Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fear Mongering


Someone was suggesting that it was the increasing secularism of American schools and the atheism of Chinese society that brought about the Sandy Hook shooting spree and the Chengping stabbing incident. Someone else said God wouldn't let the innocent suffer so that he can make a point. My answer to both:

Well, in the story of the Exodus, the Tenth Plague of Egypt was God coming down at midnight and causing the death of every firstborn child because the pharaoh wouldn't let his Hebrew slaves go. In the story of David and Bathsheba, God struck down the adulterous couple's infant lovechild because David caused Bathsheba's husband to die in battle so he could have the woman for himself. In the story of Elisha, God sent bears to kill 42 children who mocked the prophet's baldness. Job's kids were among those taken away from him because God wanted to prove to Satan that Job would remain faithful come what may.

So, yeah, kids can become collateral damage when Jehovah wants to make a point. These stories probably made sense to the Israelites but they're horrible to us because our sense of morality has already evolved beyond such barbarism.

But more to the point: was secularism the cause of the Chengping stabbing incident and the Sandy Hook shooting spree?

Let's look at the facts: The U.K, Finland, Japan, Germany, and Canada are much more secular than the U.S. but they don't get incidents like this. What's the difference? Gun control laws in the U.S. are much more lax than in the countries I mentioned, meaning psychopaths can get access to firearms much more easily in the U.S. than in these countries.

Let's look at the Chengping incident now: China is a largely atheist nation. They get a few dozen kids hurt in a stabbing spree. Not dead. Hurt. The Philippines, a nation mostly comprised of Roman Catholics, gets hundreds dead in a typhoon, including schoolchildren. Not hurt. Dead.

Interpreting tragedy to fit into how we desire the community to behave is fear mongering. The trouble with fear mongering is everyone can fit events into anything to support their desires. Typhoon Pablo? It's because you Filipinos won't listen to your bishops. Or is it because bishops are trying to prevent a good law from being passed? Anti-RH bill hero Pacquiao lost to Marquez? He thinks it's a sign from God that he must double his efforts to fight the bill. Or is it because God is telling him to stop fighting the bill?

Let's just stop using other people's tragedies to advance our own beliefs. Please. If there is a benevolent God, he/she/it is probably not the cosmic-powered psychopath we've read about in the Bible. If he is, then he's not worth being worshiped. Whatever it is we believe in, let's stop fear mongering. It's barbaric.

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