Left attacks conservatives’ supposed belief in interventionist God

Whatever bad thing may be happening, the left will find some way to blame conservatives, or whites, or America, or the West, or Christianity. With a vast disaster such as the earthquake and tsunami that may have killed hundreds of thousands of people, this leftist syndrome kicks in even more than usual. Here’s what Kenneth Nguyen, a staff writer for The Age (Australia) had to say about natural disasters, God, and Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

We should not necessarily expect all other Judeo-Christian leaders and commentators to be so reticent or tactful. In the aftermath to last year’s Bam earthquakes, which killed more than 20,000 (mostly Muslim) Iranians, conservative American rabbi Daniel Lapin argued in the Chicago Jewish News that God dispatches natural disasters to punish those who have not embraced Judeo-Christian traditions. Noting that the US had been relatively untouched by natural disasters, Lapin wrote: “We ought to acknowledge that each day, every American derives enormous benefit from the faith of our founders and of their heirs.” So goes the pungent logic of one who believes in an interventionist God.

I sent an e-mail to Nguyen:

After I read your comment about Rabbi Daniel Lapin, I looked up his article from December 2003. You have utterly misrepresented what he said. His column had nothing to do with any notion of God as an interventionist God, choosing to punish one people by means of a natural disaster and to save another people. His whole point was that similar disasters strike everywhere in the world, but that in Christian countries the disasters cause vastly less damage He was saying that Western countries with Christian and Jewish roots have a type of faith that leads people to care about preserving individual life, to improve their individual lives, and to trust their fellow men in working together to improve their society. For example, when a flood occurs, they build dykes to prevent damage from the next flood, or when an earthquake occurs, they change the construction of buildings so that the buildings will not be destroyed by the next earthquake. He contrasted the Christian faith that underlies this positive view of life with the fatalism that characterizes many non-Western societies, and which leaves those societies far less ready to cope with disaster when it strikes.

Your mischaracterization of Lapin’s views is so outrageous that I hope you will have the intellectual honesty to correct what you have said.

Lawrence Auster
New York City

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 31, 2004 11:52 AM | Send

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