Last weekend Hurricane Ike crashed into Texas causing a lot of destruction and mayhem. Many residents were urged to evacuate the area; however, between 90,000 and 140,000 individuals decided to be stupid and “tough” it out. Why? At least one reason given was a religious one. Several newspapers recorded the reason for one man:
“I believe in the man up there, God,” said William Steally, a 75-year-old retiree who planned to ride out the storm in Galveston without his wife or sister-in-law. “I believe he will take care of me.”
Let’s look at this statement in detail.
First the statement is extremely selfish and self-serving. Mr. Steally has shown:
– A complete disregard for his own life.
– An uncaring attitude toward his family who presumably cares for him and would prefer to see him alive rather than dead.
– A disregard for his neighbors who may be influenced by his decision to stay.
– An “in your face” attitude those first responders who have to put their life in danger to rescue him.
Second, does Mr. Steally really believe what he said? If he really trusted God to take care of him, why did he have his wife and sister-in-law evacuate the area? Why didn’t he evacuate and trust his God to protect his house and possessions? How come God can protect him but not his house?
Personally, I think Mr. Steally is using religion as a “rational” means to do what he wants – to protect his stuff. I find this interesting for someone who is supposed to be non-materialistic and building reward in heaven. This man values his stuff more than his life, his family, his neighbors and the men and women who have to put their lives in jeopardy because of his foolishness. Then again, maybe he really believes what he said and doesn’t look at the inconsistencies between his words and his actions. Religion, after all, makes people do some very stupid things.