CAN AN ATHEIST BLAME GOD?

I had the pleasure of talking to my brother-in-law for an hour or two Thursday night. We talked about our families, the price of gas, and of course, the terrible time that our neighbors to the south are having. That is when my brother-in-law said something that I thought was a little far fetched. You see, he is a man of faith. While I, too, believe in God, I thought that there was no way the press would go there. I mean, the media spends most of its time debasing those who have faith in a Creator, and they would rather not even bring the subject to light. He suggested to me that it is only a matter of time before some openly blame God for the hurricanes and oil crisis. Imagine my surprise when I came online last night and saw the following story on Times Online in Britain.

The story is titled “Power of the Elements Puts Americans at Mercy of God.” I started to read it with piqued interest because of what my brother-in-law said, and lo, there it was. The story was written by Gerard Baker, the US editor for The Times. It wastes no time getting to the point. The first paragraph goes into the events on the Gulf coast, the evacuation, the boarding up of homes and businesses, “and, above all, praying.”

The writer describes America as a highly religious country, and says that perhaps this is the reason that they have so much tragedy. Hold on, I have to shake my head for a second. He says that America is also prone to many natural disasters, and continues to suggest that there is a connection with the two. What an absurd conclusion. To try to state that the belief of Americans in God is why they suffer so greatly would actually confirm Americans’ beliefs, and would indeed prove that there is a God. Why else would belief in Him make a difference? To believe in something that doesn’t exist would result in nothing.

Mr. Baker ponders the reason that we are so religious. Is it the fields of grain? Is it the bounty that we are able to harvest each year? Perhaps it is the beautiful land or the spacious skies? It seems that Gerard thinks we look up because of our snowstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Let’s not forget the plethora of volcanoes and earthquakes he talks about, or the “wrathful clouds and floods.” He even brings up our troublesome plagues of locusts. Has this man ever left Britain? Has he ever been to the United States? He must think that looking at America from space looks the same as the big spot on Jupiter, which is thought to be one big storm, does.

The article continues to say “In secular Britain, extreme weather means the occasional nip of frost on the rosebush in early June; a bit too much rain, even for Manchester, in August. In America, extreme weather is measured in the thousands of people it kills, in the days or weeks that millions of people go without power and in the hundreds of billions of dollars it costs to repair the ravaged infrastructure.”

In secular Britain? Is that why they are spared? This is starting to get humorous now. I suppose Mr. Baker has never seen St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, or even Stonehenge. He apparently has never heard of the Church of England either, nor John Wesley, founder of the Methodists, John Smyth and the Baptists, George Fox and the Quakers, Martin Luther, the Reformation, etc. The history of England is steeped in religion and is hardly secular. It seems that Mr. Baker is doing what the liberal base is always fond of. Not only can we blame the Americans for the bad weather through their success, and thus pollution, not only can we blame George Bush personally, but now we can blame right wing radicals for bringing the wrath of God down upon us. He fails to mention how so many who deny His existence can blame Him for all of the weather. I guess that is only a small technicality.

It seems that no one has ever taken the time to explain to Mr. Baker that the greatest civilizations to ever occupy this earth were Christian nations. We have gone farther than all who have come before us. We, the west, are comprised of the most compassionate nations on the planet, and we have always been a beacon of goodness and hope for the rest of the planet. We have learned more than every other civilization combined in only a few hundred years. Did anyone ever climb over the Berlin Wall to get into East Germany, and therefore out of the west? Have you ever seen someone lie on a piece of wood and try to get to Cuba? God is not the reason for tragedy, Mr. Baker, but He is the reason why we have always triumphed over adversity, and why we have always triumphed over our enemies. It is why we are so strong, and so positive. It is why we have such dreams and hopes. It is why we come together in times of tragedy. It is why we soar.

Before this man’s story ends, we are reminded that in America, cars are regularly cut in half by falling trees, and whole cities are buried under 30 feet of snow. There are the “forest fires that wipe out millions of acres in days. It is scarcely any wonder, in the face of such natural ferment, that fundamentalism has such strong support here in America.” You couldn’t be any farther off base of why so many in America believe in God, Mr. Baker. In fact, the way you write, it is a wonder there is anyone left alive here.

My favourite caption from this humorous article is this one: “The pilgrims from The Mayflower praised God for the russet delights of that first New England autumn. Half of them then dropped dead from the winter cold.” Glad we didn’t leave that out.

I would like to milk this a little more, but that would just be cruel. I also thought about praying for this man, but he would no doubt consider it to be a curse placed upon him. I will just hope that one day Mr. Gerard Baker can let go of his utter contempt for the faith of others, and that perhaps in time he will embrace it.

God Save The Queen.