Monday, July 02, 2007

Falwells across the pond

And you thought only America had prominent ministers who were too dumb to live:

The floods that have devastated swathes of the country are God's judgment on the immorality and greed of modern society, according to senior Church of England bishops.

One diocesan bishop has even claimed that laws that have undermined marriage, including the introduction of pro-gay legislation, have provoked God to act by sending the storms that have left thousands of people homeless.

It's like Jerry Falwell has been reincarnated as an Anglican. At least now we can make fun of English idiots instead of enduring criticism of American ones.

Graham Dow, the Bishop of Carlisle who is the one quoted above saying tolerance of gays was part of the problem, may be socially conservative, but he also sees populist economic reasons why God is punishing us:

The West is also being punished for the way that it has exploited poorer nations in its pursuit of economic gain. "It has set up dominant economic structures that are built on greed and that keep other nations in a situation of dependence. The principle of God's judgment on nations that have exploited other nations is all there in the Bible," he said.

Conservative or liberal, the reasoning is still loopy.

To be fair, some of the bishops made a certain amount of sense not reflected in the headline:

Global warming has been caused by people's lack of care for the planet and recent environmental catastrophes are a warning over how we behave, according to the Bishop of Liverpool.

"People no longer see natural disasters as an act of God," said the Rt Rev James Jones. "However, we are now reaping what we have sown. If we live in a profligate way then there are going to be consequences," said the bishop, who has previously been seen as a future Archbishop of Canterbury or York.

That seems straightforward enough: If we don't care for the planet we will suffer the consequences. But calling such a simple bit of cause-and-effect "God's wrath" is a bit like saying if you touch a hot stove, the resulting burn is God's wrath. It kind of devalues the whole concept of both God and wrath.

They also expressed their condolences for the "innocent victims" of the floods. I'd love to see them try to explain that logic: Why is God punishing and killing innocents in order to punish us for our excesses?


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Anonymous Ziusudra said...

And if God is punishing us now, does this mean we'll get "time served" come judgement day?

An affront to reason indeed.

7/02/2007 1:23 PM  

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