Thursday, June 17, 2010

God's Been Busy

Lightning has been associated with the Almighty from time immemorial. The flow of Mezla down the Tree of Life from Kether to Malkuth is called the lightning flash. Some anthropologists believe that the deity from which the Judeo-Christian God evolved was originally some sort of storm god. And it seems likely to me that the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel was probably created to explain the common-sense observation that if you build a tower in the middle of a desert it will be struck by lightning as soon as the next storm rolls in. Given all that, it may very well be that humanity's greatest invention in terms of thwarting God's will was in fact the lightning rod.

Over the last two weeks God seems to have been throwing his thunderbolts around more than usual. The first casualty was a young Tennessee woman who was tragically killed by lightning as her boyfriend was about to propose to her.

A young Tennessee woman was struck and killed by lightning on one of her favorite North Carolina mountain trails only moments before her boyfriend was about to propose to her, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

Richard Butler, 30, said he and Bethany Lott, 25, both from Knoxville, had ignored the rain and kept heading up Max Patch Bald, a spot that Bethany had longed to show him.

In his pocket, he had his own surprise -- an engagement ring.

There seems to be no reasonable explanation for her death, unless one subscribes to the Gnostic idea of the Demiurge - a God who simply is not that fond of human beings. I mean, I don't find the contention that had they married these two would have spawned the Antichrist or something even marginally credible. In fact, taken along with the next two stories one is left to wonder what the Lord's intentions might really be.

God's next target was a BP oil tanker in the Gulf of Mexico that was in the process of siphoning oil from the leaking Deepwater Horizon well.

A drill ship resumed siphoning off oil gushing from a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday after a bolt of lightning struck the vessel and ignited a fire that halted containment efforts, the company said.

BP PLC spokesman Bill Salvin told The Associated Press that the drill ship called the Discoverer Enterprise resumed processing oil Tuesday afternoon, about five hours after the fire caused an emergency shutdown. Engineers on the ship have been siphoning about 630,000 gallons of oil a day through a cap on top of the well.

He said there was no damage reported to the containment cap, and the Coast Guard approved BP restarting the system.

While God's anger with BP over the catastrophic spill is understandable, couldn't he have picked a better target for his anger than one of the ships working to prevent further damage to the Gulf? Like, say, the BP or MSS executives who approved cutting corners on safety equipment that might have prevented the disaster in the first place? Maybe they were too well-protected by lightning rods, but it still seems counterproductive to halt the cleanup effort if God is indeed angered by the spill.

God's final target seems the least explicable, at least on the surface - a 62-foot statue of Jesus in Ohio.

Lightning and a subsequent fireball Monday night destroyed a 62-foot-tall "King of Kings" statue of Jesus with arms stretched toward the skies, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

The only thing visible this morning is the charred frame of the plastic foam and fiberglass statue, the newspaper says, citing police in Monroe, Ohio.

"It burned to the ground. The whole statue is gone," said Kim Peace, a police dispatcher.

It could be that this is simply a case of God enforcing the real Second Commandment - the one most Christian denominations pretend doesn't exist by splitting "Thou Shalt Not Covet" into two separate commandments. That commandment prohibits the making of graven images of anything in Heaven or on earth, and the Ohio statue probably qualifies.

Maybe the lesson here for anyone wanting to build a sculpture of Jesus is to use better materials than fiberglass. I'm guessing that the enormous statue of Jesus that overlooks Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is struck by lighting all the time, but since it's made of stone and concrete it has survived for almost a century.

Granted, this is probably all a big coincidence. Natural disasters happen, and I don't really believe that God - especially the Christian God - is behind all of them. Nevertheless, three strikes in two weeks is pretty unusual and might imply that some sort of spiritual or magical process could be influencing the odds in some way.

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Rufus Opus said...

I think Thor and Zeus were drunk on Eris's Hard Cider, and Zeus just accidentally hit Touchdown Jesus.

Scott Stenwick said...

That makes sense - perhaps too much sense!

poopisan said...

Maybe it was just a really bad likeness.

Scott Stenwick said...

From the pictures the statue did look constipated or something...