Tonight on the way home, I heard about the earthquake in Pakistan. Of course, Pat Miller made it out to be worse than it was (he accidentally called it a "9.4" quake.) But then, in true end of the work-day callousness, I thought, "Serves 'em right."
Now, it was just a brief knee-jerk reaction, and I immediately felt bad about it. Serves who right? Well, maybe if you concentrated all the corrupt government officials, all the civil servants in the Taliban's back pocket, the terrorists hiding under a rock, the al-Qaida radicals brainwashing a new generation of children who'll never get the chance to be children, and the various assorted misogynists and wife-beaters who apparently get a religious "out" in Muslim nations, then just maybe you might have a group who might possibly be "served right", though that is up to God, and I'm sure if He felt so, He'd see to it.
Not my place to judge.
Did it serve the 15,000 likely dirt poor residents of Dalbandin right? They probably would have been just as happy to never have heard of the Taliban, al-Qaida, assault weapons, roadside bombs, homicide bombers, 90% of the governments they've had since Victoria was crowned Empress of India, the USA, NATO, CENTO, the UN, the IRS, or the fatwah of the week. Were they "served right?" That kind of logic tells us that the USA is the great Satan, nutcases are inspired by Rush Limbaugh, and that the definition of persecution includes having to look at "In God We Trust" on coins and licence plates and at nativity scenes on courthouse lawns. Yeah, they really deserved it.
Y'know, back about a year ago when I started this blog, I regularly featured disasters like the ones in Haiti and Chile. And not long ago, a friend asked me if I was following the great flood in Australia. Yes, I had; and I had thought about doing a post on it, but 2 thoughts stopped me. One of them involved being able to do the story justice, or cynically, fitting entertainment value. The other was, if I do one about that, what about the flood in Brazil? The volcanoes in Indonesia? The Mudslides in Guatemala? The human tragedy of Mexico's unwillingness to fight a war on drugs? The scorching heat in central and eastern Europe? When I started, I was hoping to drum up at least prayer support for those who were suffering. But then it became, is it big enough? Was it newsworthy enough? Should I just pray about this one on my own, rather than bring out the broken record again? And now, we've come to, "serves 'em right". And whether this is face, heart, or soul, it becomes #1 of the seventeen things I am currently ashamed of myself on. (And no, I haven't counted them.)
So tonight, I'll pray for the corrupt officials and dishonest civil servants, the terrorists and the children they are turning into killers, the wife-beaters, the nutcases, and especially the dirt poor residents of Dalbandin. I invite you to do the same- not because you have a list of things to be ashamed of, but because it "serves them right."
God blesses a confessor. As I got to the most intense part of this post, the guy on TV said (paraphrasing): Looking for the perfect gift for your wife/girlfriend on Valentine's day? Have yourself examined for testicular cancer." Truly broke the mood, particularly when I added, "or have her do it!" I suppose I should mark that as #18, but I'm gonna go easy on myself.