OIL SPILL IS NOT OUR WORST MANMADE DISASTER
On April 20th 2010 at about 9:45 pm (CDT) fire erupted on the Deepwater Horizon – an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. The blowout not only sunk the platform, it also took the lives of eleven workers. But the greatest damage was yet to come. It took place one mile below the water surface. The explosion had damaged one of the wellheads resulting in an oil leak at the rate of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day (1-3 million gallons). Satellite imagery of the Gulf of Mexico showed an oil slick across 2,500 square miles along the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. What seemed to be just a tragic accident quickly became known as the worst environmental disaster in American history.
The past three months have been riddled with questions like: “who will pay the damages?” “why can’t they stop it?” and “what is the government doing?” As of Thursday, BP engineers began a 48-hour experiment by placing a 75-ton metal cap to stop the gusher. This has worked so far but it remains to be seen whether it will do the trick. A potential problem might still be a new leak or leaks in the oil well. The damage has been widespread already. The oil spill has hurt marine life, the fisheries and the tourism industry. Scientists predict that environmental effects will be felt for years to come. Some of the coastal states are now afraid that new regulations against oil companies will further effect jobs of many who work on the rigs. Needless to say, this calamity could not have come at a worse time.
As bad as the oil spill has been, it does not come close to topping the list of the worst manmade disasters in America. This top disaster did not start with an explosion. Neither did it happen deep under the sea. It took place overtime and in broad daylight in the hearts and minds of everyday Americans. The award for the worst manmade disaster in America goes to the EROSION OF BIBLICAL VALUES.
Just like the oil spill, it went unnoticed at first. It began with the teaching of evolution as fact, removal of prayer from schools, legalized abortions, non-traditional family values, and many other anti-Christian sentiments. The church as a pipeline of God’s truth failed to hold up against the pressure of the world. Christians forgot to give God glory and share Christ with their neighbors. Now the plume of immorality has spread from coast to coast across the United States. Through the years we have expected the government to put a cap on the damaged wellhead of human depravity. This has only made matters worse. Now we have a full-blown gusher of economic and moral confusion in our nation. Unlike the oil spill, the impact of this disaster will have eternal consequences.
What can be done? Unlike the Gulf spill, this disaster does not cost billions of dollars in compensation and cleanup. I saw the solution this summer as our family visited Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. In his first inaugural address he said: “[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect.” Washington understood that we can’t fix our problems. We need the living God to step in. (II Chronicles 7:14)