I’d like to be quite clear straight up, I loath Danny Nalliah and especially loath his god (and by that I mean his interpretation of god). This is a man who claimed that Victoria decriminalising abortion resulted in the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 that killed 173 people and wounded 414, because he had a dream about fire and brimstone.
Now he’s come out saying that the floods in Queensland, specifically Brisbane, are the result of our former Prime Minister (now Foreign Minister), Kevin Rudd, being mean to Israel (don’t read the comments on that piece unless you’re prepared for a dose of scary). Apparently asking Israel to to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and open all its nuclear facilities to UN inspectors is mean, and Australia/Queensland/Rudd needed smiting as a result.
I can’t (and even when I was Catholic struggled really hard with this) worship or believe in a god that would happily kill (or make miserable) hundreds or thousands of people because of something that someone else did (or even that they did). I don’t even get how that makes sense. I never liked the whole fire and brimstone methods used by some ministers and hate the rhetoric of fear (which is something that Nalliah uses all the time).
That Fleming Gent posted a comment on Nalliah’s press release/blog post/thing and unsurprisingly that comment was not published, because it disagreed with the message that Nalliah was pushing. PZ Myers also had some good commentary on Nalliah:
Kevin Rudd has been insufficiently zealous in his support for Israel, and Rudd is originally from Queensland, so God is making it rain great buckets in Queensland to send him a message.
It’s a rather opaque message, O Lord, and it seems to be causing far more suffering to other people, rather than Rudd. Wouldn’t it have been far more effective and efficient if, say, the Lord God Almighty made the plumbing in Rudd’s upstairs bathroom overflow? I should think it far more persuasive that something mysterious and ominous was going on if every time Rudd flushed, he ended up with a gusher of feces and urine on his shoes. Taking aim at the whole of Queensland is just a bit sloppy.
I also don’t understand, if god is loving, forgiving and understanding, why ordinary, regular sinners are being punished for their representative’s alleged sins (I refer to Queensland (and bits of NSW and Victoria) for Rudd and Victoria for the decriminalisation of abortion). That doesn’t make any sense to me, and I’d hope it doesn’t make much sense to those Christians who actually critically think about things.
And then, Nalliah and his “church” took credit for the Brisbane flood not peaking as high as it did, because they prayed for Queensland, filling the gap between Rudd’s actions and god’s wrath… or something. Seriously, they gathered on the steps of the Victorian Parliament (because they’d get publicity there) and prayed loudly and publicly (you know, something Jesus recommended against):
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5 (NIV)
Prayers such as Nalliah’s are great thing, it’s not like you can test them scientifically, and discover whether or not the prayers had any effect (they didn’t), and when things turn out well you can say that your prayers had the right effect, and if things turn out badly, you can say it was clearly god’s will, and that you tried. It’s a win-win situation and really does nothing for anyone. It’s not like someone, who claims that god speaks to them, would ever admit that their prayers were not heard.
I honestly would like Nalliah and his Ministry to stop receiving publicity, to go away and be on the fringe where they belong. I’d love Nalliah to stop being so afraid and infecting others with his fear. I’d love him to recant his hateful and prideful ways and to be humble and listen to the stories of those he currently considers sinful and learn that there is more than black and white in the world. I’d love him to actually love, unconditionally as Christians are called to love, and to stop judging as he should really know better.