See, with every natural disaster over the last four years, we’ve had to hear that God is warning us. Then, when Hurricane Sandy struck, many in the Religious Right proclaimed that this was God at work. We’ve heard that God also works in rape among other things. But this is the issue with theodicy that gets me – God can control the weather, God can cause rape, but God — even contrary to Romans 13 — somehow manages to lose elections.
I am not mocking the sovereignty of God — no, I relish in it; I am mocking those who believe that you can only proclaim the sovereignty of God when it makes you feel better. I return to Hurricane Sandy again. Was it a warning against voting for the President? Many thought so, but in the end, we found that this out-of-season-caused-by-the-gays storm persuaded people that the President is really the man for job and that bi-partisanship can return to Washington. Perhaps then, the storm was a warning against voting for a man who said he would rid us of FEMA. This is where Theodicy becomes a problem, doesn’t it? Because you begin to think you have the mind of God and when you realize you don’t, you second guess God.
So, what else happened last night? Allen West, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock were either denied seats or booted out. These were some of the vilest (serious) candidates in recent memory. Akin and Mourdock are not alone in their thoughts that many rapes are really rapes and that everything is God’s will. If rape is God’s will, then it is equally so that God has willed that these less-than-mentally-healthy candidates lose. Of course, this may all be for nought.
Maybe, just maybe God remains sovereign but allows us some measure of free will. This is why we fight so hard to change the evils we see in the world. This is also why we reap what we sow, why Hurricane Sandy is not a sign from God, but the results of climate change, human-made or cyclical. Further, the loss of Akin, West, and Mourdock did not happen because of the sinfulness of the voters or because God has somehow abandoned us. No, it is because at some point, partisan divides heal themselves when voters see the evil that lies in the heart of (these) men. Many pro-life voters voted against Akin, West, and Mourdock because of their extreme positions. Voters decided that they had had enough of the vileness from these people.
Maybe, just maybe, people will stop using God as a crutch – no more blame, no more threats, no more prayers for political victories; instead, maybe they will get off their lazy posterior and work, actually work, for a better future.
- The Problem With Natural Disasters For Christians: The Solution to Theodicy (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Mourdock, Conception, and Theodicy (theatlantic.com)
- Hurricane Sandy Spawns Right-Wing Theodicy (religiondispatches.org)