Jason does not believe the same way that most Christians believe. Jason thinks for himself and doesn't twist the Bible to suit his agenda.
If I hear even one more time, someone tell somebody else that their child dying or a relative dying of cancer is God’s Will, I’m going to lose it. I’m so tired of hearing that same, horrible narrative about a tragedy occurring throughout life.
Every time I hear that illogical statement, it brings me back to the years I attended church. 21 of them, to be exact. I heard far too many ignorant, hypocritical statements during those years. Many of them were said by my own family. My dad was the pastor.
Sadly, I was a pretty homophobic kid and teenager in the 80s until the later 90s. We were taught that homosexuals were going to burn in Hell. That they had, and I quote, “A diseased mind”. That their homosexual tendencies were the result of mental illness. That they were spreading the plague of AIDS, a punishment sent from God for them loving other humans. It makes me sick even typing these words.
As I grew up, I educated myself in college and surrounded myself with better, more caring, less ignorant people. I realized how incredibly stupid many Christians were. How unbelievably insensitive, uncaring, judgmental, and completely the opposite of what Jesus taught us to be. And I wanted no part of it.
It really became worse and more evident with the rise of Donald Trump. Suddenly, being openly racist, bigoted, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and hatefully angry became en vogue for many conservative Christians. Many liberal people like my Bride and myself expressed views of caring about all people. We were always wanting to help refugees, house the homeless, help women with their freedom of choice, and create an equal country for all races and sexual orientations. Suddenly, we seemed hated for having these views.
It strikes me as ironic that the Christians who twist the Bible and weaponize it in their fight against equality are further from the teachings of Jesus than most of us who identify as atheist, agnostic, or of a religion that’s NOT Christian. That hypocrisy just baffles me.
So when I hear that a baby dies, it’s a tragedy. When I lost my brother-in-law to cancer just months after his diagnosis, that was a tragedy. When war is being waged against a tiny country and civilians are being murdered en masse, that’s a tragedy. It is NOT God’s will.
If God’s Will is to teach us to follow him and obey or else he’ll punish us with death and tragedy, then he’s not a real god. Christians will tell you that God is a god of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and power. He can create miracles and do anything. If this is true, why does he do NOTHING, in so many cases?
If God is truly omnipotent, where was he during the Holocaust when Jews and homosexuals were being exterminated like bugs? Was it God’s Will that it happened, to teach us all lessons that killing millions of people is not ok? I think he covered that in the First Commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. Did we really need an example like the Holocaust? Or any world war?
If God is all-powerful and loves us as much as the Bible said, why are people and children dying of cancer? Why do babies fall asleep and never wake up? Why do people get murdered daily? Because it’s God’s Will that they and their loved ones suffer? No.
It boils down to two options: Either God isn’t omnipotent and can’t stop these things from happening, or he is, and he just chooses not to intervene and help the people he claims to love so much. I tend to lean toward Door #1 and wonder if he even exists.
This brings me to another thought. If God so loved the world, that he gave his only son for us and rose from the dead some 2000+ years ago, why does he threaten these people he claims to love so much with eternal damnation and fiery hell? That doesn’t sound very loving at all.
It sounds more like an abusive relationship to me. “I love you, but you must obey me. I died for you, so you should follow me blindly and try to follow my teachings. But even if you’re racist, bigoted, homophobic, sexist, or xenophobic, I’ll still let you into Heaven if you repent. You don’t even have to be a decent person, help others or do good works, just believe my story.”
“But if you’re a decent human being, one who cares for all people, pushes for equality, helps the homeless, fights for women’s rights, and loves your neighbor, yet doesn’t accept Christ or attend church, you’re doomed to die in Hell. Because you didn’t do what I asked of you. Or you chose to follow one of many thousands of other religions, instead of mine.”
I’m sorry, but that sounds petty and unrealistic. I don’t think any omnipotent, caring, loving, deity would act that way. Nor do I feel that a deity that loves his followers and has unlimited power would allow them to die by war, disease, or any other force that is not as powerful as he claims to be.
I cannot imagine allowing even one child to die prematurely. I wouldn’t even allow animals to die. Sure we need to feed the world, but I’m guessing an all-powerful god could create a meat substitute that would taste better than tofu.
I feel that religion was created to control the masses and to help people accept their impending future deaths more easily. It is also used to justify wars raged in the game of God. If there is a god out there, I bet he’s pretty sick of our deranged human species carrying out war, murder, and other atrocities in his name. Unless he enjoys watching us all suffer? Doubtful.
I hope there is a god out there. I really don’t like the idea of the permanence of death. But the logical man that I am, I cannot believe that the god most conservative Christians use to justify their hate and bigotry is the one that will decide whether I join paradise after death. Along with a bunch of hateful, devious, self-righteous hypocrites. Or maybe I’ll burn in Hell with Gandhi and other wonderful humans who weren’t practicing Christians.
So on this Easter Sunday, think about what it means to be an actual Christian. Strive to be better toward all humans. Don’t weaponize your beliefs to persecute or treat others poorly. And please stop using the phrase, “It’s God’s Will” to justify death and tragedy. You don’t know what God is thinking, and nobody who is suffering an enormous loss wants to hear that.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.