Is it wrong to interpret certain bad events as ill omens?

In the lead up to the awful Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex “marriage”, I’ve noticed a lot of odd events lately. Of course, just last winter, Boston, MA received 110 inches of snow. Not normal. Deadly tornadoes struck Moore, OK in March. Severe drought in California; worst in recorded history. Floods in Texas. Just last week, a violent squall appeared in the town where I work, and just blocks from me uprooted a very old street tree and caused it to topple on a home. Trees are not supposed to uproot like that. And of course there’s the big spate of shark attacks of the NC coast. Just yesterday, a farmer in TX was killed by a swarm of bees! Now there are warnings of terrorist attacks this 4th of July. Am I wrong to interpret these as messages as signs of God’s displeasure? Is this divination?

And what of the earthquake in Nepal, where the people are poor and have nothing to do with the US decision on same sex marriage? What of the people in Haiti who suffered so greatly a few years ago?

You are cherry picking “signs” that you think support your position. Natural disasters happen. Everywhere.

Christ discussed this very topic! St Luke 13:
1AND there were present, at that very time, some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2And he answering, said to them: Think you that these Galileans were sinners above all the men of Galilee, because they suffered such things? 3No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish. 4Or those eighteen upon whom the tower fell in Siloe, and slew them: think you, that they also were debtors above all the men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5No, I say to you; but except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish.

All bad things that happen are a direct or indirect result of sin, so it is important for us to do penance.

I have to tread carefully here, as to not sound uncharitable. But I have heard Protestant theologians blame those disasters on idolatry (Buddhism) and voodoo respectively.

If by “wrong” you mean “sinful”, then it’s probably not wrong. But if by “wrong” you mean “incorrect”, then, yes, you are wrong. :wink:

As 1ke said, bad things happen everywhere. And they happen all the time. Any given year, you can find natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Now, is there a connection between tragedy and sin? Certainly. But it’s more the symptoms of a fallen world than God punishing specific people for specific sins. If that was the route God took, I would think there would have been an epic amount of disasters surrounding Roe v. Wade. As bad as this SCOTUS decision is, Roe v. Wade was and is far more heinous.

Must respectfully disagree. Abortion was legal in many states, and spreading, before Roe came down in Jan. 1973. Even when abortion was illegal everywhere, abortions in the US were still in the 6-figure range, and that was out of a population over 1/3 smaller than our present 320 million. Abortions are a private affair. Same-sex “marriage” is a public affair. Plus most importantly, homosexuality is condemned throughout scripture. Leviticus, Romans, Corinthians, Timothy; throughout both the OT and NT. Abortion is not explicitly mentioned anywhere in scripture.

Do we have to make a sacrifice to the volcano god next? Seriously where’s salvation of Christ here who died for our sin?

Well, tornado activity as a total is actually low, hurricane activity as well. There will always be natural disasters…people do our best to cope and it does give us an opportunity to show our love for God by helping our affected neighbors.

The effects of California’s drought were exacerbated by-- increasing influx of immigrants/population growth with no investment in increased storage infrastructure; allocating 50% of water resources to environmental projects (attempting to establish salmon runs in streams, trying to maintain a bay as fresh-water vice the natural ebb and flow between brackish/salt/fresh… still fully supporting those projects while cutting water to people).

But you have not heard your Mother the Church say any such thing. Protestants can say many things, that does not make them true.

Well, at the risk of coming across as uncharitable—there’s *never *been enough water to support the populations in that part of the country. The reality is sometimes we can’t outspend and out-engineer nature, and it becomes time to face the facts. Facetiously, but not 100% absurdly, maybe it’s time for people to pack it in and find somewhere else to live.

My Mother the Church treats theodicy like a third rail. So, Protestant theologians step in to fill the void.

The drought is just one example I’ve cited. And why isn’t any rain being sent? I’m sure Ahab’s subjects wondered the same thing. And many of the people in those days would have said “it’s just nature. It’s got nothing to do with Jezebel and that worshiping Baal business.” They were wrong, of course.

The Church has a lot of teaching on suffering. St JPII wrote extensively on the subject.

They have no authority to teach. And you should not be following what they teach, as it can lead to error.

OK. I’ve read some excerpts of St JPII. To wit, here at: catholic.com/magazine/articles/a-pope%E2%80%99s-answer-to-the-problem-of-pain It’s beautifully written, but doesn’t get to the point. It says nothing about harbingers (omens), or disasters as signs of God’s displeasure, nor does it tie specific bad events to specific sins. At least the Protestant theologians, though one must be very careful in reading or listening to them, are willing to go out on a limb and do this. One example, many years ago I remember hearing Beverly La Haye (a Protestant theologian) opine that the American Civil War was caused by God allowing Satan to almost destroy the United States due to the sin of slavery. Seems like a plausible argument. If Catholic scholars want to keep the intellectually curious on board, they’ll have to be willing to go to the nitty-gritty in this regard. Just saying “bad things happen so you’ll be a better person” just doesn’t cut it anymore.

But in a way, by choosing to side with the Protestant theologians, aren’t you also saying the Catholic scholars are wrong? The Catholic theologians might not go to the nitty-gritty because maybe the nitty-gritty doesn’t conform with Catholic theology.

No, I’m only saying that they’re not answering the question. They’re tiptoeing around it. If our scholars aren’t tackling the hard questions, the curious will go somewhere else for answers.

You are chasing a false theology and false prophets of doom.

The Church doesn’t teach nonsense. The church does not “go out on limbs” to teach false teachings. Trying to pin specific events on God’s wrath for X, Y, or Z is heretical.

It seems you are more interested in false ideas that tickle your ears than the truth of Divine Revelation.

No question it’s a bad drought, but a bad drought is a human definition. If, over millions of years, an area develops a hot, dry, semi-arid climate then so-called droughts come and go. It’s the natural way.

The drought only becomes a problem when people move in and expect/require enough fresh water to make possible their lifestyles.

Southern California isn’t a Garden of Eden that’s been dehydrated by God; it started out that way.

**You **say they’re tiptoeing around it. I’m saying they might have solid theological divinely revealed reasons to address it in the manner in which they do.

There is a huge difference between the Carholic view of our redemption and continued need for penance and the Protestant view, much too large to answer quickly here. I would recommend Radio Replies, which are available online. Let me know if you have trouble finding the site and I will post the link.

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