Mothering instinct

You know what gets my goat. People who blame “mother nature” for things like massive bushfires and floods. 

How come “mother nature” is allowed to be evil and nasty and yet atheists and other anti-Christian philosophers say their big problem with the Christian God is that an “all loving, benevolent God” would not allow suffering.

Other thoughts:

I don’t know where the idea of God being “all loving” is – I think he’s holy and righteously angry as well. It’s in the bible people. 

Fires and floods don’t seem to be particularly “motherly” unless you’re a really nasty parent.

Why is it “more rational” to attribute this sort of disaster to “mother nature” than to God? I confess I don’t see “mother nature” out there trying to find followers. 

If there’s one thing that annoys me more than Christians trying to piggyback their causes cynically on the back of a disaster it’s hippies doing the same. If I hear one more hippy claiming that these fires are proof that we need more stringent carbon targets I will scream. My thoughts on climate change not withstanding the idea that Australia, a piddling island nation in the scheme of things, has much influence on the climate anyway is ridiculous. And calling for something that will cost Australian jobs while people are struggling with massive loss of life and a looming recession is not very sensitive. It could be political suicide though. On second thoughts. Go for it Greens. And invoke “mother nature” as you do it.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

7 thoughts on “Mothering instinct”

  1. I’m a mother. Sometimes my son thinks I’m evil and nasty. Like right now. I won’t put Nemo on. But I did let him watch bananas in pyjamas earlier, and might even let him watch it again. Mother Nature never seems to do nice things for people. Just mean things.

  2. I don’t think anyone is treating Mother Nature as a being who is responsible for natural disasters. It’s just a name they give natural events.

      1. My point is that they should blame God rather than some made up “mother” figure. It’s hardly a motherly thing to be killing people randomly. I don’t know why non-Christians are so comfortable with that particular superstition.

  3. but put the word ‘mother’ in anything and it sounds sweet and loveable and natural and right.

    Besides which, if you blame God then you by default have to acknoweldge his existence. If there is a God then maybe he did create the world and it didn’t evolve and maybe I really am a sinner.

    So it does make sense to blame mother nature, in a way.

  4. “I don’t know why non-Christians are so comfortable with that particular superstition.”

    But that was my point, it’s not a superstition, just another term for natural events. They’re just saying nature has caused it, which is true. God didn’t cause it. They shouldn’t be blaming God. And saying “It’s hardly a motherly thing to be killing people randomly” still suggests that they think this “mother nature” is a being actively causing natural disasters.

    1. I disagree – I think God is sovereign and these things happened “under his watch” so to speak. They just didn’t happen as a specific punishment for any particular wrong doing. They happened because creation is groaning under the curse.

      My point about “mother nature” is that I think it’s a silly thing to say. I don’t think mothers wantonly kill their children. I think the terminology is inappropriate. I think invoking “mother nature’s” name in times like this either personifies “nature” and ascribes certain powers and abilities to that person… and I think the idea of “mother nature” is fairly similar to pagan gods and even certain characters from the pantheon and other God based collectives from mythology.

      The real point was that it’s such a stupid thing. I’m a little over hearing people blame “mother nature” left, right and centre… I would think the fact that people instinctively personify nature would suggest a pretty screwed up world view. Particularly if you’re looking at the argument from a Christian perspective. And also if they’re from the atheist/agnostic camp. For example, Lisa Wilkinson on the Today program is married to Peter Fitzsimmons – one of Australia’s most militant atheists. And yet she has mentioned “mother nature” at least three times this week. That strikes me as being inconsistent with the atheist worldview.

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