JACKSON, Tenn. — God is not an abstraction at Union University. Here, business classes might begin with a prayer. Biology students are encouraged to take creationism as seriously as they do evolution.
So what does it say about the nature of God that the campus was shredded this week by a barrage of tornadoes? What does it say that no lives were lost, despite $40 million in damage?
What does it say that more than 50 lives were lost across the South this week? What does it say that the vast majority of homes and businesses (including, I am guessing, porn shops) were left untouched?
It says (drum roll): nothing.
Because, to the atheist, living and dying was a matter of dumb luck, the laws of physics, and building construction.
Because, to the theist, it’s all part of God’s good and loving plan and (for most of them) no amount of evidence to the contrary will change their mind.
“Basically, I know God kept everyone at this school safe,” said Amber Campagna, an 18-year-old freshman. “I don’t know why God let it happen — but I really believe he was testing every student here.”
Some people he tests. Some people he crushes to death under what used to be their home.
Because, hey, God is love.
C’mon, give the guy a kiss.
A Dean from the *cough* university *cough* continues:
God’s motive for destroying the school, he said, “is probably in the realm of the things that belong to the Lord. . . . But what we can say is, look at the solidarity here. Why do we have people from the whole country rallying around this cause? I think that says something about what God has revealed to us.”
Wow, so only fifty-something people had to perish and only millions upon millions of dollars of damage had to be done just to get the 2000 students at Union to come together. I am thinking perhaps a free concert by a popular band would have accomplished the same thing, without all the heartbreak.
Why are people around the country rallying to help out? Because we’re sympathetic animals, especially to the group, and particularly when the cost to us of feeling good about ourselves is little more than writing a small check and clasping our hands toward the heavens. I guess if world hunger and genocide can’t spur us humans to come together, revealing our inner goodness through natural disasters close to home is a close second.
And this guy’s the Dean? Wow, quite the education you kids must be getting there. Although, I suppose it’s pretty easy to calculate the various aspects of a circle when you think Pi is equal to three.
Later he discussed some of the lessons that could be taught. He spoke of Job, the good man who was so vexed when God allowed him to be burdened with great misfortunes.
He spoke of Rodney Stark, the contemporary sociologist who has argued that early Christian communities thrived in Greco-Roman cities thanks to the mutual aid they exhibited during disasters and plagues.
“It’s not a religion of fear,” Thornbury said.
Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Whoops. So much for that. Guess that explains the general lack of knowledge in such institutions.
“Really, I’m just thankful I’m alive,” said Bare, 22, who was raised in Ecuador by Christian missionary parents. “These things don’t really matter at all. God completely protected our lives, and that’s what matters.”
And the people who God decided to smite? Well, they probably had it coming, huh?
Some people make me sick.