I feel for Australia right now. Not only do they have dozens of bushfires and nearly 200 gruesome deaths to deal with, they also have fundamentalist fools who insist on twisting the tragedy to their own ends. Case in point: Pentecostal pastor Danny Nalliah. Not only does he preach for a ministry with a stunningly inappropriate (and downright arsonistic-sounding) name, he also comes to a stunningly inappropriate (and downright arsonistic-sounding) conclusion about what really caused the wildfires:
Oh joy, the Holy Spook is a firebug. One who doesn’t trust women to make up their own minds about what goes on in their own wombs, at that. Naturally, there’s been a huge outcry about this whacked-up “explanation” of the fires, which are the product of a combined drought and suspected arson. Some of it comes from downright devout quarters:
The Catch the Fire Ministries has tried to blame the bushfires disaster on laws decriminalising abortion in Victoria.The Pentecostal church’s leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, claimed he had a dream about raging fires on October 21 last year and that he woke with “a flash from the Spirit of God: that His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb”.
One would think that with such unequivocal rejection of his theory, a person would sit down and give it some sober second thought. But not Rev. Danny. Nope, he’s not merely unrepentant, he’s downright arrogant in his insistence that he’s right:
The former Treasurer, Peter Costello, who sent a video message to an Australia Day prayer meeting organised by Pastor Nalliah this year, was outraged by his remarks on the fires.“To link the death and suffering of bushfire victims to other political events is appalling, heartless and wrong,” said Mr Costello, who has lost a Christian friend in the fires.“Those who have suffered deserve ever support and sympathy. It is beyond the bounds of decency to try to make moral or politcal points out of such a tragedy.”
Really? That’s news to me. I became a Wiccan, stopped calling myself a Christian, and quit believing in devils more than 20 years ago, and I haven’t been destroyed yet. Soon after my quiet inner revolution, I and thousands of other Canadians, women particularly, marched for the total decriminalization of abortion here. We got what we called for; the Supreme Court struck down existing legislation, the Parliament passed no new laws, and so there hasn’t been a law forbidding abortion here since 1988. That’s right: THERE IS NO ABORTION LAW IN CANADA. We are free to terminate a pregnancy if we so decide. Most who do, do so in the first trimester; rarely in the second; almost never (unless the woman’s health is at risk) in the third. In other words, we uppity wimmin self-regulate rather nicely up here.Now, according to Pastor Dan’s reckoning, we should all have burned up 20 years ago. But we’re still here, and we’ve had remarkably few deaths by deliberately-set wildfires, all things considered. That’s not to say that global warming and climate change haven’t touched us in other ways (hello, shrinking glaciers; goodbye, Arctic pack ice!)–but who are we to blame abortion for something so totally unrelated as the loss of polar bears? And what kind of God would be dumb enough to send his signs in such a ham-fisted way? This is supposed to be the same lord of Israel who guided his chosen people by giving them literal road signs to follow–a pillar of cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night, and a star over Bethlehem to indicate where they’d find their newborn king. Plus, he’s supposed to be beneficent and merciful to those who believe in him. Why torch hundreds of people (including those who believe in him!) and then send just one self-important crank a kooky dream to say “I don’t like abortion” when he could merely write the message in the sky and save everyone a lot of hassle and ambiguity?But no, no. We’re supposed to believe this pastor dude. He had a dream! Big deal, last night I dreamed of tangles of dirty laundry and leaky plumbing. Oh noes, it’s a SIGN! Of what, I’m not exactly sure, but I dreamt it, therefore God must be talking to me!Except I quit believing in THAT God over 20 years ago, and have never been given a plausible cause to regret it since. I’d rather put my faith in the scientists on this one; they called the true cause of all this horror correctly.
Asked by the Herald if he did not believe most Australians would regard his remarks as being in appallingly bad taste, he said today: “I must tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.”He said it was no use “molly-coddling” Australians.Asked if he believed in a God who would take vengeance by killing so many people indiscriminately – even those who opposed abortion, Mr Nalliah referred to 2 Chronicles 7:14 to vouch for his assertion that God could withdraw his protection from a nation.“The Bible is very clear,” he said. “If you walk out of God’s protection and turn your back on Him, you are an open target for the devil to destroy.”