Humans love to blame God for things that humans do. A letter to the editor in my local rag called out the state of North Carolina for attributing Duke of Hazardous’s tar sands spills as “acts of God” (the precise term was “natural disaster”), though it was the Duke, not God or nature, who failed to maintain the retention ponds which failed to retain.
At the Tampa Bay Times, Timothy Egan recalls visiting some 25 years ago the site of the recent mudslide in Washington. He points out that it, too, was no act of God, but an act of man.
Almost 25 years ago, I went into one of the headwater streams of the Stillaguamish with Pat Stevenson, a biologist with the American Indian tribe that bears the same name as the river and claims an ancient link to that land. The rain was Noah-level that day — just as it had been for most of March.
Stevenson pointed uphill, to bare, saturated earth that was melting, like candle wax, into the main mudslide. Not long ago, this had been a thick forest of old growth timber. But after it was excessively logged, every standing tree removed, there was nothing to hold the land in place during heavy rains. A federal survey determined that nearly 50 percent of the entire basin above Deer Creek had been logged over a 30-year period. It didn’t take a degree in forestry to see how one event led to the other.
Persons do love to hide behind God to escape responsibility for their own evil, venality, and hate. Indeed, entire religions thrive on enabling persons to blame God for their own evil, venality, and hate.
Blaming God is a growth industry.