In our Western/American world we believe things. Some of those things are in our cultural DNA because they were in the Bible. Here’s a passage that kind of jumped out at me while reading Luke’s record of Jesus.
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Luke 13:1-5
Do you believe that the people in the World Trade Center who died were more deserving of death than those who didn’t? I don’t.
Jesus in the passage was talking to a group of people in the Middle East. They expressed their belief that something bad had happen to people because they deserved it. Jesus said that bad things happen to people and that doesn’t mean they are bad.
I wonder if out Islamic attackers think like the people who asked Jesus this question. To them the people in the towers deserved it. If not Allah would have saved them.
Christianity says that bad things happen to good and bad people a like. And our culture believes that and probably doesn’t realize it comes from thousands of years of Christian indoctrination.
A quote from Babylon 5 that I’ve always found interesting and that has something to do with this belief.
“You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.” – Marcus Cole, Ranger to Franklin, A Late Delivery from Avalon