Religion has been a force of guidance and comfort for many of our greatest leaders and unfortunately some of our most infamous leaders. Religion by itself is not the evil, how one uses and interprets that religion often is. There is a bad tendency among some people who have certain religious beliefs to categorize the world into good and evil, or if we borrow religious terms: gods and devils. If something miraculous happens, than its’ the act of a merciful god, while if something unspeakable horrible happens, its’ the obvious work of a devil that god chose not to stop. At the risk of creating an religious tirade in the comments, there simply has to be more to the picture than one world of absolute good and evil.
There are some African tribes that practice voodoo and other rituals that some may consider black magic. There are similar people in Haiti. Africa and Haiti are two of the most tragic, poverty stricken, places on this planet. The fact that events like the massive earthquake in Haiti and the current famine in Africa could be read as a sign of other worldly influences like a god or devil, or we could look at it as a referendum of our own humanity because weren’t we put upon this earth to have love and compassion for our fellow man? Still, if we are going to put a religious context behind world events, there’s a question that needs to be asked “If we attribute the events in Africa and Haiti to the devil, or to a vengeful god, as some might suggest, why have such people been granted such tragedy?
Are the people of Africa, Haiti, the United States, wherever, who die, lose their home, etc. all just massively evil people or have drawn Satan’s rage? I think most people would look at you as though you’ve lost your mind, if you made that statement. The reality is that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. It may be beyond this life for us to understand why these things occur. I must say though that it sounds tragic for some fringes of the religious community to continue to play the god verses devil debate when it comes to world events like those in Haiti and Africa because their somehow evil people. I’m not saying that God or the devil doesn’t exist on this planet, I just believe that the answer we seek is deeper than good and evil, black and white and rests firmly on the shoulders of humanity in this world.