There were recently a slew of tornadoes that pummeled my old hometown of Hattiesburg, MS. This, of course, brought loads of panic as any disaster does. Twenty-four hour news reporting, storm-chasing, and radio reporting have been rampant since the incident. That is understandable, considering people want a little excitement amongst the monotony of every day life. However, after watching a newscast on youtube of a church that got hit, I had somewhat of an epiphany while in my extreme state of inebriation. Before I share with you this epiphany, let me paraphrase the newscast: It basically showed a pastor giving God the glory for saving him from this disastrous happenstance. I have no problem with this whatsoever. I do have a problem with the theological principle behind it, however.
Let us take into consideration this atrocious statistic: two children die every day in Africa¹. This is a sad but true fact. Human life, according to most people (particularly Christians) is equal. Furthermore, most Christians would place a certain importance on those in third world countries over your typical American citizen. I state this simply because there are thousands of mission trips each year, outside of this country. Trips with wishes and desire to save souls and feed these hungry people. Considering the idea that human life is equal, these same individuals could travel to the downtown area of their given city and save lives, but they don’t. I state this fact because I am curious, why is a pastor’s life, regardless of his message, ideologies, or thought process, worth more than the two African children that died? At least five have died since you began reading this post.
This is yet another paradox found within Christianity. The family of four that sits and thanks God for their food every night may as well be thanking him for not allowing them to be born in a third world country². This makes no sense. Most would state that the reason behind this is that the United States was founded on Godly principles. This statement, although true, does not change that fact that children that die in their infancy have no choice. I see no logic behind assigning blame to the country when the entity (the African in this case) has no control over what happens.
Oppositely, you have individuals of the same faith that claim that natural disasters are God’s form of punishment. This is not proprietary to Christianity. This rings true to most religions. This too is contradictory, assuming that the mentioned religion defines all humans as equal. I realize that this isn’t always the case, but it IS the case for well over half of all religions. If you think that this argument is invalid, do a simple Google search about “hurricane Katrina” and read through the articles claiming that God had intentions of destroying New Orleans as he did Sodom and Gomorrah. You will then fully comprehend my point.
This post in no way is an intent to bash followers of the Christian faith, it is simply a problem that exists within most first world countries. To most of us, those people don’t exist. Although this sounds harsh, it is true. Most individuals do not see those African children as a true human being. The amount of food that is gorged by your average every day American could feed most of these children for a month, yet nothing is done about it. This is also not an attempt to solve the world’s hunger problems. The purpose is to present yet another paradox found within the Christian faith, particularly that of modern day America.
1 – Heatherly, Leonard. “3000 Children Die Daily.” Christian News Wire. N.p.. Web. 11 Feb 2013.
2 - Vargas, Jeffrey. Internet Chat Interview. 03 Feb 2013.