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Hurricanes, Houston, and . . .

Howell Hurst People


While I wait on a few technical details to work out on the mini Video Studio I am creating to disappear these wordy printed commentaries, the current hurricane disaster has captured all our attention and returned me to a subject that always concerns me.

Why, I have always asked, is it that 90% of all Americans claim belief in a god, but their churches have never gotten organized to collaborate with one another to immediately handle any and all natural disasters that repeatedly occur?

 It strikes me that if a god exists, and if people really believe in their god and his/her message, why have their leaders never picked up a phone and called one another and actually created a central headquarters somewhere from which they could repeatedly collect donations from 100% of all believers and apply them to every recurring disaster?

 Whenever I ask this questions, people always tell me, have I considered how complicated this would be? Yes, I have. Would it not be far less complicated than going to the moon or fighting wars, both of which we have proved we are capable of.

 The conclusion I come to is that either no god exists, or the alleged believers “Belief”  is so tenuous that its validity comes into question. When I raise this point, other people tell me their scriptures say that disasters and their victims are simply part of life on earth, which we must accept.

 Which I can only answer by pointing out that if their god has actually created the entire Universe, and the Earth, and all its people, don’t they think that they with his/her help, can solve the relatively simple management problem of organizing 100% of all places of worship to comprehensively deal with natural disasters – which their god, by the way, apparently has also created?

 At this point, my friends and I always seem to get blogged down in the quicksand of rhetoric and emotion, become temporarily angry at one another, and stop talking for a while. It just becomes an uncomfortable subject no one cares to pursue, and we walk off, incoherently  mumbling to ourselves.

 It is surely an appropriate subject to raise on a Sunday such as this one, when the TV is reporting particularly on the tens of thousands of destitute racial minorities left utterly homeless and without adequate funds immediately arriving to comprehensively help them cope with the situation.

 Within a block of where I live, elegant churches exist whose parking lots are filled with BMW’s, Mercedes, Foreign Sports Cars, RV’s – the entire spectrum of luxury vehicles, while inside they donate to their particular place of worship I simply wonder how many of them are collecting funds to send to Houston and other cities to help those who now are without anything, except perhaps their own faith, that something positive will occur?

 How many are calling other worship places to create a national relief effort? How many of their members are suggesting their leaders do this?  It just seems a natural question to ask on a Sunday.

 Hopefully my cynicism does not mirror the attitude of those who do believe. I hope they are accepting this responsibility and acting upon it, rather than just preaching sermons to one another about how to lead their lives to insure they can live again after death.

 That will be a bit late to help those needing it now. I do not say all this to disparage, to belittle believers. Everyone has the right to his or her belief. I simply say it to put them thinking about the subject.


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