Monday, May 6, 2013

Divining Fault Lines With the Fairer Sex?

Several years ago, Iranian imam Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, a rival to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadejad, gave a special sermon for the Friday Noon prayer.  Kazem Sedighi criticized women for dressing immodestly and behaving promiscuously for causing earthquakes   and that Iranian women needed to adopt their lives to Islamic codes lest they be buried in the rubble. 

This  unusual intellectual interruption inspired some satire in the belly of the beast of Iran's arch-nemesis --America.

"Boobquake" agitator Jen McCreight in 2010
Sedighi's  inflammatory opinion about feminine wiles widening the fault lines for tectonic temblors also shook up Western feminists.  In 2010, Jennifer McCreight was a skeptical atheist senior at Purdue University, who suggested organizing a "Boobquake" in reaction to the imam's sermon.  

 McCreight urged readers of her blog to dress in immodest clothing on April 26, 2010 to represent "Boobquake".  It was postulated that so much concentrated female immodesty would either trigger a trembler or that "...Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn't rumble." Well the ground did not rumble despite an estimated 200,000 women world-wide participating.   At Purdue, the male spectators outnumbered the women with risque couture. 

Pat Robertson
Sedighi is not the only prominent religious figure who have been blowhards which equate natural disasters with divine retribution. In 2011, Pat Robertson said on the 700 Club  that the massive earthquake in Haiti was prompted by voodoo doctors who enlisted Satan's help to be liberated from French rule two centuries before.  Robertson also claimed that God sent super-storm Sandy in 2012 to prevent America from electing a Mormon. 

Atheists are unmoved by scripture and Islam tends to take a different tact of Judeo-Christian eschatology, but perceiving God as a hairy thunderer is counter to my understanding  salvific history of a God of both divine justice as well as mercy that is unfathomable for humans.

There is the Noahic covenant, when Yahweh promised not to destroy humanity in a flood, especially to eradicate sin as man is born with a wicked heart.  This would seem to cover a hurricane or even a super-storm as an instrument of divine justice. 

Also consider how scripture conveys how Moses eased the divine wrath after the Golden Calf incident.  Of course, there was some consequence for diverted sin sentences. God's chosen people had to wander in the desert for 40 years (which symbolically seemed like an eternity), and Moses was never able to set foot in the Promised Land.  And man's sin had to be redeemed in a blood sacrifice where the innocent blood of God's only son was shed to buy our eternal freedom. 

Perhaps it is easier for Fire and Brimstone preachers of many faith persuasions to attach calls to piety with natural disasters or claim divine wrath.  Moreover, targeting the fairer sex as the cause for sinful behavior which sparks divine retribution seems primitive.

As  believers of "The Way", we should make the Earth shake with the love of Jesus. But the heaven wrath motif makes punchier copy and better laugh lines for cynics.

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