Where was God?
The Editor, Sir:
After the devastating earth-quake in Haiti, many people asked, where was God? Was He aware of the impending earth-quake? If not, He is obviously not omniscient. Could He have prevented it? If He could but decided not to, He is not benevolent. If He could not prevent it, He is not omnipotent.
Paradoxically, the earthquake actually strengthened the religious fervour of the people. Perhaps few personified their beliefs better than an 11-year-old girl pulled from the rubble. Her legs were crushed but despite her appalling injuries, she was valiant to the end. She said, "Thank you God because you saved my life." Unfortunately, she was rescued too late. She later died. God was too late to save her. One can only guess her final thoughts before she expired.
What makes the Haitians so devout? One Haitian said: "Because in all poor countries, you have to believe in something. If they don't have that, they don't have anything." Believing in something (however misguided) does give one hope, and what is life without hope?
Televangelist Pat Robertson, famous for his foot-in-the-mouth gaffes, who by the way, once proclaimed "feminism is an anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practise witchcraft and become lesbians", said the Haitian earthquake was a blessing. According to him, the Haitians swore a pact with the devil: "Set us free from the French and we will serve you." Ever since, Robertson said, the Haitians have been cursed.
Haitians need not worry because, according to an obviously knowledgeable Jamaican cleric, God loves the Haitians, the poor and the oppressed. Perhaps God has greater plans for the Haitians. God does indeed work in mysterious ways.
Whatever the beliefs of the Haitians - God, Voodoo, etc - it will be their courage, resilience, and determination, and the overwhelming benevolence of the international brotherhood of nations that will bring about restoration of Haiti, not some unprovable pie in the sky deity.
I am, etc.,
Dr ETHON LOWE