Busted Halo
feature : word on ths street
January 4th, 2005
Word on the Street: in Bangalore

How has the tsunami disaster affected your faith in God?

I was on vacation with my family in a beach in Kerala. A couple of beaches fifty kilometers away were hit by the tsunami and people lost their lives. Our beach was safe. I visited Kizhamanakudi, a village near Kanyakumari, which was affected, to help with the relief. There were about 400 houses there and about 300 are now gone.

I witnessed the work done by the Christian priest and felt good about handing over stuff to him. Earlier, I'd been negative about the conversions done by Christian priests but now I am neutral about it.

I've seen the best and the worst of people in this tragedy. A business person arranged for his van to be used in the evenings for the relief work. Because houses cannot be constructed in proximity to the beach, people have hiked up the land prices in the interior areas to profit from this tragedy.

For me, personally, the experience was overwhelming.
"Since I don't know whether to believe in the existence of God, I don't know if God caused the tsunami. The tsunami just happened because of physical circumstances. Given a logical explanation for an event I'd believe in that rather than a supernatural explanation. I am affected by the loss of people but I don't connect it to God; I am affected at a human level."
Deepak and Tanya
Natural disasters have been happening in India , an earthquake in Gujarate, floods in Orissa, and now the tsunami. Maybe God slept for a minute in this case. We can't predict the future, what has happened is fate. God has chosen to call some people to Him. A friend's father escaped the tsunami by chance. We continue to believe in God. If He wasn't around, things might have gone even more wrong.
"I don't think that God did this. Everything has God's hand in it, but this is not a punishment for good or bad. We can't explain why it happened because it is beyond our understanding. There is no change in my faith and belief in God�that will never change."
Jason, 33
"Why don't people go to Church? I don't go to Church because I have my own spirituality. I like to define it and I don't like to go by anyone else's rules. More and more, organized religion in the modern culture is seen as too confining and too secular. It's more about being open minded than following rules."

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