I posted this in another place and I don't think I hit the right place.

After the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma which killed many people including children, one of the statements made by someone being interviewed was that the lord giveth and the lord taketh away.

How could anyone want to believe in such a monster?  

What is the group's take on such statements as this?

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Would that include the thousand-year period known as the Dark Ages, during which time anyone with ideas different from those of the Church were killed

Really?  Anyone with different ideas was killed?  For a full thousand years?  Amazing there were any Jews left for the Nazis, let alone tens of millions of them.

I assume you're just baiting the old academic.  You don't actually believe such nonsense, do you? 

Care to discuss all of those burned for wanting Bibles in a language other than Latin?

"Amazing there were any Jews left for the Nazis"

Couldn't afford to touch those - who would the kings who defended the Church borrow from?

It is a touchstone for those in tragedy and despair, like Job.  A reminder that all things in this life are transient - possessions will be lost, family members will die. 

I appreciate this sentiment. It's the same melancholy that can be found in all great literature.

My problem with it is the context. The story is of God allowing Job and his family to be tortured to prove a point to Satan. Now (ignoring for a moment the fact that this portrays God as capricious and fickle), this is a great metaphorical story, a statement on the human condition that should be appreciated for what it is: mythology. On par with any chapter from The Odyssey or Gilgamesh or any ancient religious tradition. But when millions of people believe in the literal truth of the Bible, we have to object. It is one thing to learn the lesson of the tale (que sera, sera) and apply it during a difficult time in one's life; it is quite another to believe that an omnipotent God literally sends tornadoes to kill his children sometimes, to believe that prayer to such a being will literally influence events, and to believe that this God is benevolent and worthy of our praise and worship (and time and money and respect).

But when millions of people believe in the literal truth of the Bible, we have to object.

Certainly.  I would join you in objecting as well.

When your house is left standing and your family is safe, it's "Thank the Lord!" but when your house is destroyed and your kids are drowned in their school, it's "The Lord works in mysterious ways. It's just a part of God's Plan."

I think belief in, and especially worshipping, this Celestial Thug will be considered, in a rational future, a mental disease.

Surely Bob it was part of your God’s plan? If he wanted them dead that is up to him. If you have the ability to talk to the creator of the Universe what exactly are you asking him for? To change his mind and reverse his decision?  This was an event he planned and set in motion and had over 13.8 billion years to reflect upon beforehand? He was set on it and its outcome on the lifes he changed forever. Maybe it is a test of faith?

Will you ask him to do something for the people he just devastated? Can you please tell us what the words you will use are? I find it fascinating that you think this form of telepathy works. Your god must have his reasons so now might not be the time for thousands of Christians to bug him about His terrible actions. When you become immortal yourself you will have billions of years to discuss it with Him. He seems in a bad mood now so maybe leave the praying out in case it angers Him. He wanted them dead.

Your prayers are your thoughts. They are in your head.

Surely Bob it was part of your God’s plan?

Why would you think that? 

Burning lots of carbon fossil fuels to trap atmospheric heat and create more violent weather patterns seems like a dumb human thing to do, born of greed and lack of personal responsibility. 

??? Your God has no plan for his children?  At least you are not denying climate change. So I suppose when Mt. Etna erupted centuries ago it was also the fault of those dumb humans "born of greed". I had not realised such weather patterns were just a modern day occurence. My science teacher must have been wrong when talking about volcanoes or tempests in the past They never happened!!


Have you ever met any kids in Ethopia?

Many of them are much happier than many kids in the U.S.   The suicide rate, at least, is lower.

Only a guess, no stats to back it up, but I'd bet that expectations and the suicide rate tend to run in tandem.

If I remember correctly, there was a decent set of anthropological studies summarized in SciAm a couple of years ago that showed high correlations of teen angst with western-style schooling.  Warehousing kids, leaving them with videos and such so adults can go do adult things.  The poorer countries where teens were expected to work alongside adults, as young adult apprentices, did not have anywhere near the teen mental health issues that we do.

There are far more profound forms of poverty than material poverty. 


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