Last night, an EF-4 tornado struck the state of Oklahoma.
There are at least 54 dead with more expected as rescue efforts continue throughout the week.
The devastation is immense. Several survivors report that there was nothing else to do but take shelter and pray. Radio newscasts echoed the same advice.
Now, I'm wondering, because of the sheer power of such an event, how religion plays into this. You can't help but try to attribute this kind of event to something beyond our comprehension. People might say it was the work of a god. And what is the correlation between tornado alley and the Bible Belt? I'd venture to say there's a lot of overlap. It's a pretty good system, actually - pray to a god so that you survive. If you do, then you take that as proof of existence and your faith is strengthened. If you don't, well, you get to ask for an explanation face-to-face. People crying and screaming while hell is funneling around them - asking for mercy from a low pressure system.
If you think that's ridiculous, wait until more-creative individuals start placing human motives behind the tornado. You'll read articles about how God sent this tornado to kill dozens or hundreds because two women love each other. They believe this and preach this to others to believe it as well. Granted, that's a more-radical approach and more-reasonable members of the clergy will denounce such a position. But they are still faced with entire communities asking "why".
I suppose the only answer that will make any sense is to ask the god yourself one day.
On to the next question of "what", as in "what can I do to help now". I'll be finding my nearest Red Cross blood donation event. They're gonna need it. Those of you who are needle-averse can:
text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10.00.
give online at redcross.org