Fundamentalists take great pleasure in divining the hidden reasons behind tragedies. Everything from car crashes to cancer are found to have hidden causes of great significance. And usually it means someone is being punished.
Perhaps the most famous examples come from the sermons preached in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina as preachers thundered their message that New Orleans suffered God’s wrath because of its great wickedness. AIDS is obviously God’s judgment on homosexuals and Vietnam was caused by American’s hesitation to intervene in the Holocaust. Whether every person ever killed by a hurricane, volcano, plague or pestilence was also equally wicked is unclear.
One has to wonder how many sermons were preached about the tornadoes in Murfreesboro, TN last week. Were the sins of Middle Tennessee Baptist Church responsible? Only fundamentalists know for sure — and they’re not saying.