Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Sin and Natural Disaster

It always happens, that when there is a major disaster such as has befallen Haiti and before with the Tsunami and Katrina, some religious leader is quoted as saying, in effect, they had it coming. Usually, this will concern a conservative religious leader such as Pat Robertson thus allowing a swipe at both the "wacky right" as well as Christianity in general. The latest, as reported by Get Religion, is by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in the  Moscow Times.  It will be interesting indeed to see if it is followed in any depth in this country but as GR points out:

The bottom line: In Christian theology it is possible to believe that compassion and alms are Christian duties, while also believing that corporate sins may have mysterious consequences. The press likes this concept when it is applied to, oh, environmental issues and some aspects of American foreign policy.
Obviously this is a controversial and offensive stance in the modern world. It would be good if the press covered Kirill’s words and allowed intelligent, informed voices on both sides of this doctrinal debate to speak their minds. I am assuming, of course, that a transcript of what Kirill actually said is available, showing his words in context. more...

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