Natural desasters as signs of a god: the difference between rhetorically skilled priests and the general public

As we all know 2 weeks ago a disaster has hit Japan. Over 10.000 people are dead, people are fighting against a nuclear meltdown in Fukushima.

Why did all this happen? Was it a natural disaster? Was it the plan of a god? Did a god merely allow it to happen?
The problems of theodicy (bad things happening despite the supposed existence of a merciful and caring god) are old. And of course the standard answer to all is a typical "god might have a plan, we do not comprehend".
But that doesn't really satisfy people like me. Especially not in the wake of a catastrophe that killed tens of thousands of people.
God surely can't be evil, bad or (which some think is worse than being evil) not existent. So priests and religious people come up with quite a bunch of arguments and statements to tell us that it is not the wickedness of a god that caused these things to happen.
(read on)

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