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Life Arts    H4'ed 12/16/21

God or Climate Change or Godzilla? (Maybe it's all three.)

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You know how when a tree falls on someone or on a car or someone gets hit by lightning it might be regarded as an act of God? Well, that is no longer the case. We could also step two thousand years back and say that Zeus is angry or, if there is a sea surge that wipes out a coastal town, let's say Neptune is pissed about something. How about chance, bad luck? Nope. For some time now the weather is our Frankenstein. We have created a monster. That doesn't sound right either though.

Here is where I am coming from: I really was shocked and dismayed by what Kentucky was hit with - a succession of mega-tornadoes, leaving behind a wide trail of total destruction. But why? You can see in certain charts that track the frequency and severity and sheer scale of tornadoes that there are twice as many as there were thirty years ago and they are several magnitudes more powerful. It is heart-wrenching to read stories and accounts of loss and near escapes of those who are unlucky enough to find themselves in the path of these weather-behemoths. It's just like Godzilla went on a rampage. As I say, it is our monster. But sometimes it seems as if there is a divine Hand in the mix. Just for example, two kids were missing in the wreckage of a house that came down in the storm in Kentucky. The children were not there. Turned out they were safe in the bathtub in which they were huddled when the same wind that demolished the house, apparently removed the bathtub from the doomed house! One thing is for sure, Climate Change didn't save those two kids.

In the aftermath of such a debacle, people grieve and, for the most part, rally. Reeling, they gather up what they can salvage, taking stock, and start thinking of the next baby step toward piecing their lives back together. The usual questions arise: Why this house and not that house? Why this section of town and not across the street?... As if there is some answer somewhere or is it just that such questions, that no one can answer, need to be asked (or tiptoed around) in a futile attempt to try to make some sense out of what happened while doing whatever to jump-start life? But the big, sometimes unspoken, question hangs in the air. I guess it's like the elephant in the air, since there is no room left standing for this elephant. The question is - Was it God? Or was it Climate Change? It's almost like you have to choose!

But if it's God, why would the Creator allow such a thing, even if God wasn't happy with how folks are conducting their lives, and even from a distance, it seems like overkill ... Even for an old testament God. But if it's Climate Change, then what does that say about an entire worldview that pivots around an omnipotent, loving, inscrutable, enigmatic, unpredictable God? If God is omnipotent then why would God allow people to bring chaos to creation? Climate Change and God do not mix! Isn't the pseudo-science of Climate Change just a bunch of liberal lies to throw us off? It's easier to just write it off to the wrath of God. God has plenty to be angry about and if people and nations keep spinning out of control, anyone can understand why God would be out of patience. But why here where most people believe in Him? Maybe God sees us all together, like we're really all one to God who doesn't discriminate between neighbor and neighbor. God just sees Creation out of balance and clears the deck, and makes His displeasure known ... and if someone's house is in the way, it's toast. But that doesn't sound right! Will somebody who believes that God is behind mega-tornadoes please explain this particular divine behavior to me? Tell me what to think?

Would God be saying, by such an act, that we don't deserve a future or we don't deserve a world that makes sense? It's easy to go there, to start thinking that Yahweh is back or that God is angrier, by several magnitudes, than 30 years ago. But we're not quitters and I can't imagine that there are too many believers who imagine that God is indiscriminate. Creator might have good reason and it's not for us to question what God does with Creation. Is it? (As a Jungian I wonder if Godzilla is God's shadow, not the anti-Christ, but the underbelly of a God who has run out of patience.)

You can call it Climate Change if you want. Or call it a pissed-off Creator if you want but I would like to suggest that the truth lies somewhere in between. People aren't stupid and if science can explain how those kids in the bathtub wound up outside of the house before it collapsed I would like to hear it. Go ahead science, explain it. You can't. I thought so. And another thing: I wager that there is going to be a growing number of people in hurricane and tornado country, who, most likely in spite of themselves, are going to conclude that storms this terrible can't be all God! But, as a believer in Climate Change, I feel compelled to chime in, it's also not all us.

Plenty to think about while we brace for the next disaster.

(Article changed on Dec 17, 2021 at 8:46 AM EST)

(Article changed on Dec 17, 2021 at 8:49 AM EST)

(Article changed on Dec 17, 2021 at 9:52 AM EST)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, a collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain" and a memoir, "Finding Myself in Time: Facing the Music" Over the last few years he has begun calling (more...)

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