Posts Tagged ‘Earthquake’

    When several bad things happen in the world, it is natural to seek an explanation. Why did these things happen? Murphy-Gill, in his article “Did God cause the earthquake in Haiti? In the U.S Catholic magazine, says, “Answering this question can be confusing and difficult when we consider our faith in an all-loving and all powerful God” (46). Several people mention a false dilemma: if God is good and omnipotent, why did He not prevent the catastrophe? Epicurus argues, “If He could not avoid it, He is not omnipotent; if He did not want to avoid it, He is not benevolent”. The conclusion is that God does not exist, or at least He is not omnipotent or fully benevolent. An Earthquake or another tragedy proves that “there can be no God or no loving God”.                                                                                                                                            

   The earth is the abode of men. Disasters of all kinds occur at any time in various parts of the world. Again, if God is good and omnipotent, why did he not make the earth a safer place for men to living? So that these continual surprises that often impact innocent victims all over the world, resulting often in thousands of dead children, Would not happen.  According to other people, there is no need to put God in the midst of these disasters. He created the world as it is, and these types of disasters occur in nature. That is why these catastrophes are called “natural disasters”. Also, some people can say, “God can use natural phenomenon to punish bad people as he did with Egyptians with the ten plagues”.

     In schools, we are trained in the idea that science and faith are separate fields. Nothing is in common with each other. This view holds that God was taken away from the world after having created it. He does not intervene in the course of things on this earth.   Joel Schorn admits, “The world, its natural process and its creatures, including human creatures, are free to do as they want” (USC Magazine 41).  To imagine that God created the universe and left it to run itself apart from the Creator is a seriously flawed point of view. For Christian people He created the world to give it, and then to develop it properly according to the rules preset by the infinite wisdom of God.  

     By His power and His goodness, God created for man the best conditions for life on this earth. “He created man in His image and likeness.” The man is free to do whatever he wants. He took advantage of the great privilege of freedom. As a punishment, man lost the immunity from death and the preservation from suffering. This gives a solution to the dilemma that God does not exist or He is weak.  However, Majored Maguire in her article “was the tsunami an act of God? writes “how do we worship a God who has no power to stop earthquakes and tsunamis?”

    The surprise of the Indian Ocean tsunami was very that among the victims of the earthquake, “there was not found a single terrestrial animal body” (The Daily News). The animals sensed the approach of the giant waves, and they took refuge in high places. There was a case where the people of some islands saw the flight of the animals. They realized that a disaster was approaching, and they took refuge in high places. As in this case God gives us signals when something bad is coming. We do not, however, pay attention because we are distracted by concern for a better life.

     When we see the destruction and death which a natural disaster causes, we ask why? Why do we experience something so horrible? Why was there so much suffering? We hear many people answer that a natural disaster as a earthquake is a punishment from God as was Noah’s. The rainbow reminds us that God promised not to send a flood to destroy any more (Genesis 9:11-17). In the flood, God saved the righteous man Noah and his family, but we know that many just people die during an earthquake. Seeing the case of Noah, we learn that the earthquake was not an act of God. Some people say that the earthquake is a punishment for bad people, others person say it was a punishment for such corruption. However, today many bad and corrupt people still alive. On the other hand, active and honest people are dead or have lost everything.

       If God were punishing all bad people would be dead and all good people would be alive. To say that God is the cause of the destruction not only shows a lack of logic, but it also shows a misconception and a misunderstanding of God’s divine punishment. If we think that God is an angrily looks down from heaven with eyes of accusation, and He’s eager to use the stick that He has in his hand, then it makes sense that this earthquake came from the hand of God. God is not like that. In Jesus, we see someone full of mercy, patience, and forgiveness.  Rev. Benke holds that “Jesus is God incarnate and the best revelation we have about what God is” (The Report, 43).

A tragedy has happened in El Salvador. A strong earthquake has killed many people. There are many injured people and their houses have been destroyed. They need to begin to live outdoors during the cold nights. Children are suffering more than adults are. The earthquake leaves an anguish of an uncertain future. The earth continues shaking and people are scared. Many cities are desolate their people have fled to safe places that the government has designated. The images are horrible: pain, sorrow, and sadness. Whole families have disappeared; an old woman lost her five children when their house fell down on them.  While the days are passing the news coming from the whole country and the conviction that the catastrophe is bigger than we thought.

To live in this country is always hard work. In this country, half of the people are poor. Another half live with difficulties that get worse when this catastrophes happen. The tragedy has been terrible for poor people. Now everybody talks about poverty in this country, but after a few days, the poverty will be forgotten for other interests. Some people who did not lose anything are asking, if the economy will fall down or, when people should be worried for the future of the victims.

It is easier to write about tragedy and evil than life and goodness. Briefly, we can say that in the middle of the tragedy life continues. People walking or in very damaged cars, carrying things on their heads and their children in their arms. The poor people know that it is a catastrophe and they need to be assisted. They wait for help from others and when they receive it; they cooperate.

With this sorrow, many questions come from people. All of them linked to God. Is God punishing us for our sins? The suffering is not a divine judgment for the sins of human beings. We cannot point to a suffering person as a bad person. The suffering comes from nature.

We can add that human beings’ misfortunes, at this time caused by earthquakes, are caused by physic forces not under human control and they effect bad and good people. The dead people were no more sinners than the people that survive. Therefore, the earthquakes and others natural disasters are not God’s punishments. We are more sinners when there are suffering people and we do not do anything to help them.

Some people can say, “God can use natural phenomenon to punish wrong situations as he did with Egyptians and the ten plagues”. It is right God can use it, but He is more identified with victims than the natural event.  God is holy, righteous, and just. God allows us to experience the consequences of our choices, but he never inflicts pain or humiliation just because of that choice.  However, some people argue that all these disaster are mentioned in the Bible; it means we are close to the end of the world.  Then, everything has a time to happen, God knows the time. Can we do something to avoid something planned by God? We can say that the earth has a process. Disasters have happened frequently in the past, but something is different now. The rivers, oceans, and the air are more contaminated than before. Moreover, our planet’s forests had been destroyed.  People look to live comfortably without paying attention to the bad actions that they do. For example, people cut down many trees to build malls or beautiful apartments. If our planet is changing and the results are bad, the big responsibility is ours.

This was a Saturday, in El Salvador, people were laughing, talking with friends, eating, drinking, and enjoying the moment. For my family and for me this was an important day, especially for my sister, because exactly in this day she was fifteen years old. We were celebrating it with relatives and friends. I was happy because in my house we never had had a party of this magnitude. All my uncles, aunts, cousins, my four grandparents, and my friends were there. All of them were happy for one reason: they were together; in other words we were together and it was very difficult to do. That was awesome; I thought that day would be unforgettable moment because everything was happiness.  Truly, this day is unforgettable, but it is not for a happy day.  In this day I feel something new, which I did not have experimented. I was looking for one of my cousins outside of my house, suddenly I saw that my house was dancing, the trees were shaking their branches, how if they wanted to take out their roots and begin to walk.  I begin to feel the movement of the earth, it was a big force like a big wave that moves a boat, but it was not water, it was the earth. Children crying looking for their parents, parents worried looking their children, everybody was scared. People begin to run looking for a safe place, but there was not a steady place, the earth was shaking itself. It was a terrible day.