The Challenge of Responsibility

There must be something wrong with me. I’m supposed to be a Christian. But apparently that means something that I’m not, that I never have been comfortable with. How can I pray for a blessing for myself when the cost of that blessing is the suffering of others? How can I be grateful to God for sparing me from something at the cost of other people’s lives? How can I give thanks for my life, my health, my prosperity when there are those who are in desperate situations?

I can’t understand it anymore. I watched my facebook timeline being populated with prayers for Hurricane Matthew to bypass Jamaica. Those prayers were being uttered even though the result of a positive response would mean that thousands of lives would be lost in Haiti. Is this our definition of benevolence, is this what we consider to be mercy? That which spares only us, with little or no regard for others?

Are we saying there are no Christians in Haiti or in any of the countries that are regularly devastated by weather phenomena? That there was no-one there asking God to spare them…? Are we saying that in other territories where hurricanes or typhoons or monsoons claim thousands of lives, that there is not one single solitary soul there with the direct line to God that we think we have? What really goes through our minds when a weather system takes a turn from us? Do we think we are so good, so holy, so worthy and others so bad, so irreverent and so unworthy, that God keeps sparing us to their detriment?

The hypocrisy weighs on me. I want no part of it. Because the devastation and loss of life wrought by natural disasters, acts of God, are on us. Greed and corruption have rendered this earth unsafe. Weather systems and earthquakes are natural occurrences and form as a matter of course. They are a part of the intelligent design that we believe was brought into being by God. They are not punishment for misdeeds or retribution for transgressions. The negative effects of them can be mitigated, could have been avoided altogether if we had taken care of the earth that was given to us. If we didn’t constantly try to strip it of its resources at unsustainable rates, all countries would have the natural infrastructure to withstand  natural weather phenomenon.

Christianity and religion in general is fraught with dissension, selfishness, hypocrisy and hate. It has lost its way. The God I believe in and the Jesus I learned about do not curry favour. Those stories were constructed for population control and to establish supremacy.  When religion starts teaching that blessings are some kind of reward and the religious are unable to see past their own needs in the name of Jesus, the problem becomes nearly insurmountable. We spew such nonsense and build our faith on unrealism and the words and works of man and then make excuses when we don’t get what we want or when we see inexplicable suffering.

That’s it for me. I will continue to believe in a God that expects me to take responsibility for the protection and preservation of this earth, in the teachings of Jesus that require me to treat others the same way I want to be treated and to live at peace with all. That means I will not utter, support or participate in prayers intended to pass suffering from me and mine unto others. I will not wish ill for others or callously disregard their suffering and blame it on their lack of faith or holiness. I will not ask God for improbabilities and impossibilities – like for a fully formed storm to dissipate as though it never existed – and then ‘concede’ that the resulting destruction and devastation are ‘His will’ when that prayer request does not manifest. I will claim responsibility for my well-being and the well-being of my fellow humans and will always first acknowledge that just like the garden of Eden, we are in charge here and it is our actions that will preserve or destroy this earth.

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