The atheists are at it again - remonstrating that the storms and tornados that ravaged the Midwest and parts of the South late last week are evidence of the stupid, bitter clinging to God and religion of the so-called Bible Belt. Gerard Vanderleun quotes "liberal firebrand" Mike Malloy, who said on his radio show:
"Their God … keeps smashing them into little grease spots on the pavement in Alabama, and Mississippi, and Arkansas, and Georgia, and Oklahoma," Malloy says in his broadcast from Friday. “You know, the Bible belt, where [in a mocking voice] they ain’t gonna let no [profanity] science get in the way, it says in the Bible, blah blah blah blah blah. So, according to their way of thinking, God with his omnipotent thumb reaches down here and so far tonight has smashed about 20 people into a grease spot on highway 12, or whatever the [profanity] highway they live next to."Malloy's mocking tone does not bother me. It is his scorn for that which he absolutely does not understand that betrays his intellectual vapidity. He has no more conception of religious conviction, traditions or insight than a chimpanzee has of Einstein's theory of general relativity. Worse, in his smug, anti-intellectual liberalism (all liberalism today is anti-intellectual) he neither wishes to learn about that which he mocks, nor is he able even to agree that there might be something there to learn.
But the people afflicted in Indiana know.
But in serious reply to nitwittery like Malloy's, I can recommend nothing better than British columnist Gerard Baker's January 2005 essay, "Spare us this disaster drivel." In December 2004, a massive sea floor earthquake sent enormous waves of tsunamis across the India Ocean, violently flooding coasts of Indonesia, Thailand, India and other lands. Probably about 250,000 people died, most in Indonesia, just minutes away from the epicenter for the tsunami to travel.
No sooner had rescue operations been mounted than religious scoffers began. Mr. Baker responded thus:
"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see him with my own eyes" Job 19:25-27a.
The Church rebuilds few buildings, but restores many souls. We stand with the great line of Hebrew, Jewish and Christian people who have declared that nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:39).
The tornados struck us in the days leading to Easter. But we are Easter people, bound to God in the love of Christ our Lord. Our calling is to share God’s love by word, deed and offering with the injured and the despairing. We understand that God was not in the wind, but is very present in the silence that follows. It is in that silence that we are to be the body of Christ for those who suffer.
That is what is completely opaque to Mike Malloy.