In yesterday's Wall Street Journal a guy named Matt Ridley wrote an article titled "Who to Blame for Natural Disasters". Ultimately he basically says that if prosperity, the big key word in his article, were to spread throughout the entire world, as it has not yet done, most people who currently die from natural disasters would instead end up alive. Says he:
In short, prosperity buys survival. (The shocking thing about Hurricane Katrina was not that it killed so many people but that it did so in such a prosperous country.) ...
... Suppose world per-capita income were to octuple in the next 90 years, as it did, roughly, in the last 90. So long as countries like Haiti get their share of this prosperity, we can expect most of the world to become as nearly disaster-proof as the rich West is today: through building standards, warning systems, health and emergency services, and technology.This, he says, is borne out by the actual statistics of wealth and technology over the last almost-century. But this is not what I am interested in ... that in which I am interested?? Whatever ...
I am interested much more in his opening paragraph:
A Haitian who survived the January earthquake and has so far escaped cholera recently told a reporter that this month's Hurricane Tomas wasn't as bad as he thought it would be, "thank God." I know it's often just a verbal tic, but it has always struck me as odd that people who survive natural disasters thank God for saving them but rarely blame Him for the disaster.I've taken it upon myself to put the important nonsensical words in bold. I've been saying this same damned thing for decades!!! And finally someone else says the same thing. Well, almost.
It is NOT just a "verbal tic". It is hard-core tried-and-true plain-as-the-however-the-rest-of-this-cliche-goes common sense! Why would you be happy that your god didn't screw you (and others) even worse than he did and not be just a little pissed that he screwed you at all???? I will never understand that.
I initially happened upon this realization back when Hurricane Andrew hit Florida. The massive storm hit Homestead Air Force Base with fury and did a buzzillion dollars' worth of damage to everything down there. And on TV I happened to see some poor idiotic sap, a victim who, yes, was religious (no I cannot remember how I knew that they were religious, but there was something specific in the interview telling me that they were, and so this wasn't just a "saying"), say something along the lines of
Thank god it wasn't worse.My immediate reaction was not that this was a "verbal tic", but rather
Instead of being happy with god that he didn't make this worse, why weren't they pissed off at god for making it happen at all?!?!?!?!Think about that for a few seconds. And then tell me that it doesn't make sense.