PORSTEWART, Northern Ireland--throughout the Unted Kingdom, following the tsunami that killed at least 150,000 people and changed the lives of their surviving relatives forever, some are asking how a "loving" God, if He exists, could allow such a catasprophe to happen. Another question is, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" The questions are mostly rhetorical, since by asking them, the questioners don't expect, or even desire, and answer. They are asking in an accusatory way, as if the questions themsleves indict, try and convict as fools those who beleive in God. One counterquestion should be: Why do GOOD things happen to BAD people? The scriptures say, "Only God is god." All humanity is diagnosed as "sinful" and "not righteous." Our desires are "only evil all the time." Look it up. What about a "good God allowing bad things? death is the destiunation of all living organisms. Some die sooner than others. Shouldn't a "good God" provide a way to escape the grave? He has, but requires faith, which critics and skeptics lack. Here's another question for those who ask the other questions: If catastrophe proves there is no God, does charity prove he exists? Individuals in Britain have contributed millions of pounds to the tsunami survivors, more thatn their government. Most of the world's charities helping in the effort are Christian and American. Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation, yet Muslim nations, including the fabulously wealthy Saudi regime, have given chump change compared to those countries with majority Christian populations. Don't expect Christians, or Americans, to gain points with those who beleive America is the "Great satan." Human tragedy is bad enough, but listening to some theologians trying to explain it is doubly irritating. the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, wrote a Jan. 2 column for the Subday Telegraph about the tsunami disaster. The front-page headline about the column proclaimed, "Archbishop of Canterbury admits: This makes me doubt the existance of God." The headline writer misrepresented the archbishop's view, but so convoluded was Dr. Williams' statement about the disaster (as noted by an editorial the next day) it is understandable how the writer of the headline reached his conclusion. Theologians should offer hope and truth. The pagans serve up enough doubt. Rather than attempt to bring mankind up to God's level, many skeptics try to bring God down to mans level, remaking him in a human image and thus encouraging the false view that God is someone who is supposed to make us happy and prosperous. If we are unhappy and not rich (or not rich enough), we will deny He exists. Prosperity and good health provide their own motives for unbelief, as C.s. Lewis and numerous other thinkers have eloquently written. When Dr. Williams says prayer provides no "magical solutions" and most of the stock Christian answere to human suffering do not "go very far in helping us, one week on, with the intolerable grief and devastation in front of us," where would he suggest we turn, if not to God? Let me a nonthelogian, offer some help to the skeptics. In Job, Chapter 1, Job suffers a ctastrophe when God allows satan to take away his children and wordly goods to test his faith. Job makes two statements that ought to be remembered and repeated in times like these. The first is, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. the lord gave and the Lord has taken away, shall we accept good from God and not trouble?" Cal Thomas www.townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/printct20050104.shtml My own belief is this, Satan and sin cause horrible things to happen, and God, if one has faith and hope will turn it all around and make things right. All those that lost their lives have a high place in heaven, those they left behind if prayerful will get strength to go on and do positive things ev entually being reunited with them in heaven, and all those that are helping and giving time and money will get many graces towards getting to heaven themselves. On the surface it seems like little comfort, but in reality it is very powerful.