DALY CITY, CA, USA – NOVEMBER 16, 2018: Smoke from wildfires blankets the city creating unhealthy air quality conditions. (Credit: Toshifumi Hotchi)
“Camp Fire,” the most destructive fire in California, killed 81 people and destroyed 150,000 acres and 23,000 structures. The 17 days of burning sent such heavy smoke across the state that schools closed and most people stayed indoors. Scientists linked the fire’s cause to climate change: heat waves, higher temperatures and droughts made everything drier and large forests of very dry trees in very dry soil are especially prone to fire, and quickly become large, raging ones at that.(1)
Climate change deniers, however, say there is nothing to be done because, “It is up to God!”(2)
FIRES, FLOODS & EARTHQUAKES — WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN WHEN TRAGEDY VISITS?
By Rev. Trinity A. Ordona, Ph.D.
Besides all the political upheavals this year, 2018 had its fill of natural disasters throughout the world. Whether it was a forest fire, tsunami, earthquake, volcano, typhoon or hurricane, it destroyed everything in its path.
When people experience such challenges, they often turn to a “god,” an outside force greater than themselves who they feel is responsible for their life or death. For others who do not believe in an outside force, they turn to people as the resource for life or death choices. Yet both options are filled with a profound doubt and fear:
- Does God exist and if so, why does He give us such suffering?
- If humanity makes its own suffering, are we doomed because humanity is also inhuman to ourselves and our planet?
This is what I will address: FIRES, FLOODS & EARTHQUAKES — WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN WHEN TRAGEDY VISITS?
As you know, every month, there is a New Moon and Full Moon and every two weeks, we have the opportunity to “ride” these powerful cosmic energies, to flow WITH the forces that move our world, universe, galaxy, and multi-galaxies in all dimensions in a never-ending process of life. By going with the flow of the New and Full Moons, you can make choices that compliment these movements instead of being unaware of these forces, and thus remain confused, angry, stuck or closing your eyes and wishing it to be “all over.” Flowing from this perspective, I want to address the cosmic scenario being played out behind ALL these ”disaster” events.
First, what do we, human beings, feel when confronted with a problem, big or small? We are afraid.
HELPLESS or HOPEFUL IN THE THE FACE OF FEAR
Being afraid, or fear itself, is an important and necessary reaction and feeling. It literally, keeps us alive. Fear instantly TELLS us something is amiss AND MOVES us into action. It can be a small “uh-oh” voice that tells you may have left the stove on so you turn around and go back, or it can be a big, giant, screaming “hey” that causes you to suddenly slam on the brakes when you catch a glimpse of a pedestrian at your car’s side. Either way, you just “saved” yourself (and the other hapless party). This is FEAR and it is constantly on the alert to protect you, 24/7 — from danger, from strangers and even, from yourself when you make a mistake, slip or fall.
Make Fear your friend because fear keeps us on our toes. We are continually inventing ways to combat catastrophe, whether it is with seat belts and air bags in all new cars or creating early warning signals for a hurricane or earthquake.
This kind of fear we are OK with because we can, and usually do, do something about it, including NOT listening to fear and instead, pushing it aside, invalidating the warning and compunction to act now. You say to yourself instead, “There is something wrong, but not dangerous.” Right or wrong in your estimation of the fearful situation, you are OK to live with the consequences of your decision.
But what about that overwhelmingly powerful, terrifying, fearful situation where you are unquestionably outnumbered and about to be undone — like a forest fire, tsunami, earthquake, volcano eruption, typhoon or hurricane that is destroying everyone and everything in its path.
What is the best way to respond while this is happening? And afterwards, when it’s over and the city, town and your own home have to be rebuilt? YOU have nothing right now and you have to start over.
Doesn’t this all feel so, so big? Yes. It is big, So what do we humans do when we feel “so small” next to something “so big”? We feel out of control. SO . . .
- We panic. (Oh no! I’m wrecked!)
- We blame. (It’s my fault! I should have . . . or: It’s “their” fault (whoever “they” are)
- We run away and hide. (I wish I was dead!)
- We feel and act helpless. (I can’t do this!)
Then, we try to regain control. We must; otherwise, we are really lost. At this point, the idea of a “god” may come into the picture.
