Another Theocrat blames sin for Katrina

The author (Feder) is a conservative Republican with strong ties to Bush.

Money Quote:

"Regarding the way God works in the world, there are four possibilities:

1. There is no God and everything that happens is the result of the random collision of molecules. (AR: Bingo!)

2. There is a God, but he’s an absentee landlord. He arranged the world, including nature, as a self-regulating mechanism, then sat back and allowed it to function on its own.

AR: the non-interventionist God of Einstein and Spinoza - it was because of this view that Spinoza's religious contemporaries accused him of agnosticism.

3. There is a God and he controls everything, down to the minutest detail. If a certain leaf falls from a particular tree, it’s because he wants that leaf to fall from that tree. (Regarding the actions of humans, this would seem to negate the concept of free will.)

AR: All major conceptions of God run into the problems of Free Will and determinism. This version only more obviously so than the others, it also goes without saying that God would be morally responsible for everything from the Holocaust to Sept 11 - as no human moral agency is possible if God is ultimately responsible for everything.

4. There is a God who usually allows nature, or individuals, to follow their own course or path. But sometimes he intervenes to create a specific outcome, or to fire a warning shot across the bow of an errant people. When this happens, we call the result a miracle (thereby recognizing that it is supernatural) – as when He parted the Red Sea for the Children of Israel, or when the American Revolution succeeded, against impossible odds.

AR: In truth, this is by far the most difficult position to maintain. That She interferes with the world periodically to choose sides, rescue puppies, damn the wicked with storms, etc., is a fantastic claim. It requires; proof of God's existence, proof of Her meddling with the world not explainable by natural forces (it wouldn't hurt to get an explanation for exactly 'how' God interferes with the worlds events, but I don't see that forthcoming) and lastly, proof of Her moral choice in acting the way She is claimed to have.

Of these theories, the fourth seems the most plausible.

AR: Say what?

And so, it is not unreasonable to inquire: With the devastation wrought on New Orleans (and surrounding areas) was God trying to tell us something?

AR: Applying what I just said above;

1. No evidence for God is present in a hurricane. Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon and science has a strong understanding of how and why they form, and what forces make them occasionally very deadly.

2. No evidence exists that God interfered in any way with this particular hurricane (Katrina). It did not suddenly speak with a voice to the residents of NO, nor did it vanish suddenly in a puff of flame, or otherwise violate the natural laws we know to govern storms. It was just a big hurricane - exactly the kind that scientists, meteorlogists and New Orleans residents have been predicting would hit them for many years.

3. Even if we assumed that God does exist, and that She was involved in hurling a hurricane at the Gulf Coast- it is not at all clear that there was a moral purpose in doing so. But even assuming that New Orleans was God's target, why would She also wipe out Biloxi Mississippi? Why not wipe out, say, the forces resisting the US occupation of Iraq? Wouldn't that clearly and unambiguously put God on our side?

No, the fact is that bad weather killed New Orleans, and the people responsible for managing both the disaster relief and the disaster prevention were cronies on the take - and allowed it to happen through their malfeasance.

That said, is anyone surprised the religious right seeks to blame gays, hedonists, and the godless for the failings of the GOP?

I know I'm not.

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