Christians’ Favourite Delusions 10: God cares

dead-sparrow

@deadsparrow had just made his final Tweet.

The Bible says God controls the weather and 53% of Americans believe it. A further 17% say they don’t know or don’t want to say whether he does; evidently, they aren’t prepared to rule out the possibility, otherwise they would be among the 29% who know that he doesn’t.

I wonder what those who were hit yesterday by the typhoon in the Philippines think of God’s control of the elements? Was the destruction he brought about by sending Haiyan a mark of his love for mankind? Presumably not – destroying lives, homes, possessions and livelihoods hardly speaks of love.

Was it a punishment then? Right-wing Christians like to tell us that natural disasters are God’s judgement on human sin and our ‘shaking a fist at God‘ by redefining marriage to include gay people.  Why then does he consistently punish those in parts of the world which are already prone to extreme weather conditions? Why does he punish those who are already poor? Why does he send devastating weather to the fifth largest Christian country in the world, which doesn’t recognise gay marriage? It’s all a bit indiscriminate, wouldn’t you say? What sort of Almighty are we dealing with here, who can’t even direct his punishments at the right target? It doesn’t speak much of ‘control’.

Jesus might claim, in Matthew 10:28-31, that God cares even for the sparrows but this is another of his bare-faced lies. The evidence tells us otherwise: ‘God’ doesn’t care how many humans perish in storms, typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes and all manner of natural disasters. He doesn’t care how many lose their homes, loved ones and all they’ve worked for.

The weather, in fact, is random, largely unpredictable and indifferent to human and animal needs. If God exists, then he is as indiscriminate and uncaring as the weather he supposedly creates. But of course God is not needed to explain the weather; science tells us how it occurs in terms that don’t involve him. His very superfluousness – the same superfluousness we find in evolution and all the other ‘laws’ of the universe – is all the evidence we need that he doesn’t exist.

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