Saturday, January 01, 2005

Eco-Justice Notes - 12/31/04 - Earthquake, Tsunami and God

Another excellent edition of Peter Sawtell's Eco Justice Notes found here: Eco-Justice Notes - 12/31/04 - Earthquake, Tsunami and God.

Some great deeper theological reflections on the tsunamis and our reactions to them and what all this means for people of faith.

"God did not cause the earthquake and tsunami in some premeditated fashion to punish the wicked, to warn us of the impending end times, or to call the survivors into deeper compassion. (There are writers who have suggested each of these.) If we grow in compassion and relationship as a result of this tragedy, that is a blessing for us and the world. But God has better ways to nurture compassion than killing hundreds of thousands of people...

The intentions of God, and the workings of nature, are not all about humans. The whole universe is not centered on our experience. The Earth existed long before humans came on the scene, and it will be here long after we're gone. As we ponder the meaning of this event, we must do so in light of the entire history of this planet, and in the context of the entire web of life...

The scope of this event pushes us outside of our normal moral categories. There is no human cause behind the earthquake and the waves. The destruction has killed and displaced rich and poor alike -- although, of course, the long-term effects will be hardest on the poor. There are not, apparently, any gross failures or abuses in providing available relief and aid -- only the inability of local, national and international systems to respond adequately to such a widespread catastrophe. Blame and fault, sin and evil, are categories that just don't fit here. Rather than pointing fingers at others, we do better to acknowledge our own limitations...

It is in the long-term projects for rebuilding that we must work toward our best understandings of justice for all involved. Let us seek to establish societies that provide care and empowerment for the poor. Let us rebuild with a commitment to the most sustainable societies."

(emphasis mine)

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