Friday, January 15, 2010

Hey, I'm Changing Religions: Get Rich Quick!

I'm changing my religion...and there's a really geological connection here, involving earthquakes, gold mining, and diamond mining. You can get really rich if you align yourself with the right deity...

It's taken me a little while to understand the theology here, but apparently there's this God who gets all in a pique about an apocryphal story about the devil from 200 years ago, and sends four hurricanes and a horrific earthquake to smite out the lives of 200,000 great-great-great grandchildren of the person who insulted his sensibilities. On the other hand, a man of "god" spends his life conning money from widows and gullible old people through his television show, and invests the money in gold mining in an African country with the blessings of a bloodthirsty dictator currently on trial at the Hague for vicious war crimes. He also arranges to mine diamonds in another African country with the blessings of another vicious dictator, and uses the planes of his so-called "Operation Blessing" relief organization to ferry the mining equipment. The upshot is that this man, Pat Robertson, is worth $400 million to $1 billion.

OK, I'm not sure I really want to be associated with this kind of god. In fact, all I can say is that Pat Robertson is a repugnant human being. A man who takes credit for diverting hurricanes from his broadcasting center, which goes on to kill or injure many people where it does hit. A man who blames the 9/11 terror attack on liberals and homosexuals (along with another repugnant man, Jerry Falwell, who is dead now). He is a hateful bigot and a charlatan.

I kind of doubt that many of my readers send money to Pat Robertson, but if any do I have to say this: geologic disasters happen. They happen to evil people, they happen to good people. When you start judging people who are the victims of natural disasters, you dehumanize them. It makes it easier to ignore the terribly real pain and suffering that is going on, and will make you less inclined to help.

Please help out. There are many organizations on the ground in Haiti, including OxFam, Doctors Without Borders, and Habitat for Humanity (remember that months from now when we've collectively forgotten Haiti, rebuilding will still need to go on). Give now, and remember to give later when another story steals the headlines. All people are precious, and remember, you could be next. The earth doesn't judge us, it just continues doing the things it has for a long time. Sometimes, unfortunately, people get in the way.

"I hear the crying of the hungry
In the deserts where they're wandering
Hear them crying out for Heaven's own
Benevolence upon them
I Hear destructive power prevailing
I hear fools falsely hailing
To the crooked wits of tyrants when they call

I hear them all"

Old Crow Medicine Show

1 comment:

Edie Howe said...

Thank you, thank you, Garry. You've put into words my own feelings about Pat Robertson.

I found this blog while looking for info on the flood of 1997, and have added it to my blogroll for daily reading. Next time you head to Yosemite, drop me an email. Would love to pick your brain on geological matters! I'll be happy to stand you a cuppa coffee.

All the best,
P.S. You might find my recent pictures of Death Valley interesting; I've heard DeVa described as a "hard-rock geologist's pornography". ;-)