IT’S GOD’S PUNISHMENT — BLAME IT ON THE GAYS!
“This disaster [whatever it is] is the will of God [or Yahweh, or Allah]. We are being punished for our sins. It’s the gay people! It is because of them that we suffer.
Believe it or not, words like these were just pronounced last month about the Sep 28, 2018 disaster in Indonesia where a 7.5 earthquake, followed by a tsunami and landslides hit the people on the island of Sulawesi. 1,500 died, 61,000 displaced, thousands of buildings destroyed and 1.5 million affected. A week later (Oct 5) its neighboring country, Malaysia, cited the tragedy as Allah’s punishment for the “vices and sins” of queer people.
In a sermon sent by the Selengar Islamic Religious Department, which is responsible for enforcing Islamic law, “We are always under the observation of Allah, the Creator. Whatever calamity that befalls humans must have its reason whether realized or not. . . .What is certain, no ruin is imparted but for humans’ own cruelty.” This “cruelty” can take the form of vices and sins; illicit sex; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenders (LGBT); and not covering up (women showing skin) are some examples. The sermon also lamented that some quarters are defending drug abuse, usury, consensual sex and the menace of LGBT as just personal vices and sins that should not be punishable by law.(3)
This broad and sweeping condemnation came two weeks after two lesbian women were caned for engaging in lesbian sex, part of an anti-LGBT campaign under the auspices of the newly-elected Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamed, in a stunning election setback similar in significance to BREXIT and Donald Trump.
As for “God,” our fate is surrendered to an immortal, all-knowing, almighty, all-good being but who is yet, hard to please and a ruthless punisher of sins! In the past and for centuries, LGBT people would be gathered up, imprisoned, tortured and burned to death to “appease” this wrathful “god” to “prevent” such disasters.
HERE IN THE U.S. — WE BLAME THE GAYS, TOO!
Here in the U.S. where same sex marriage is now legal, these same kinds of pronouncements blaming LGBT people for natural disasters are not made as loudly as in Malaysia, but they are made. Among the top 7 current natural disasters accounted to LGBT people cited by some Christian conservatives were:
- 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan
- 2012 Hurricane Sandy, New York
- 2015 Hurricane Joaquin, Hawaii
- 2017 Hurricane Harvey, Texas
In each, the disaster is attributed to LGBT people.(4)
Why? Christianity, Judaism and islamism — all Abrahamic religions — base their religious anti-gay views on the same religious text source: interpretation of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. But it was only in the 4th century C.E., under the Roman Emperor, Constantine, following his conversion to Christianity in 312 that a “sin” became a “crime.” Before this, it was Christians who were scapegoated for disasters (like Mt Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii, 79 C.E. and various plagues from 80 – 255 C.E.).
Constantine decreed tolerance for all religions, but his conversion opened the door to Christianity. Eventually the Roman Empire became officially Christian, coinciding with and leading to attacks on non-Christian practices, especially Roman pagan and Jewish. Once the merger of the Church and State was complete, a “religious sin” became a “crime punishable by law.”
In Christian countries, homosexual practice became defined in law as a threat to the common good, to the state as well as the soul, and those who engaged in it were the cause of social, civil and natural disaster. In terms of natural disasters, Roman Emperor Justinian signed a law (527 C.E.) specifically blaming homosexuality: “[B]ecause of such crimes there are famines, earthquakes, and pestilences.” His solution: to arrest homosexuals and “inflict on them extreme punishments, so that the city and the state may not come to harm by reason of such wicked deeds.” Homophobia, of an intensity never seen before in Western culture before, was now institutionalized as the law of the land.
So while it may seem far-fetched to believe today that the simple existence of LGBT people causes natural disasters, such anti-gay beliefs were the deeply felt, promulgated and practiced laws of the land for over a thousand years and kept firmly in place until mass education and science were established with the Age of Reason. Even so, only in the past 50 years have LGBT people been able to safely “come out of the closet” where they have had to hide for over a thousand years.
Why do such extreme views attributing natural disasters to gays still have prominence, and from the examples cited above above, such homophobia is no longer from the fringe but the centers of society?
Just as how many people were astonished to see a white supremacist rally gather thousands in open display, homophobia, especially public and politically-backed forms of it, is also dramatically on the rise. Why? Fear.
