For the record, when it comes to massive disasters, it does not help to blame the victims or to insist that this so-called “act of God” (why in the world would we call disasters that?!?) is somehow justified.
I’m disgusted by and feel sorry for individuals whose understandings of God are so limited that they have to twist around other people’s suffering into some sort of divine retribution. Pat Robertson (who claimed that the earthquake and the poverty in Haiti happened because Haitians ‘made a pact with the devil’) and his ilk articulate a kind of faith that to me is so immature and inapplicable that it’s simultaneously pitiable and dangerous. Pitiable because the theories they espouse reflect a brokenness in them and a belief in a nasty monster of a God, and dangerous because sometimes they have microphones and TV cameras and seem to forget the awesome and daunting responsibility that comes with trying to claim to speak the Word of God to any audience, and falling back instead on own our words, our own fears, our own limitations.
Fellow United Methodist blogger Erik Folkerth wrote a very good post on the subject yesterday, and Don Miller of Relevant Magazine offered words of rebuke and compassion as well. Wise folks, who challenge me to be gentle and loving in the face of those who are often anything but.