I haven’t commented on the Christchurch earthquake until now because the horror is too fresh to make any sense out of the situation. My prayers and thoughts go to those who have lost loved ones.
The only reason I comment now is because there are some people in this world who cannot seem to refrain from political or religious point-scoring. As if the tragedy of Christchurch is some bizarre tennis game.
There are the political point-scorers. The Standard has a particularly odious post “In praise of the bureaucracy“, in which one Mike Smith confuses the difference between bureaucracy and organisation. Believe me, I have participated in the construction of a civil defense plan and the last thing you want is the involvement of the bureaucracy. Bureaucrats contrive to slow everything down. In fact, a good civil defense plan does everything it can to bypass bureaucracy by appointing people with special powers for this expressed purpose.
However, Mr Smith’s post is not the truly odious section. Read the comments (but only if you have a strong stomach)
The increasingly strange Idiot over at No Right
Brain Turn, rails at John Key for declaring a National State of Emergency – apparently without having the least notion what this means. Apparently he thinks it means people can be arrested in Invercargill during dawn raids by jackbooted police. Andrew Geddes at Pundit does an excellent job of putting him straight. (Hat Tip Kiwiblog)
The even stranger Catherine Delahunty twitters:
“A grim day with the horror earthquake and welfare report came out worse than I ever imagined”
One can only vaguely surmise what is going on in her mind – equating the death of possibly hundreds of people and the complete disruption of a major city with the Welfare Working Group report. Some perspective would have been nice (Hat Tip Not PC).
Lest you think I am merely lefty-bashing in this post, let me tell you that the most egregious piece of Christchurch ping-pong has regrettably come from the Christian arena. DPF details a site run by people who seem to think that Christchurch suffered an earthquake because they hosted a Gay festival. I would have dismissed this as the ravings of some wacko had it not been for the fact that WhaleOil posts that Max Legg, Senior Minister of Victory Church in Auckland sent the following email to all MPs and other elected officials:
“However, I do believe this Quake is a sign also to all New Zealanders, that the Nation as a whole has to wake–up to serious mistakes along the way.
“Often these kind of acts, (eg.Quakes) are outside man’s control, and are warnings to tell us we are going off track.
“NZ can not go on murdering 18,000 unborn children, Undermining the God given authority of parents to discipline their children, Legalising prostitution , homosexual unions, (in kind to marriage), allowing youngsters to easily have access to alcohol, allowing repeat offenders to drive and kill.
“The punishments are not matching the crime, and on and on the list goes. These acts bring a curse on the Nation.”
While I may agree with many of Mr. Legg’s viewpoints on New Zealand, I simply cannot condone relating them to the earthquake in Christchurch. Does he really think that God slaughters innocent children because New Zealand as a nation is not walking a Christian path? I am uncertain which God he serves, but mine would do no such thing. Such a theology would seem to fly in the face of everything Jesus taught and everything he was sacrificed for.
As a doctor I have long been acquainted with the sufferings of others. I have long ago determined that the most pointless question to ask in the face of suffering is Why? To borrow an analogy from Genesis, that is an question straight from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – a question designed only to make the answerer appear clever. What is needed in the face of suffering is a question from the Tree of Life. That question is not Why? but How? As in – How can I help?
That is the only question Christians should ask about Christchurch, and the only answer they should seek.