If God is God, and not something I made up to please myself, then I don’t get to choose what God is.

If God is the guy I’ve read about in the Christian Bible, I despise Him.  Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent — sees all, knows all, loves us absolutely, created the entire material universe, and shaped all the life within.  God could do anything at all — yet does nothing.

If a child were being assaulted in an alley, and a big strong man with a gun and a phone and his wits about him saw it as he walked by, I would respect him if he intervened, and reject him if he did nothing.  Can I hold God to a lower standard?  No.

If that big, strong man watched it all happen, did nothing, and expected praise for comforting the child later, I would despise him with my entire being.

Can I assume God has a really good reason to stand by and do nothing when a child is being raped, tortured, killed?  No. There is nothing more important in the universe.  Say it’s subjective, say it’s my personal judgment, say what you like:  but name something more important, I dare you.  And keep in mind that we are talking about Mr. Omnipresent.  He is not jetting off to save three kids elsewhere and unable to save this one right here.   He’s nothing so measly as Superman, people, He’s GOD.

Some people say God set up our universe with rules even He cannot break.  (C.S. Lewis, I’m looking at you.)  But that denies the “omni” factor.  God cannot be limited, by definition, or God is not God.  And be honest with yourselves:  if you are going to give God the credit for some earthly interventions, you have to allow that he could intervene at other times as well.  You can’t say “He can’t” — there is nothing He can’t do; it says so right here on the label.  (See the Books of Ezra, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Matthew, Luke, and the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, canon permitting.)  All you can say is that He won’t.

Some say that for God to intervene would negate free will; again I call bullshit.   God preventing a rapist from completing his mission no more deprives the rapist of his will to do so than a mother, interrupting the swing of a toddler trying to hammer the cat, is depriving the toddler of his intent.  The will remains, but the way is impeded.  Judicious use of force to control the situation is something God can apply, if Anyone can.

It’s true that we learn from our hardships, or should learn, or must try to learn.  But, to use the most extreme example (that being also very common), when an infant is raped, tortured, and killed, what has it learned?  Nothing.

Some then argue that society learns, but that’s an enormous crock.  First, there is no lesson worth a baby being tortured; and second, society isn’t learning anything or it wouldn’t keep happening.  It happens all the goddamned time.  Condemnation is not prevention, and prevention is not possible.  Divine intervention is the only agency that could work, and no One is coming to the rescue.

Some also argue for reincarnation.  Anyone who does will get my chubby fist in his metaphorical snoot.  Among other things, it assumes that baby deserved what it got, for being a scoundrel in a previous life.  Not only is this strictly a way to justify one’s own pleasure in abusing babies, or otherwise taking advantage of those who are weaker, but it’s also bullshit from the perspective of the infant, whose life was too short to permit spiritual growth.  (Also:  see the rule which says there is no lesson worth a baby being tortured.)

And to those sincere, sweet, darling people out there who use the word “God” as a shorthand term to encompass all that is lovely, gracious, inspiring, noble, compassionate, meaningful, important, generous, kind, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent:  please get a new word.  Religion owns it, and there is already too much confusion about the definitions of many major monosyllables:  love, hate, sex, war, god…you get the picture. If you need a singular representative embodiment to thank, praise, cheer, love, and beseech, consider using a personal name, a title, or a nickname.   And for those of you committed Christians, specifically, who say, “Well, I love God, and I trust that He has a good reason,” all I can say is that no reason is good enough.  Either-0r logic can be dicey, but in this case, due to the closed-circle, infinite and absolute nature of Deity, it works.  Either He can’t, and He’s not God; or He won’t, and He’s not worth a hill of beans.

All the sunsets and sunrises and galaxies and glories of life, miracles wondrous to behold, don’t mean a thing compared to a baby crying in pain and panic.  I cannot prove God exists or does not exist.  But if He does, He has a hell of a lot to answer for.

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