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Blaming God

Venturing once again into the often-touchy area of beliefs about God, I am speaking today of the topic of blaming God for every bad thing that happens.

My Japanese exchange student/host daughter has a pretty good English teacher—at a public high school, no less. But because my host daughter struggles with reading English, and especially with reading literature in the English language (because of the much larger vocabulary in those books than she encounters in everyday spoken English), I have been reading each book she has been assigned so that I can help her with her homework.

Bear with me... I am getting to the point of this essay.

So far this year they have read

  1. Bless me, Ultima, by Rudolpho Anaya, an excellent and interesting book about a young Latin-American boy growing up in New Mexico in the 1940s. Ultima, the title character, is a strong and positive influence, encouraging the young boy to find his own truths and to work on the side of good. One of the central conflicts the young boy has is that his official family religion, Catholicism, doesn't provide him with the deep and direct connection to God that he believes should be possible, and the priests are helpless against the very real spiritual evils that are present. Instead, it takes Ultima, a woman who has studied herbs and the world of spirit her entire life, to successfully combat the evils that others perpetrate.
  2. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, telling of the coming of the arrogant and ultimately evil British colonizers to a section of Africa. This book does not hold back on showing how the culture that the British destroyed had some evils of its own. The main point of this book is that a society needs to have a strong set of rules that everyone consistently follows, with clear and agreed-upon consequences for violations of those rules. The introduction by the British of a religion that breaks many of those rules is one of the things that ultimately destroys the African society.
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, an unrelentingly grim story of World War I. Religion is not a part of this book except in a very chthonic, earth-based way.
  4. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, an allegorical tale of some boys stranded on a Pacific island during World War II, and how most of them turned into vicious, killing savages. The main point of this book is that, without each person having an internal set of ethics, morals, and standards by which to live, it doesn't matter how idyllic a setting or how ideal a society or how sane and rational the laws of that society, the structure will not hold.
  5. And finally, they are currently reading Night, by Elie Wiesel, a true, first-person account of a young boy's experiences in the Nazi death camps in World War II.

As Elie experiences the inhuman brutality of the death camps, he loses his faith in God; as he says over and over again, how could God make this happen? At best, he wonders how God could allow these things to happen. And here at last (thanks for your patience), we come to the topic of this essay: Blaming God for every bad thing that happens.

A lot of people believe in God, and even say they believe in a loving and merciful God, but when it comes right down to it, they blame that supposedly loving and merciful God for every bad thing that happens to them--they say that God kills people in accidents, causes earthquakes, floods, fires, and other disasters, and in general wreaks mayhem and murder upon everyone and anything. They even go so far as to say that God "makes" people do this and that—that God makes someone be cruel or kind. In short, whatever bad thing happens, it isn't the fault of the people it happens to or the people who are doing it, but is instead it is all God's fault, and he is to blame. When asked to explain why God allows these things, the convenient dodge is to say that God is beyond our understanding.

Basically, underlying this belief system is a deep and unrelentingly anger at God and a refusal to be responsible for one's own situation. How anyone can claim they believe in a loving and merciful God while at the same time blaming him for everything bad is beyond me. Obviously, they do not really believe that God is loving and merciful.

I heartily disagree with this belief. I believe that God is both loving and merciful, so much so that when we die, we are never subjected to the Hell that people claim exists, no matter what we might have done that makes us think we deserve it. Instead, we go to a much better place, where we are given a chance to review our deeds and learn from them in a loving way.

I also believe that God loves us so much that we have all been given free will. Just as no loving parents could ever want to coerce their children or cause their children to do bad things, just so will an infinitely more loving God not wish to coerce us or cause us to do bad things. Instead, we are given the choice to behave well or badly just as we choose.

Free will must be total to be true free will. It could not be a loving act to give us free will, then tell us that we are not allowed to do this or that. No, instead, heaven and hell on earth are always options open to us, but only as far as we create them ourselves. So God did not make the Nazis commit the unspeakable acts of horror they commited. They chose to commit those acts on their own. You could argue that yes, God did allow it, but just so must God allow all things. Otherwise it would not be free will. And hard as it may be to accept, we are responsible for our own choices and actions, and we cannot blame anyone else, including and especially God, for what we do. Therefore, the best thing we can do is try to become as loving and merciful as we would like God to be. To which I say, Amen.

=+= =+= =+=

If you are interested, I did a channeling in 1996 from a Nazi general that addresses many of these issues at a much deeper and much lengthier level.


I appreciate your point. When I first came out to California from the east coast and was finishing up some undergrad classes I was struck similarly. Beyond just the outlook on God it seemed to me that there was a lot of anger against the eastern establishment. All of the stories they had us reading were as you have illustrated about the failures and weak points of western culture. The teachers elevate fairly new writers like Maya Angelou above writes like Shakespeare. They had us writing essays that had to espouse the same view points or we were docked for "not understanding the writers messages".

One cannot hope to miss the point they are making.

I agree completely. So many people don't want to be responsible for anything anymore. On the secular side, apparently either your genetics or your upbringing are responsible for everything from the person you are to each action you take. People always want something else to blame--otherwise they would have to be *gasp* wrong sometimes.

Hot Abercrombie guy... are you gonna change your name to "Amanda Huggankiss"?

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