The article itself is frightening.
"Archbishop of York John Sentamu said he had 'nothing to say to make sense of this horror', while another clergyman, Canon Giles Fraser, preferred to respond 'not with clever argument but with prayer'."
So even the most "respected" theologians in the country don't have a ruddy clue. You would think the next paragraph would start "uh oh, looks like their beliefs don't hold even the slightest drop of water here, maybe all that virgin birth, everlasting life stuff is nonsense too...". Instead:
"Perhaps their stance is understandable. The Old Testament is also not clear to the layman on such matters."
Yes but they're not "laymen" are they? One of them is the Archbishop of York.
"So what should believers say?"
How about "I'm clearly wrong"?
"To make progress, we might distinguish two kinds of evil:
•the awful things people do, such as murder, and
•the awful things that just happen, such as earthquakes"
You can't really do that actually. The earthquake in Haiti might come under the heading of "natural disasters" but if the country wasn't so poorly run and if the international community had been more engaged in improving life there, more accepting of Haitian refugees and faster to respond after the earthquake there's no doubt the loss of life could have been massively reduced. So it is a largely man-made disaster. And by the same token the difference between reckless driving and manslaughter can be down to weather conditions making the road slippery. If there were a god, she could intervene at any time with a well-placed lightening bolt.
"It's OK, some will insist, because God works in mysterious ways."
Weird how if I'm trying to be mysterious I talk in half sentences and avoid eye contact, god does it by throwing rubble on the heads of 200,000 Haitians. And the last line of the article is:
"If a deity exists, why didn't he prevent this?"
In other stupid questions: If cheese is purple, why doesn't it taste of blackcurrant? If Spain is next to Antarctica, why is it so warm? If goats usually wear mini-skirts, why isn't there one in the Spice Girls? (enough stupid questions...)
Lets try this question instead: Given that no deity exists, why do I keep assigning a gender to a mythical concept?
Or this one: Given that no deity exists and prayer doesn't work, is there really any use for this great big stained glass building and if there isn't how many parcels of medical supplies could we buy and deliver to Haiti with the money we'd get selling it and wouldn't people respect us a whole lot more if we did that instead of wandering about in embroidered frocks smilingly admitting our religious beliefs don't hold up to the slightest bit of scrutiny?