Tahlequah Daily Press

April 9, 2014

As Moore tornado anniversary nears, documentaries ask, ‘Where was God?’

By KEITH HANSEN
Publisher

TAHLEQUAH — Moore’s tragedy gripped Oklahomans with the fear of God. That fear was shared in most of the nation that experiences tornadic activity during the transition from the cold blasts of Arctic air to the more pleasant winds from the Gulf of Mexico.

But one question put to readers in a publication that crossed my desk was a bit confusing to me. It asks its readers: “Where was God?”

The question begs the reader to question why God, the all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present spiritual being, would allow such a destructive element of nature to destroy life and property.

To me, the question arises from sheer ignorance.

We have become a nation that wants any mention of God – that is, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and father of Jesus Christ the Messiah – out of government and our lives. Period.

We have, for the most part, removed God from courthouse lawns, where our predecessors erect the 10 Commandments. (They, the commandments, seem to make those hell-bent on breaking each of those commandments, or watering them down, to infer that they were mere suggestions.)  

We also want no reference to him in our schools – certainly not at a time when we traditionally celebrate the birth of Christ. No, that’s now referred to as being the holiday season. (If there is a place he was most needed on May 16, 2013, it was in the schools of Moore.)

Now, there is a movement to remove any reference to God (or Jesus Christ) from the military’s chaplaincy. Again, chaplains are those who comfort our dying men and women in the U.S. armed forces. (Does anyone recall the term “foxhole conversion”?)

God is not welcome in most public venues.

Where was God on May 16, when an EF-5 tore through Moore, Okla.? He was waiting to be asked to assist. I guess, as Dr. Billy Graham has insisted, God is a gentleman. He will not show up where he is not welcome.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying, as some may have, that it was God’s punishment of Moore. That kind of talk is nuts! What I am saying is that as our society chooses to ignore the principles of the Judeo-Christian faith in favor of secular humanism, don’t expect God to come riding in on a white horse to rescue us from danger. To have that level of expectation is called duplicity. It’s also arrogant and presumptuous.

Where was God on May 16, 2013? He was in Moore, Okla., living in the lives of men, women and children who placed their faith in him long before the winds of change blew their homes and schools apart.

Further, let’s stop acting as though God owes us. Let’s mourn with the families who were stricken with that horrible tragedy on that fateful day. We vividly recall the images that were printed and viewed as though it happened yesterday.

Perhaps, in memory of those who lost their lives that day, we who survived for another year should exhibit a little humility and ask that God protect the survivors of Moore and the rest of this state’s residents are we enter this 2014 tornadic season.

“An ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you have just found out” – Will Rogers.

khansen@tahlequahdailypress.com