At the height of the floods in Manila and most of Central Luzon, the weather service estimated that 80 percent of the metro area was under water. In one 22-hour period, 60 percent of the amount of rainfall for the month of August, or about 18.6 inches, deluged the area. This is comparable to Typhoon Ketsana’s (Ondoy) record six-hour rainfall of 13.44 inches in September 2009. Almost two million people are affected, and the death toll is about 20 and rising.
Just like most people, Filipinos are a very superstitious lot, so that their brand of Roman Catholicism is an eclectic mix of Catholicism and superstition. So they are fearful of disasters and afflictions, thinking that they are sent by God to punish them of their sins. This is not much different from pagans who think that they have to offer sacrifices to volcanoes when they show signs of impending eruptions.
So it’s no surprise when a congresswoman tweeted, “Heaven must be crying… we have to undo what has been done.” Undo what? There is a much-debated bill in Congress called the Reproductive Health bill to push family planning and the use of contraceptives. Catholic leaders are very much in opposition to this bill, in spite of one of the highest population growth and poverty rates in the world, so they’re warning their flock that the RH bill is a grievous sin. God must be in tears, but he also must be so wrathful against the RH bill—that is not even close to being passed—that he sent down a roaring amount of tears down to his disobedient people.
[Update: Rep. Magsaysay denies her tweet as related to the RH bill: “I was very surprised when the slant of the article attributed my comment to the bill when in fact I was referring to the state of calamity that Metro Manila and nearby provinces.” Her explanation of her statement makes sense. Still, always blaming sins for natural disasters is unfounded.]
Another tweet/text making the rounds here is that of the date of the flood, 8-7-12, as if there were floods only on one day. Maybe we should be building Noah’s ark, since Genesis 8:7-12 is about the end of Noah’s flood. These verses are an account of Noah sending out birds to check if the flood had receded, so maybe instead of sending out birds, they should just see if askals are swimming or walking. Do they even know that God will not destroy the unbelieving world again by water, but he will purge and restore it by fire? (2 Pet 3:10)
Lastly, all the signs and wonders loonies are now having a grand time after they rebuked the rain, and it has actually been quiet since last night. Some of them must be having a heyday praying over the flooded roads, and even leading their flock on Jericho Walks, or maybe, Jericho Swims. I saw one post saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I take authority over this weather system and command it to flee!” Jesus is really a homeboy for these people. A man has authority over the storm, but isn’t Baal the storm-god? Is he a Moses or an Elijah who has God-given power over the elements? Even Paul doesn’t command God to calm the storm when he was on a ship in trouble on the way to Rome. Nothing wrong with praying for the rains to cease, but there’s something really looney when we think YHWH is our butler in the sky.