I made the usual mistake that I often make on weekday mornings; I turned on the Weather Channel hoping to see a weather forecast. As usual, I got everything but.
Stephanie Abrams, the co-anchor de jour, who is most famous for talking about inane and meaningless trivia through the weekly planner segment, was moderating a panel of four or five 'experts', two of whom were religious figures, discussing the recent tornado outbreak. She managed to look like a fool during this segment as well.
One of the 'experts' was Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. His response to Stephanie's less-than-inspiring question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" was that we should shake our fist in God's face and challenge him on why he is being so mean to people he's supposed to care about. Another 'expert' was Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, the President of Union Theological Seminary. She promptly replied that there is no answer to this question, and anyone who tries to answer it is only making things worse.
Makes one wonder if either of these folks has any familiarity at all with their respective corpus of religious writings.
I like this response from John Piper a lot better. He does answer the question, and he doesn't make anything worse, unless (of course) you hold a worldview that places man above God in both value and authority. But if you hold that worldview, I'm afraid the Rev. Dr. Jones is right, at least in your world.
If anyone needs empirical evidence that our culture needs the gospel, including some of our most well-know religious leaders, well, there you go. As for having barely competent weather-babes moderating a panel of liberal theologians, it would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. Real people are hurting in real ways, and all they have to offer are sound-bite-quality pablum.