March 5, 2012

"Another good reason to want to go to Heaven? Hell will be full of liberals."

Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in the East Limestone, Alabama, on Friday, March 2, 2012.

"It’s probably worth bringing you what liberal firebrand Mike Malloy said last week on his radio show as storms ravaged the South.

“Their God … keeps smashing them into little grease spots on the pavement in Alabama, and Mississippi, and Arkansas, and Georgia, and Oklahoma,” Malloy says in his broadcast from Friday. “You know, the Bible belt, where [in a mocking voice] they ain’t gonna let no goddamned science get in the way, it says in the Bible, blah blah blah blah blah. So, according to their way of thinking, God with his omnipotent thumb reaches down here and so far tonight has smashed about 20 people into a grease spot on highway 12, or whatever the hell highway they live next to.” --

A girl attending mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church sits in a pew in front of clothing and supplies that have been collected to aid victims of a tornado in Henryville, Indiana, on March 4, 2012. The church was in the path of a tornado that destroyed much of the town.

The town of Holton fire fighters (from left) Shaun Kreider and Eric Grossman and Town Marshal Bob Curl (right) bow their heads in prayer during a non-denominational church service for people that lost loved ones or are dealing with their destroyed homes after a tornado passed through the town on March 4, 2012 in Holton, Indiana. The Holton Methodist Church held the service due to the other churches in town being too damaged to be used.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 5, 2012 12:15 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I'll take being a grease spot on the highway to being a grease fire in hell.

Posted by: mushroom at March 5, 2012 12:43 PM

Mike Malloy seems joyous of this disaster occurring.

Yep, Fighting words, indeed. I just hope they stay merely words. :(

Posted by: Cond0010 at March 5, 2012 12:48 PM

I had to quit listening to Beck this morning because I felt like saying FUCK the whole day long. I still feel like saying it, but I'll settle for putting it in writing here.

Posted by: Jewel at March 5, 2012 1:04 PM

Using these visuals to contrast Malloy's vile rant is perfect. Hope you don't mind but I will add this post to my daily must read links tomorrow.

Posted by: Derek Alexander at March 5, 2012 1:24 PM

Following Malloy's logic, that would be the same God that slipped the HIV virus to a whole passel of perverted city slickers.

I don't think this is a productive line of argument for Good Ol' Boys OR Yankees.

Posted by: Mike Anderson at March 5, 2012 1:27 PM

Yet, passive and cowardly conservatives will still go out of their way to exclude their commie-lib friends, co-workers, neighbors from the commie-lib effort to destroy the country and make us wards of The State. "Just because X believes what Obama believes is no reason we can't still play cards on Wednesday."

The commie-libs politicize everything (can't buy grapes, the grape pickers are on strike. Are those free-range carrots?) Undercover conservatives never punish their enemies and their enemies take advantage of that.

Posted by: Scott M at March 5, 2012 1:39 PM

The best single essay I have ever read on this kind of issue (God and the problem of suffering, not God and the problem of Leftists) was by Gerard Baker of The [UK] Times, penned just after the Dec. 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis. I cannot find it anywhere extant online, but fear not, I saved it way back then and am posting it whole below.

From The Times, January 6, 2005

Spare us this disaster drivel
by Gerard Baker

NATURAL DISASTERS bring out the best philanthropic instincts in the human soul. Unfortunately they also seem to bring out the most insufferable theological drivel from the human brain. There have been almost as many words written and spoken about God since the tsunami in the Indian Ocean as there have been dollars, pounds, euros and yen contributed to the relief effort. Unlike the money, however, the verbiage is doing little to advance the human condition.

In a state of grief and suffering I can understand that anyone’s faith will be tested. I can only guess at the anger and pain that the bereaved feel and I could not blame one of them for directing it like a guided missile at the very foundation of whatever beliefs they have.

What is harder to take is the smug way the ubiquitous “God is dead” crowd in the media have seized on the tragedy as some sort of vindication of its creed. It is unedifying to say the least to behold scientists and philosophers on both sides of the Atlantic waving the shrouds of hundreds of thousands of victims as a debating trophy.

Even the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the disaster understandably caused people to doubt the existence of God. Since the leadership of the Church of England has generally acted as though it did not really believe in God for most of the past 20 years, perhaps we should not be too disappointed. I am reminded of Benjamin Jowett, the 19th-century Master of Balliol College, Oxford, who once instructed a pupil: “My child, you must believe in God, despite what the clergy tell you.”

