God and spirituality
natural disasters happen?
Was God responsible?
||"....there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the
LORD do all these things." Isaiah 45:7-8, King James Version of the
Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament).
"Why did you do this to us, God? What did we do to upset you?"
The plea of an elderly woman who lived in devastated village in southern India's Tamil Nadu
state, trying to make sense of the 2004 tsunami disaster that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia, India, the East coast of Africa, etc. 1
"How could a benevolent god visit such horror on ordinary people?,"
Peter Graff, Reuters news agency. 1
"...the Bible does indeed say that God kills people because of sin, and
that he is going to send even more disasters to this planet, and kill most of
the people on it, because of sin." Anon 2
||"I try to make sense of it all: how a loving, compassionate God is
trying to send us a message about our sins. But then my beliefs disintegrate
when I see the row upon row of children's coffins." Excerpt from an
Email sent to this web site.
About God's role:
Beliefnet conducted a poll of its visitors concerning whether God has "a
role in natural disasters like hurricanes." Results as of 2005-SEP-24 were:
||45%: Although I believe in God, the supernatural has nothing to do with
any specific natural disaster.
||28%: Yes, disasters are sent by God, but we don't know what the purpose
||12%: God is testing us.
||8%: God is punishing us.
||8% God doesn't exist and disasters like this are just forces of nature.
I normally try to keep
my personal beliefs out of our essays, but will make an
exception in this case. We were surprised that more than one person in four
believes that God creates disasters like the South Asian Tsunami and the Katrina
Hurricane in order to send us
some sort of message, causes the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and major
dislocation to millions of people, and yet does not make that message clear. We
are at a loss to understand this position. A God who is omnipotent obviously has access to the Internet, email, TV broadcasting, radio broadcasting, etc. which God could use to explain exactly what human behavior needs correction.
Topics covered in this section:
We attempt to describe the diversity of
beliefs about the reasons why natural disasters like the south Asian tsunami of 2004 and hurricane
Katrina of 2005 etc. happened and why so many humans were killed.
As with most sections in this web site, we expect that visitors will see
their own beliefs documented here, and may become somewhat enraged at the conflicting
beliefs of others who do not share their beliefs. That is to be expected because we attempt to explain all viewpoints on different topics.
Peter Graff, "Faiths Ask of Quake: 'Why Did You Do This, God?'," Reuters, 2004-DEC-30, at:
"Swedish pastor disowns US hate site," The Local, Sweden, 2005-JAN-07, at:
Copyright © 2005 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally posted: 2005-JAN-01
Latest update: 2014-MAR-14
Author: B.A. Robinson