Your devoted fans in the Republican Party say you have a plan. They say you don’t give us humans more hardship than we can handle. They say you know exactly what you are doing and there is no such thing as global warming. And they say “God is Love.”
So, God, was that you last Friday loving on the 39 people who were killed by tornados, 21 of whom were in Kentucky and 12 in Indiana? Your fans say you are in control of these things, not science, so that must have been you who decided to fling Indiana’s Babcock family from their home into a field via twister. That must have been you who allowed their toddler, 15-month-old Angel, to stay alive for a day or two before allowing her to succumb to her traumatic brain injuries so that her devastated extended family had to make the agonizing decision to “pull the plug.”
Was that you, God?
I wouldn’t blame you for being fed up with mankind’s inability to use the superior brains you gave us to save us from ourselves. We have made a fine mess of things, to be sure. Even 2000+ years after you allegedly sent your son to the planet to save our sorry souls, we are still solving our problems by killing each other. Oh, we have put our superior brains to work at developing incrementally lethal weapons with which to do our killing. That we have accomplished. And your devoted fans in the Republican Party don’t seem to have any problem with any of that. That they file under “National Security” and parade off to church on Sunday singing “Onward Christian Soldiers.”
Was that you, God, who in 2010 sent that violent earthquake to Haiti to kill 316,000 people, injure 300,000 and make 1,000,000 homeless? If you love all of us, as your fans insist you do, that is a funny way to show it. Those Haitian people were already in a pretty bad way. Many of the houses that earthquake destroyed were little more than shanty huts with tin roofs and dirt floors. I cannot imagine that you would have a plan that would include such wholesale pain and suffering. But your fans say it must, because you didn’t prevent it.
Was that really you, God?
That little girl in Georgia, Jorelys Rivera, who was snatched from her apartment complex’s playground, raped, bludgeoned to death and tossed into a trash compactor by a 20 year old janitor—what could she have done to deserve such a violent end to her life? She was only seven years old. Your son was reported to have said “suffer the little children to come unto me…” (matthew/19-14) Surely you could have interceded on this poor child’s behalf.
You and I have had our moments, God. I have struggled mightily with the evidence that negates your existence. But then, something happens like it did yesterday. I had a distant relative come to town for a conference over the weekend. I picked her and her husband up at their hotel to give them a whirlwind tour of Atlanta. Since it was a Sunday, the usual traffic madness that Atlantans endure during the week was reduced to a manageable lightness. As I was passing by Georgia State University, I took too long pointing out a building and allowed the car to drift over the lane line into the path of a passing car. The other driver reacted swiftly, laid on his horn and averted a collision. He was as mad as a hornet, but we were spared an unpleasant turn of events, at the very least.
It is times like that when I think you have intervened, God, and I usually whisper a quiet “Thank you, God.” Those are the kinds of things I believe a “loving” God would do.
Was that you, God?
Others, your devoted fans especially, tend to think you are angry and send tornados and earthquakes and tsunamis to punish us for our transgressions. I don’t buy it. The God I was taught to believe in knows everything and would therefore be able to select the offenders from the masses. The God I was taught to believe in would protect an innocent child and punish the man who would even think about harming her.
Most important, the God I was taught to believe in would never punish me for questioning your motives or your very existence. The so-called fear of God based on the fire and brimstone approach to religions created by mankind is not something I can believe. Instead, I choose to believe the planet Earth is a complex environment that has its own plans. The more humans rape and squander Earth’s resources; the more we allow our greed to fail to respect the delicate ecological balances; and the more we operate our “toys” without regard for the polluting effects they have on those balances, the more violent the Earth’s responses.
No, I don’t believe that was you, God. But if it was, could you please lighten up?