Saturday, June 26, 2010

The BP Oil Spill, Religion, Blame, the Apocalypse, and the Will of the gods

     Whenever there is a major disaster, of either natural or human making, religious folks feel the need to use that disaster to promote their understanding of their individual gods' will.  The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is currently that rapturous religious appetite for blame. 

     Carl Gallups of the Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, thinks the oil spill is his Christian god's judgement on the United States because President Obama announced that the U.S.A. will no longer automatically support Israel in the United Nations. (Gallups also blamed hurricane Katrina on U.S.-Israli relations.)  Here's the video that explains how Gallups knows the mind of his god.


     Other Christian fundamentalists are blaming those with insufficient faith for the oil spill, which is the beginning of the apocalypse (Newsweek):
     Now blogs on the Christian fringe are abuzz with possibility that the oil spill is the realization of Revelation 8:8–11. “The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed … A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.” According to Revelation, in other words, something terrible happens to the world’s water, a punishment to those of insufficient faith.
     Lisa Miller of Newsweek blames the greed of Republican and the oil lobby:
     Yet through a biblical lens, it’s hard to see the oil spill as anything but God’s punishment for greed and a disrespect of Creation—and both of those sins fall mostly on the shoulders of the Republicans, who have been aggressively lobbying for more offshore drilling, without, obviously, ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place. (Remember “Drill, baby, drill”? According to OpenSecrets.org, Republicans in the last decade have far outstripped Democrats in donations from big oil, sometimes by a factor of four.) So the question for biblical literalists becomes one of political alliances. Does God wreak apocalyptic wrath on members of one’s own party—or only on the opposition?
     Yet, others, including President Obama in his address to the nation concerning the spill and Sarah Palin on Twitter, are turning to their gods for help, praying for an end the oil spill and help for those in its path.

     So whose god is in charge?

     Not the god of Pensacola's whitest beaches of the world.

1 comments:

FDeF said...

As I commented on Blue Truck, Red State:

"The event is tragic in the most profound sense. Not only can all of our collective wishing, praying, efforts and technology not halt the spillage or repair the damage, but we are all still compulsively hopping into our gas-guzzling vehicles and getting on crowded highways, and using more electricity and heating oil and plastics, etc., etc.pretending there is no connection between the two.

And tragically, these behaviors are as difficult, or more difficult to stop than the erupting oil well. They are just "controlled oil spills" polluting our air and waterways all over the world, just more slowly and less visibly than a gusher."

If we have a prayer, it should be for forgiveness - and not just the Republicans.