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Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and the Will of God

Since this series of disasters began, we have been hearing from all manner of scientists and engineers explaining why the earth broke apart, why the water worked the way it did, and why the nuclear power plants didn’t work the way they were intended. ¬†We have also heard from politicians trying to calm the masses, newscasters looking for human interest stories, and economists looking into their crystal ball to predict how this will all affect our financial future. ¬†But the most disturbing and off-the-wall commentators were those self proclaimed prophets and conservative spokespersons who claimed that this disaster was nothing less than God’s revenge on mankind for disobeying Him. Yes, Virginia, there are idiots!

The idea that The Power behind the creation and sustenance of all that exists and doesn’t exist as far as the eye can see, within, without, and beyond, has it in for mankind because some same-sex or interracial coupling is taking place on the planet is just ridiculous. ¬†It’s inconceivable that God should mete out wholesale punishment on the Japanese population because some states in the US have approved gay marriage, as some right-wingers have proclaimed. ¬†A just God would not be that cavalier with His destructive thunderbolts and an omnipotent God should certainly have better aim than to miss the intended target by half a planet.

More likely, the cooling of Earth’s crust and the pressures and plate tectonics involved were the cause of the original quake just as the scientists said they were, along with the physicists’ explanations for the tsunami that followed. ¬†No vengeful intention here, just a big water covered ball of rock with a molten interior acting like a big water covered ball of rock with a molten interior. People just happened to get in the way. ¬†As for the potential release of devastating nuclear radiation? ¬†Well, that’s just what we get when we play with toys that we know are dangerous. Some things are beyond man’s ability to control and there is no way we can anticipate every possible scenario. Maybe we should reevaluate risks before we start building edifices that could destroy us.

If there is some lesson from a Higher Power here, perhaps it is that our planet really is small, and that we are all attached not just by political or financial ties, but by our very humanity. ¬†We breathe the same air, look to the same skies, and cling to the same ball of rock hurtling through nothingness. ¬†Even more importantly, we share the same ‘I’, the same feeling of self with everyone else. ¬†The elderly Japanese grandmother sitting on the edge of a Red Cross cot whose home, belongings, and family have suddenly been taken from her is not separate from us. ¬†She is us. And had this all occurred 5,500 miles to the east, we would have been sitting where she is.

This disaster should not be used as an opportunity to push a political or religious agenda and spread hate.  It should be used as an opportunity to get closer to one another and spread love.


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