I’m a listener of NPR, primarily because its commentators most rarely mouth the silliest things among those who inhabit MSM-land. Nonetheless, facepalm moments do occur, and since this is a blog that promotes skepticism, I’m going to pick on a commentary made today by Scott Simon in his “Haiti and the Hand of God.”
By now you’ve probably heard Christian televangelist Pat Robertson’s claim that the Haitian earthquake is a consequence of that country’s “pact with the devil” some two hundred years ago. This is standard fare for Robertson, so you’d think that most people by now would simply dismiss his blatherings as more incoherent rants of a loon rather than the outrage with which they were typically greeted. To his credit, Simon is with the former camp, but attempts to cut Robertson deeper with the view that “[I]t’s hard to detect the hand of God, much less His loving touch, in [Robertson’s] remarks.”
Now it’s symbolic of theism’s incoherency that the irony of this statement is completely lost on believers like Simon, for where is the “loving touch” of the “hand of God” detectable anywhere in all this? If Simon–or any other believer sees it–by all means please produce it. Because, right now, all the rest of us see is a lot of suffering. Needless. Gratuitous. Devastating. On a people already ground down by poverty, corruption, and horrible government.
If Simon were to delve a little deeper into his own theology, he’d realize he really has no basis to object to Robertson’s comments, because the latter could very well be right. As Isaiah 45:7 (NIV) reads: “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things” (emphasis mine). Makes you kinda wonder whether the loving touch of God’s hand is what produced the Haitian calamity.