Holding God Accountable: Tragedy and Faith

“Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked… ?” Genesis, 18:23

These words echoed in my spirit as I watched the images of the tsunami strike in Japan, and as the situation continues to unfold it evokes profound spiritual anxiety in me. How do we make sense of such enormous tragedy within the context of our faith? For we who believe in an active God who cares about what happens in this world, how do we make sense of wide-scale catastrophe? How do we respond when horrible things happen to innocent people?
We hold God accountable. Continued here…

10 thoughts on “Holding God Accountable: Tragedy and Faith

  1. Hey what’s that on my wound? Is it a SCAB?
    Solidarity Forever!
    Look, I like crossing a picket line as much as anyone else, but what I don’t understand is how so many people are willing to work for nothing (or next to nothing) to provide content to a large corporation like AOL, or to HuffPo’s millionaire founder. Its nice to see she’s recovered from her recent hospital stay, though:
    Its been 100 years since the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, and what are the results? That’s right, women don’t wear shirtwaists anymore. Thank you very much, unions.
    And I don’t understand how people on the left can vigorously support workers in WI schools making 100K+, but can ignore workers making nothing.

  2. BBN, you’re right, teacher salaries in Wisconsin are smaller than commonly thought – I have several friends here who are teachers in both public and private schools – but you need to keep in mind that public benefits for our teachers have been lavish for ages, and often far surpass base pay. The numbers I have heard in the recent debates puts the average cost of teacher benefits in the $30-50k range per teacher per year. Maybe teachers aren’t getting $80k in paychecks, but we’re paying this amount to keep them employed.
    Also, you need to keep in mind that here in Wisconsin we have all sorts of very stupid provisions. For example, that pensions are based on your highest three years (?) of employment. What a lot of teachers do, with a wink-wink-nod-nod is go into administration their last few years, making (in real salary terms) around $80-120k/year, and radically improving their pension payouts. Some of them then go to another school district and work there for a year in administration, and end up collecting a double pension. I don’t know all the details, but it’s corrupt as a mofo. The public schools here are mismanaged horribly. MPS has increased their own revenues something like 15% per year for the last 5 years. That’s compounded! In a time when the district faces huge losses of enrollment! That’s just not sustainable, and it never will be.

  3. Those benefits didn’t just land on workers. They were agreed to by public employers often in exchange for lower wages, less restrictive work rules and other things.

  4. That’s a separate problem. Negotiators for public employers are often former union members and endorsed by the unions. Board members of local school boards often have family members directly impacted by the outcome of negotiations; a clear conflict of interest violation. The unions were essentially negotiating with themselves. As I said, I’m not an insider on this subject, but it’s been well covered in local news coverage. This has been going on for decades. The problem is that now, here in Wisconsin, we can’t afford it. The previous governor raided every fund he could, and we’re still nearly $4 Billion in the hole, in a state with 5 million population. That’s already insane (an $800 hole for every man woman and child in the state) and liabilities are projected to increase. The band-aid is coming off, and it’s going to hurt people, middle class working people, and that’s just the way it has to be.

  5. …which has WHAT to do with the article above?
    Nothing, we’re just talking. Why are you so upset?
    Meanwhile, Wisconsin can totally afford 35% raises for state employees who are in relationships with senators?
    Isn’t this somewhat of a red herring? I mean, fine, I understand the Dems could use a slutty Repub scandal right about now, but I’m talking about fixing a $3.6 Billion budget deficit. People in power give jobs to people they know and like. So what? Kill her job, for all I care. Can we focus on structural changes to fix that massive budget shortfall and outrageous future liabilities that threaten to ruin our state? Or, I should say, my state.

  6. Can we focus on structural changes to fix that massive budget shortfall and outrageous future liabilities that threaten to ruin our state? Or, I should say, my state.
    I meant that rhetorically. I don’t actually mean that you, BZ, or anyone to dkos will solve anything. Look, people, I like living in Wisconsin, but we’re pretty much f*cked. Our manufacturing has fled the state, not just overseas, but to other states, to be replaced by nothing. Meanwhile government expenditures have ballooned, but even more problematic, our pension and health liabilities have exploded as the baby boomers retire. It’s the same everywhere, not just Wisconsin. We’re not going to tax our way out of this, either on a state level or a federal level.
    The unions want to protect their members, fine. What about the rest of us? Abbott laboratories just south of me on the way to Chicago fired 800 researchers. Researchers! These aren’t office clerks. They are PhD’s, experts at the top of their field. They can’t just transition to another industry. What are they supposed to do?
    We need to get our economy back on track. No one is talking about cutting taxes, but at the very least we need to keep taxes where they are. If the unions stand in the way of that, if they insist on dragging our state into the toilet, paying off a $3.6 billion deficit while their members get to preserve pay growth tied to inflation rate, while everyone else fears for their jobs, then screw them.

  7. Victor, you’ll know when I’m upset 😉
    We need to get our economy back on track. No one is talking about cutting taxes, but at the very least we need to keep taxes where they are.

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