detriment.

Comment by Randall Smith on September 3, 2017 at 7:19am

The absurdity of prayer, the "god bless Texas" sign, etc., blows my mind. Has anybody really explained WHY humans believe in such nonsense? 

Comment by Loren Miller on September 2, 2017 at 10:15am

"Prayer is spiritual masturbation" ... which may not even deign to supply an orgasm as positive feedback!

Thanks for that, Bertold!



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