Fear is the common denominator in all of these situations.
- Fear of power, especially overwhelming natural power that humans cannot contain
- Fear of runaway climate change brought on by our own misuse of our technology and our natural resources
- Fear of a “god” who delivers punishment to “sinners”
- Fear of a “god” that “knows all anyway, so leave everything up to him”
In any case, you either believe in an all-good “god” to whom you surrender and submit or in a “all-good” human race that does not, and may never, exist.
WHICH WAY FORWARD?
Which way forward? What looks like an unsolvable problem is not when seen from the powerful cosmic energies behind it all. Like a Zen koan — an unsolvable mental paradox if approached only by mental logic — you must look inside, to our own Inner Wisdom for the truth.
I have said before and will continue to repeat, since December 12, 2012, the Age of Aquarius began. A new 5,200 year epoch of co-creation, collaboration, nurturance and an entirely new consciousness awaits the human species to claim it. All the universal cosmic forces are coming into alignment to bring this transformation about. THIS is why there is a polarization: which way forward? We each must choose and in the case of natural disasters where all established paths keep you going in endless circles, a NEW path must be charted, instead.
How? Start with making friends with FEAR. Heed fear’s warnings, but do not succumb to it. Make friends with DEATH. Accept it. Death is inevitable and a necessary stage in the never-ending process of life itself. Without an ending, there would never be a new beginning.
Human beings are really “spiritual beings on a human journey” of a never-ending process of evolution and transformation. In each life, we “learn” how to do and be; at the end of that lifetime, we leave our body behind, take another and continue that process. Societies and cultures have changed and improved from the past because we, human beings, changed and improved and largely through mistakes.The idea that we have only ONE life and that there is only Heaven or Hell is a complete lie. But this lie serves a purpose: to keep us locked down, out of fear, to some outside authority until we realize otherwise. That time of realization, on a global scale, is now.
One of the places to find answers is the cosmic human road map in the stars. Look up and read it. The Ancients have left codes to decipher its movements. It is there for any and all to see. When you do, you will see not only your Path, but the Global Transformation we are all undergoing. This epochal shift is bringing out the best and the worst in humankind. Some people are preparing for this shift by opening their hearts and minds and embracing this new age of spiritual consciousness. Some people are intimidated by the changes that they don’t understand and want to return to a “golden age” in the past, or to circle the wagons and trust only those who are like themselves. Trump and others like him, who rampage about and through fear, are perfect examples of the latter.
The choice to participate in this transformation process is a simple, “yes.” The future is at hand. Join with us at Inner Beauty Healing and move with the cosmic winds of transformation.
With this attention on yourself, feel yourself filled with patience, understanding and compassion. Let that be your inner being. Feel the warmth that comes with compassion; feel the confidence that comes with understanding; feel the peacefulness that comes with patience.
- Life After Warming: In California, Climate Changes Has Turned Rainy Season into Fire Season, by David Wallace-Wells, The New York Intelligencer. http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/11/the-california-fires-and-the-threat-of-climate-change.html
- Why don’t Christian conservatives worry about climate change? God, by Lisa Vox, Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/06/02/why-dont-christian-conservatives-worry-about-climate-change-god/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f912a05696a1
- Malaysia: LGBT people cause deadly natural disasters, say religious officials in Malaysia, by Josh Jackman, PinkNews. https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/10/05/lgbt-people-cause-deadly-natural-disasters-say-religious-lawmakers-in-malaysia/
- Religion: 7 Natural Disasters Evangelicals Have Blamed On Gay People – “God doesn’t let himself be mocked,”by Adam Salandra, NewNowNext. http://www.newnownext.com/natural-disasters-evangelicals-blame-gay-people/09/2017/
WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?
Where do YOU go from here? If you liked my talk and want to be part of a circle of other fellow travelers, we offer mentorship, training and healing through various Inner Beauty Healing programs and memberships. Lastly, at any time, you can go to our website and sign up for our free newsletter. You’lI receive our complimentary New Moon & Full Moon podcasts and get the latest “Cosmic Politics” podcast/blog.
Go to our site, Inner Beauty Healing US, that is www.InnerBeautyHealing.US
See yourself from the inside/out and become empowered in your grace, beauty and power.
Rev. Dr. Trinity
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