If the religious right has a strong foothold in the community and the local politics, all religious leaders are required to fire up the prayer machine to get their god to ease the suffering of others. (Let's not even address the argument that for some strange reason, all that prayer and religious influence still didn't prevent the disaster in the first place.) If, however, the religious influence is negligible or the local politics do not measure up to the will of their dogma, then the religious leaders are free to exploit human suffering to the fullest extent. Oh, and make sure to remember that they can and should speak for the almighty (in his absence, of course.)
Here's a very short list of a few of the recent tragedies and the idiots that gave their god credit for murder:
- Jerry Falwell - September 11, 2011 attack on the US.
- John Hagee - 2005 hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans.
- Pat Robertson - 2009 earthquake in Haiti.
- Michelle Bachmann - 2011 hurricane Irene and earthquake in Washington D.C.
- Glen Beck - 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
There are far more, but hopefully the point is clear. These are the people that are willing to step in front of a microphone and confidently tell the public two wildly absurd statements. First, the creator of the universe has given them the privilege of speaking for him (again, while he's away); and two, the creator of the universe murders relatively small groups of people if he suddenly realizes that everyone else isn't doing what they ought to be.
Now I realize that I shouldn't just single out the high profile religious leaders or politicians. Equally as bad are the every-day religious folk who blithely regurgitate "miraculous" survival stories of extremely fortunate people... and dogs... and cats... and even horses. All the while completely ignoring the human suffering that has already occurred or continues to occur. Seriously, how can anyone justify calling the reunion of a dog with its master a "miracle" while standing in the street of a neighborhood obliterated by a tornado?
Sometimes it seems that this desperate search for god in the rubble of a tragedy has become so routine that a good portion of our society really doesn't give much thought as to what exactly these people are actually saying.
I suppose the point of this post is that while you think about the poor victims of Oklahoma, please... please think before you speak for the almighty. Take the stained-glass blinders off for a few minutes. Do it before you try to inject your god into an event that cannot be explained, and why not think about those people that lost everything, or lost a loved one, or lost their lives. Then, rather than pray, DONATE.