Friday, January 07, 2005


Religious groups continue to step up to the plate for relief efforts: the Catholic Diocese of Boise has joined the Catholic Relief Services effort. CRS has pledged $25 million, which is $10 million more than...oh, never mind.

The UMC is chipping in $750,000, and as mentioned above Christi Charity/World Vision is reworking its Christmas gift program to help victims. And if you're not doing anything tomorrow, you can stop by Grace ELCA in Elmore Ohio. They're hosting a pancake breakfast for relief efforts.

Mmmm, Lutheran pancakes...

GetReligion has some excellent thoughts on the theodicy issue:

Even a story of a premature baby, born as its mother was fleeing from the surging waves, sets Rosenbaum's teeth on edge. Because the child's father praises "God's grace" for allowing the baby and the mother to come through alive, our modern-day wannabe Job launches into the following: "If you believe that God intervened to save this one little life, you have to believe that He chose not to intervene to save the lives of all the other children. He wanted them dead."

I'd issue some kind of grand retort here but, like I said, this stuff just does not move me. That people are rotten, or that the earth shakes, it seems to me, do not count for much against the possibility of a good and loving God whose actions in this world are not always easy to discern or explain. Jeremy Lott

and our favorite, from tmatt:

Caught up in the disaster, they had no time for religious ceremonies of any kind. In Sri Lanka, as in coastal southern India and along the beaches of Indonesia, there was only time to dig huge holes in the ground and shovel in the dead. "In this kind of tragedy, there is no religion," said Syed Abdullah, a local imam in the ancient south Indian port of Nagapattinam, where Muslims, Hindus and Christians have lived together peacefully for centuries. "Let the dead be buried together. They died together in the sea. Let their souls get peace together."

We wish we could say all the reactions had been so savory. Here's Rush Limbaugh's reaction, via the Gutless Pacifist:

I have been suspicious of these numbers from the get-go. First day, 12,000; then 14,000; then 50. Then 60 then 100, then 140 -- there was even a number, 400,000 thrown around out there. And it just -- who's verifying this?

And here's a release from Pravda Agape Press, headlined "Tsunami Survivors Desperate for Help, Open to Gospel".

So now we've established that the tsunami was not only an opportunity to deride other people's religions, it's also an opportunity to criticize the media and an opportunity to evangelize.


For our money, we'll stick with this kind of religious response:

Thanks to Catholic News Service for the link.

Christianity Today, as always, has the most thorough roundup of links.


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