It was some coincidence but yesterday I saw two sides of television. An afternoon documentary described vividly the tension between two tectonic plates that led to the December 26 tsunami. It explained that as the India plate slipped below the Burma plate, the two resisted and jammed, building the pressure. But the India plate continued to push downward while the other plate held it off. They both bent downward, tense as a stretched rubberband. Inevitably, the Burma plate had to give. The plate snapped up, and its entire boundary rose. displacing a large volume of water. Imagine a glass full of water suddenly becoming half its size. The water has to go somewhere. The water was forced either side of the plate boundary at approximately the speed of a jet plane. As the waves reached the shore they slowed down, but from behind more displaced water kept pushing, and so they became bigger. These were the walls of water.
The explanation was easy to comprehend. And you understood then that it would happen again, because that's how the earth is. God did not play any role here.
Later that day, on Miraclenet: a catholic preacher held hands with his translator and fishermen before the sea. He invoked god, asked him to lay off the tsunamis, told the sea to back off and never return, he prayed that people donated boats and nets and motors, he commanded fish to come to their nets, and last, he told the fishermen to remember that all this was the doing of Jesus.
Here's the frightening thing: earlier this year a guy from TAM, the tv ratings agency - it is inaccurate but it's the only decent system around right now - told me that the religious channel market was already bigger than the music channel market. And this is only in the towns and cities with a population over 100,000. Will the percentage be larger when villages are accounted for?