But for those of us who consider ourselves theists of a slightly less flaccid sort, this emerging consensus that “God doesn’t exist because if he did there would be no disasters” is rather lame. The tsunami cannot, in reason, have any possible bearing, by itself, on the question of whether or not there is a God. It cannot amount to a revelation, or even a confirmation, that God does not exist. In logic, the poor suffering Muslims in Indonesia who think it was a sign of God’s wrath are less evidently wrong than those who insist that it disproves God’s existence.

We ask: why would God allow such suffering? A perfectly legitimate question, of course. But it seems to suppose that there is an uniquely belief-undermining quality about a human calamity on such a massive scale. Why on earth should that be? We know all too well that undeserved pain, injury, disease, and loss of life are daily facts of life for hundreds of millions of people on the planet. Indeed, presumably in the course of human history, billions of people, rich and poor, weak and strong, have suffered and died from causes not of their own making but as a result of a terrible accident.

We tend to see natural disasters as especially faith-threatening, I suppose, partly because of their scale, but partly also because for most of the first few thousand centuries of human history such events were ascribed to some divine force. It is as though, somewhere in our genes, there is a tendency to take a little too literally the insurance company terminology that describes earthquakes and hurricanes as “acts of God”.

If, then, what the atheists are attacking is the notion of an all-seeing, all-powerful benign deity, constantly engaged in and altering the tide of human events, they do not need a tsunami to prove their point. The knowledge that just one child somewhere was dying of cancer would bring the whole fantasy crumbing down.

As the atheist Ivan Karamazov puts it to his devout brother Alyosha in Dostoevsky’s novel: “Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last. Imagine that you are doing this but that it is essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature . . . in order to found that edifice on its unavenged tears. Would you consent to be the architect on those conditions?”
We can stipulate then, as American lawyers like to say, that the tsunami, tragic and horrific as it is, is simply irrelevant, or at least supernumerary, to the question of whether a benign God exists.

This not some idle tilt at the atheists. Putting a natural disaster such as this in the context of the anonymous enormity of human suffering helps us to understand a little more clearly, what it is that believers believe about humanity, and the complex nature of its relationship with life and God.

Put it this way: imagine for a moment, that there were not only no earthquakes, floods and storms, but that there was no innocent suffering and never had been in the history of the earth. Imagine if, every time a faulty gene was on its way to being transmitted to an unborn child, the hand of God dipped in and the gene was corrected. Imagine a God frantically circling the globe redirecting every train headed for a faulty bridge, reprogramming every failed computer in a hospital operating theatre, and printing money every time some undeserving chap got down on his luck.

Imagine, in other words, if everyone since the beginning of time lived to a ripe old age and died in his bed, or at least died a death precisely commensurate with his moral contribution to the earth’s happiness.

Such a fair, challengeless world might be a wonderful place to live. But I don’t think that it would be recognisably human. If we have reason to doubt the point of our existence in this world, surely we would understand it even less in that one. And if I were God, and had created Man, I am not quite sure that I would see the point either.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at March 5, 2012 2:43 PM

I live in Canada so I don't know who that Malloy person is, but humane people don't gloat over the misfortunes of others, no matter what their political or religious persuasions might be.

The intellectual matter under consideration here is theodicy. Theodicy tries to reconcile human suffering with the belief in a supreme deity that is all-good and all-powerful. Two alternatives present themselves: (1) the deity is not all-good because he has caused suffering; (2) the deity is all-good, but cannot be all powerful because he has allowed something or someone else (like the Devil) to cause suffering.

The Baker article you provide gives as good an answer as any, such as the Book of Job in the Bible.

Posted by: Gloria at March 5, 2012 4:20 PM

Proving once again that Leftism is a form of religious Gnosticism: the cool people vs. the uncool. At its heart, it really doesn't give a shit about the little guy---it's cruel and oppressive.

Posted by: ahem at March 5, 2012 5:19 PM

Now, now, Gerard... we mustn't discuss social issues where the Progs might hear.

Posted by: GaGator at March 5, 2012 5:32 PM

How is what Malloy said not much much worse than Limbaugh?

Posted by: mare at March 6, 2012 6:23 AM

@mare: Silly! Malloy isn't part of the vast Right Wing Conspiracy, therefore any vile thing coming out of his mouth does so with impunity.

Posted by: MOTUS at March 6, 2012 11:21 AM
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