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.

Bob Davis and Henry Schalizki Married in DC after Six Decades Together

          In 1942, Bob Davis and Henry Schalizki met while serving their nation during World War II.  They fell in love and have been a committed couple since 1948.  Over six decades they found the acceptance of friends, family, and even their military superiors (who invited them to events as a couple).  Now, in Washington, DC, they have finally been able to declare to those who know them, "We're married."

Bob in his days as a popular Baltimore radio announcer and Henry in the Navy

     The Washington Blade's video report of the couple's history and their wedding is embedded below.  

     Listening to their story, seeing their love, and their commitment, it's incredible that many  compassionate and honest religious people continue to believe that committed couples such as Henry and Bob are diabolical.   

     Click here for pictures of the wedding, via The Washington Post.
     Henry says one of the secrets to longevity in a relationship/marriage is "I'm always right and he gets his way."