Karmic event

Buddhists and the tsunami
When disaster strikes, people turn to religion to help them answer two questions: Why did this happen? and What should we do about it? Call the first the meaning question and the second the action question. In the aftermath of the tsunami, which struck several predominantly Buddhist lands, one could see Buddists answering these questions in distinctive ways—though not necessarily ways that are entirely incongruent with Christianity.

Consider first the meaning question. Although different Christians might answer the meaning question with slightly different formulations, almost all would develop an answer out of their ethical, monotheistic tradition. Christians believe in a single, powerful God who desires good for the created world, including human beings. The Christian response to disaster, then, is to pray: Why, God, did you let this happen? How can this possibly be in your plan for us?


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