What I hate about organized religion is that they have an answer for everything. Unfortunately, it is the same answer for every religion …
We have a relationship with the great unknowable, and we are the recipients of special knowledge and powers; therefore, trust us, follow our rules, and perpetuate our organization by spreading the word and donating to our cause.
Personally, I believe in God, but I do not believe I must join an organization to learn to speak with the Almighty, and if I need any intercession, there are my parents, relatives, and friends who have gone before me and who have led exemplary lives and done much good in the community.
So I am piss*d when I see a minister, an alleged Man of God, tell the world that “When The Saints Of First Baptist Church Were Murdered, God Was Answering Their Prayers.” A version of the age-old “bad things happen to good people because it is God’s will.” And, what God might that be who inflicts tragedy on the innocent and who have come together to celebrate Him?
More than comprehending the incomprehensible, consider Occam’s Razor and a more rational answer. There are individuals who, by creation or conditioning, have dysfunctional brain chemistry and defective neural pathways that allow them to do the worst to their fellow human beings and then justify their own twisted logic even when they might know that the result of their actions is pain and suffering – even an end to their own existence. If you want to attribute physical and psychological maladies to “evil,” have at it. But don’t expect me to honor your explanation with understanding and belief. Because I am more inclined to call bullsh*t.
Sometimes, God's will is done by allowing temporal evil to be the means through which he delivers us from eternal evil.
“Prayers don’t work. We need legislation.” This has been many secular progressives’ mantra in response to recent mass shootings in America. On Sunday, after a gunman murdered more than 20 people during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, some of them found proof of the powerlessness of prayer. Here are a few highlights:
People of goodwill can certainly disagree over the merits of gun control legislation, just as we can disagree over how long we should wait after a tragedy to discuss its political ramifications. However, we should all recognize that pointing to a couple dozen warm corpses and saying, “Fat lot of good your Jesus-begging did you” is an act of profound ugliness.
It’s also an act of profound ignorance. For those with little understanding of and less regard for the Christian faith, there may be no greater image of prayer’s futility than Christians being gunned down mid-supplication. But for those familiar with the Bible’s promises concerning prayer and violence, nothing could be further from the truth. When those saints of First Baptist Church were murdered yesterday, God wasn’t ignoring their prayers. He was answering them.
“Deliver us from evil.” Millions of Christians throughout the world pray these words every Sunday morning. While it doesn’t appear that the Lord’s Prayer is formally a part of the worship services at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, I have no doubt that members of that congregation have prayed these words countless times in their lives.
Evil Isn’t Just Temporal
When we pray these words, we are certainly praying that God would deliver us from evil temporally—that is, in this earthly life. Through these words, we are asking God to send his holy angels to guard us from those who would seek to destroy us with knives and bombs and bullets. It may seem, on the surface, that God was refusing to give such protection to his Texan children. But we are also praying that God would deliver us from evil eternally. Through these same words, we are asking God to deliver us out of this evil world and into his heavenly glory, where no violence, persecution, cruelty, or hatred will ever afflict us again.
We also pray in the Lord’s Prayer that God’s will be done. Sometimes, his will is done by allowing temporal evil to be the means through which he delivers us from eternal evil. Despite the best (or, more accurately, the worst) intentions of the wicked against his children, God hoists them on their own petard by using their wickedness to give those children his victory, even as the wicked often mock the prayers of their prey.
Bottom line …
Even worse than ministers who tell us that everything is God’s will, are the legislators who say that human nature can be resolved by more legislation and taxation. As crazy a proposition as those offering religious solutions.
Ask yourself, what criminal and crazy is going to follow a specific law? Murder is a crime. A felon in possession of a weapon is a crime. An insane person purchasing a gun is a crime. So how many crimes have been committed by criminals or the criminally insane. No legislation can fix that problem – it only denies law-abiding individuals their God-given inalienable right to self-defense – and makes them more dependent on government. A government that cannot guarantee their safety, nor takes any responsibility for the loss of their life or the lives of their family.
This is the “better red than dead” crowd who believes that waiting to die while lying on the floor of a crowded theatre is better than standing up and killing the shooter with a firearm. Let us note that it was an armed civilian who made the Texas shooter drop his weapon – and since there were no shots fired by police at the perpetrator’s crash site, he was either dead because a civilian shot him or he took his own life.
We have legislators, especially here in California, that not only refuse to enforce existing laws but are letting criminals out of jail because they falsely believe that the criminal population should mirror proportionate representation in the general population. And, carried to its logical end (reductio ad absurdum), we should be filling those empty jail cells with women. These are the legislators who look at the murder of citizens by illegal aliens who have no right to be in our country and say it is an aberration.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius