Poll: Most in U.S., except evangelicals, see no divine sign in disasters

We may never know why bad things happen to good people, but most Americans— except evangelicals — reject the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment, a test of faith or some other sign from God, according to a new poll.

The poll released today by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service, was conducted a week after a March 11 earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan.

Nearly six in 10 evangelicals believe God can use natural disasters to send messages — nearly twice the number of Catholics (31%) or mainline Protestants (34%). Evangelicals (53%) are also more than twice as likely as the one in five Catholics or mainline Protestants to believe God punishes nations for the sins of some citizens.

The poll found that a majority (56%) of Americans believe God is in control of the earth, but the idea of God employing Mother Nature to dispense judgment (38% of all Americans) or God punishing entire nations for the sins of a few (29%) has less support.

From Noah’s fabled flood to 21st-century disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, some people blame incomprehensible calamities on human sinfulness.

Such interpretations often offend victims, however. Public outcry prompted Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara to apologize for calling the disaster a “divine punishment” for Japanese egoism.

“It’s interesting that most Americans believe in a personal God and that God is in control of everything that happens in the world … but then resist drawing a straight line from those beliefs to God’s direct role or judgment in natural disasters,” noted Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute.

The poll found that most racial and ethnic minority Christians (61%) believe natural disasters are God’s way of testing our faith — an idea that resonates with African-Americans’ history of surviving through slavery and racial discrimination.


Whether you believe it or not, it doesn’t change the Truth. Mankind IS under Yahweh’s wrath and judgment at present.

Dawn Lucifer Satan the Devil is using the withdrawal of Yahweh’s Spirit from the masses to inject that Yahweh is either a defunct God or non existent. After Christianity preaching a false message that made people believe all is well if they just fill the coffers and say “Praise the Lord!” it is going to lead to resentment and outright anger against those that profess to believe in Christ and/or Yahweh. But all is foreseen by Yahweh and is part of the revelation of the end times; not putting up with the healthful message and persecuting the messengers.