Columnist Ruta Tangiiau Mave reflects on a tumultuous 2020 in her final column of the year. Rick Rycroft/AP/20122840
The suffering of innocent people is sometimes seen as a necessity so we can understand our own weaknesses and dependence on god, writes Ruta Mave.
It has been a year out of the box for everyone in the world,
and as we thank God Covid has not reached our shores, it does require
reflection on whom to blame for the calamity facing the world, with record
flooding, fires, locust plagues and Covid-19. Is the God we thank, the same who
has unleashed his fury on the world for all the fighting and sinners, like when
he asked Noah to build the Ark? If it’s sinners he is targeting why are
innocent ‘Christians’ dying?
In America, one of the largest conservative Christian
nations, there is now one death every 30 seconds from Covid-19, and they are
not all LBGTF, pro-Abortion, BLM (Black Lives Matter) protestors, lives lost.
Were the hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, a ‘spectacular display of god’s immense
power?’. Some believe God is systematically destroying the likes of America
(whose suffered all the signs of Apocalypse, even Locusts in the state of New
England), out of anger over the homosexual agenda. Whereas others see it as
‘mother nature’s rage and wrath’ for electing Donald Trump.
Many religious traditions see natural disasters as divine
punishment, but how can a god who displays such destructive anger, be the same
who is seen as a merciful god? In Genesis, God made a covenant with Noah:
“Never again will I destroy all living creatures”. In the book of Isaiah, he “promises
not to be angry”. Has he slipped off the wagon? Does he need anger management
sessions? If God brings fire, floods and plagues, what’s left for Satan? Sex,
drugs and rock n’ roll?
God’s anger is intimately connected to human suffering, how
can a loving God cause indiscriminate human misery? The suffering of innocent
people is sometimes seen as a necessity so we can understand our own weaknesses
and dependence on god. Others say God tests us, and those who endure trials are
eventually rewarded, and such trials bring people closer together, and closer
Instead of dwelling on God’s wrath, we need to understand
God’s kindness, and mercy. Spoken like a true politician, look not at what
digressions I’ve made, look only at the small steps I’ve made in society. This
is small comfort to those who suffered flooding in UK, USA, east Africa, China,
Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Napier, Avatiu. Locusts in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, India,
Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia that ate food for 35,000 humans in two
days. The wildfires globally numbered 52,113 by November 27, burned 8,889,297
acres which is 2.3 million more than the 10 year average and double that burned
in 2019. To date (as of 2pm yesterday) Covid-19 has infected 81,620,645
worldwide with 1,780,315 deaths, shutting down and disrupting every country’s
Is our suffering a way for us to look at how to better
create a sustaining economy, or is it due to our unswerving faith in following
God’s laws? Of the Ten Commandments given to Moses, how many are still
relevant? Are we the only nation that follows the fifth commandment, respecting
the Sabbath? Is it a bad thing? It certainly won’t destroy our tourism as
argued. You can’t see the Sistine Chapel on Sundays, nor the Louvre on Tuesdays,
tourists work around it. The second, do not make idols of anything or anyone
making them more important than god. I wonder about George Maggie’s song and
dance of the Punanga Nui water station, it’s not a multi-million dollar
hospital. The proclamation is borderline self idolisation. It’s his job, to
provide health and safety to the market. He’s a great gardener, but where are
the bright suits and outspoken causes, in the name of protecting women and WTF
(Where’s the Fish) fishing rights?
Don’t take the lords name in vain, always to be spoken reverently and with honour, OMG that’s gone out the window. Honour, thy father and thy mother, treat them with respect and obedience, except when they beat and abuse you. Thou shalt not kill. And when they do, hide in the Koru lounge and take the first flight out the next day. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Well, where is the #metoo movement when you need them? When you’re young, naïve and your married boss is seen as powerful what do you do?
Thou shalt not steal. Not rental cars or pensioners money out of their savings accounts before Xmas. Do not lie, always tell the truth, would that include Mark Brown telling us how wonderful the Chinese will be to lay the water pipes when we petitioned ‘NO’? Do not desire anything or anyone that does not belong to you. Like the big house used to entertain the Pa Metua. Kicking out the old people before Xmas not very godly. Thank goodness George Maggie said he would fix the problem.
There’s poetic license in following the laws of God and man.
One should take some accountability, so trust in God, but lock your car.