Recently, areas of our country, to include Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and elsewhere were devastated by a series of hurricanes and some areas are still enduring horrific suffering in the storm’s aftermath. At the same time, of course, other Caribbean nations were also torn apart by these storms and Mexico City endured a earthquake that brought down buildings and killed hundreds. And as these things were happening, other tragedies, manmade and natural, occurred around the world as these things tend to do and have done throughout recorded history. These things are real news (and real tragedies for real people) and are not among the plethora of fake news items infesting the internet since before the last presidential election.
Natural disasters, real or fake, have a way of bringing out the worst in some Christians on social media and in real life. These are the people who claim the following:
- Such disasters are punishments from God, usually for not failing to prevent abortions, stop gay people from marrying, or even for allowing unmarried persons to cohabitate among many other perceived sins.
- If someone is affected by such a disaster but manages to gather enough people to pray hard enough, maybe they can beg God to take it back. If they happen to pray exactly right and God takes back whatever awful thing they were praying against, God gets praised. Too bad for those other suckers who apparently didn’t pray right or with sufficient intensity.
The frequency and intensity of the storms this year sparked some conversations concerning the contribution climate change might have had on the storms. Climate change is real, it’s happening, and no amount of science denial is going to change that fact. But when a person is the kind of Christian who believes that God is going to destroy the world as prophesied in the bible, after lifting a few saved persons into heaven, of course (and the person who is arguing that point ALWAYS counts themselves among the future saved), then what motive is there to want to try to use science to save the parts of the world that allow for humans and other life to survive in a precariously thin layer on the skin?
It’s a twisted form of mental gymnastics I will never understand. Climate change isn’t real and isn’t contributing to any natural disasters. But, the bible says the world will be destroyed in a series of natural disasters after God saves his chosen few. So natural disasters shouldn’t be prevented even if possible because it’s God’s plan to destroy the world anyway.
The bible is the ultimate source of fake news but when those who control our government and our economic resources adhere (or claim to adhere) to a majority religion that teaches there is nothing we can do about our changing environment and that we are all doomed, that’s when fake news turns into scary reality.
(photo credit: social media meme)