CommunityMy FDLSeminal

You’re Right Gov. Perry, God Is Speaking in the BP Oil Disaster

“We don’t know what the event that has allowed for this massive oil to be released. And until we know that, I hope we don’t see a knee-jerk reaction across this country that says we’re going to shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, because the cost to this country will be staggering. From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.”

In a Twitter world these comments by Texas Gov. Rick Perry became instantly infamous. Perry quickly sought to clarify his remarks. "If you will go look up the definition of ‘Act of God,’ we’ve used it in legal terms for a long time in this state.”

I’m not writing to divine what Gov. Perry really meant by his assessment. I am writing as one who endeavors to practice the exhortation of Jesus. Those “who have ears to hear let them hear.”

God did not cause this oil spill. BP and their contractors did. It is a human failure. I agree with Gov. Perry. God is speaking in the Gulf of Mexico as the Source has spoken through the ages.

God is speaking to us in this tragedy that took 11 hard working human lives. God is speaking for the degradation that is occurring in the ocean waters killing unsuspecting sea life. God is speaking for the millions of people who will likely lose their way of life and livelihoods.

God is speaking through the Prophets and the eternal principles they released into the world.

God is speaking like this.

“With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless one You will show Yourself blameless;

With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.

You will save the humble people; But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down.”

I don’t believe God is a one man Cosmic Supreme Court delivering verdicts to humanity. I do believe there are universal, immutable moral laws that have natural consequences when we violate them.

Rev. King wrote from his Birmingham jail cell.

“How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”

The BP oil disaster is one more incident of a haughty humanity out of harmony with the perennial order. Our species is waking up ever so slowly from a developmental phase in which we sought to use our new found technologies to overpower nature.

Except for a few people living in the forests we are all living in this twisted worldview. We are all culpable. Our transgressions are on a continuum. BP is you and I writ large.

Will we fully awaken in time? The answer is not technological. The answer is moral.

An ancient Jewish proverb offers a sacred remedy.

“Pride leads to destruction; humility leads to honor.”

Previous post

Times Square Terrorism: Examining the Impact of Drone Strikes

Next post

The Day Is Done But I Don't Think I Got It Right

Chuck Freeman

Chuck Freeman

Rev. Chuck Freeman has served as Minister of Spiritual Life with Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin, Texas since 1996. He is the creator, producer and host of the radio program “Soul Talk” in its 14 year of broadcasting. The program currently airs on Progressive Blend Radio based in Washington, D.C.

Chuck is the Founder and President of The Free Souls Project, promoting the integration of spirituality, democracy and ethics from a liberal faith perspective.
You can hear Chuck’s podcasts at or peruse his blog at He is also a regular author on The Seminal,

His Op Ed Pieces have been published in the Austin American Statesman and with Austin’s NPR affiliate, KUT.

Chuck is a lively, reflective, down to earth man who combines irreverence, compassion, and a playful humor in his life and work.