The recent floods that ravaged Kerala have been a major talking point for the past week. Kerala received the highest amount of rainfall it has seen in a century, leading to the filling up of dams and rivers overflowing, flooding the nearby areas and causing devastation to life and property.
Some blame the extreme flooding on rampant deforestation in Kerala, but a certain pastor had another explanation.
Is Kerala a State of “Sinners?”
This Pentecostal Kerala pastor recently spoke to a colleague of mine on the matter of the Kerala floods, quoting from the book of Genesis to justify the massive flooding and loss of life.
He said that just like how God had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for indulging in sinful behaviour, God was now punishing the people of Kerala for their sins.
In my opinion, it is one thing to believe that everything is God’s will, and that it all happens for a reason, but to manufacture reasons such as the people of an entire state facing devastation having “sinned” and that they deserve the destruction they are facing is utterly unfair and insensitive.
Some fanatical Hindus believe that the floods are happening because women were allowed to enter the traditionally male domain of the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, and because Malayalis eat beef, unlike many Hindus elsewhere, and that these actions have angered the Gods.
“Justification” for the 2015 Chennai Floods
During the 2015 Chennai floods, a Tamil priest had a similar explanation.
Tamil Nadu is home to many denominations of Christianity, not all of whom respect the traditions and beliefs of the others.
One particular pastor smugly stated that the floods happened due to the misdeeds of the followers of another church, and the proof lay in the heavy amount of destruction they had to endure.
This is Not the Time for Stupidity
Flooding causes enough practical problems such as displacement of people, loss of life, illness, and destruction of property without religious fanatics trying to justify their “punishment.”
This is not the time for such brainless critique, instead, it’s time for the nation to pull together, and contribute money and relief materials to the affected.
There could be various reasons for floods and other natural disasters happening- the bad impact of the Chennai floods was blamed on too much construction being done on marshy land, making buildings susceptible to getting flooded.
Similarly, heavy deforestation is being blamed for the Kerala floods. There is always a logical reason for these happenings, and to sit on your high horse in a safe zone and blame the victims is a very selfish thing to do.
If we are to bring in a religious angle, I personally feel God would be happier if we helped each other through this tough time rather than blame Him for all this devastation.
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