When you have lived for seven years in Oklahoma, when you have lived through and survived tornadoes in Tulsa, when you have visited personally the town of Moore before it was devastated in May 2013 by Tornado Alley winds worthy of the Apocalypse, you cannot but be struck by the faith expressed in the pathetic sign on a wall in what is left of the town, seen on TV the world over. This is the Bible Belt; its brand of Christian faith will survive even this most recent challenge to believing in a loving, protecting, provident God .
The extraordinary thing is that after three major disasters caused by tornadoes in the last fifteen years, people in Moore will rebuild their homes on the same sites, and still not construct storm shelters. Is this fatalism, tempting the Devil, or an “In God We Trust” blind faith and blind folly ? Thank God (!) I do not have to preach next Sunday’s sermon to the survivors who have lost everything, including, for some, relatives, especially children, and friends. Even ecologists, in this instance, would agree they cannot blame climate change for the catastrophe, and in Oklahoma no one would dream of blaming God for not preventing it. On that point atheists too would agree, though for different reasons.