Floods In UK God's Punishment For Yadda Yadda... genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

My Two Cents

If I had a nickel for every time a religious leader said that natural disasters were god's punishment for some behavior they didn't condone, I'd give religion a run for its ill-gotten coffers. The latest pontification comes in response to the recent flooding that has plagued the United Kingdom. In typical fashion, a bishop in the Church of England assailed all of the usual suspects...gay marriage, immorality, greed, and the general decay of societal values.

The Rt Rev Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle, argued that the floods are not just a result of a lack of respect for the planet, but also a judgment on society's moral decadence.

"This is a strong and definite judgment because the world has been arrogant in going its own way," he said. "We are reaping the consequences of our moral degradation, as well as the environmental damage that we have caused."

The bishop, who is a leading evangelical, said that people should heed the stories of the Bible, which described the downfall of the Roman empire as a result of its immorality.

"We are in serious moral trouble because every type of lifestyle is now regarded as legitimate," he said.

"In the Bible, institutional power is referred to as 'the beast', which sets itself up to control people and their morals. Our government has been playing the role of God in saying that people are free to act as they want," he said, adding that the introduction of recent pro-gay laws highlighted its determination to undermine marriage.

"The sexual orientation regulations [which give greater rights to gays] are part of a general scene of permissiveness. We are in a situation where we are liable for God's judgment, which is intended to call us to repentance."

I've also tried my hand at prognostications. Many years ago when I was in high school, I predicted that the unbridled molestation of boys by priests and the abject disregard of the practice by those in positions of authority would result in swarms of locusts and countless forms of pestilence.

As it turned out, the only thing that happened was that one of the priests fell into a ditch on his back while drunk and called out for someone to help him out. I've always viewed my act of charity in lending him a hand to be my own personal get out of hell free card.

The funny thing is we rarely hear about the rewards of our good deeds...an oversight I attribute to a fundamental belief on the part of religious types that pointing out sin is a far more effective tool for controlling the flock and raising money. We might not be as malleable if we thought we were in god's good graces.

I've often wondered if one could conclude that religious types were out of touch with god since they've been making these types of predictions for centuries and yet the world seems to keep on turning. Maybe in the end none of us mortals have the ability to make sense of the many random acts that accompany this human existence. Perhaps that alone should be instructive and lead us to live life to the fullest knowing our demise is beyond our control...and beyond the control of those who want us to believe otherwise.

Anyway, that's my two cents on the subject. That's the best I can do until we have a few more natural disasters and those nickels start rolling in.

Daniel DiRito | July 1, 2007 | 6:24 PM
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