Ask Rev Dr V. Pickle Langer-Langer, a social/cultural scientist, on today’s issues and inanities
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
Dear Reverend Doctor Langer-Langer,
My friend recently told me that if there is a God, why does He allow terrible things to happen, like sick children and war and starvation? He feels that devout people are stupid. He hasn’t been to religious services in so long he couldn’t find a church if I drove him to the front door. What can I say to him?
Signed, Out of Info.
My Dear Info,
Bless you my son. Your friend is a mean-spirited ass. Tell him that his feelings are really what’s important here and that heaven will probably be too crowded, anyway.
Your friend is making excuses not to get his derriere into presentable clothes on a Sunday morning and spend one hour in a faith tradition of his choosing. Drinking $8 coffee and doing the NYTimes crossword sounds nifty, but do it after prayer, pal. He likely believes his empathy toward those less fortunate and his myopic intelligence is more important than acknowledging a spiritual being who designed all of … this.
God doesn’t make bad things happen. Cancer, car wrecks and crazy people are all part of the human existence.
Here’s an analogy: Many people want universal healthcare, seeing it as a fundamental human right. I won’t argue that, but what they really want is no one getting sick, grandpa’s cancer to go away, soldiers’ limbs to grow back, and everyone healthy and treatable and if you have a toothache, here’s a pill. Unicorns and rainbows, forever.
Not gonna happen. The unicorn business, that is. So, to them, if you are against universal healthcare, you are against humanity and you like sick dying babies and people in wheelchairs.
It’s like that with faith and going to church. Since you accept God as God, you must like all the bad things in the world. Sure, there will always be bad (read: evil) in the world, all around us, then how can you worship God who allows it?
A sad, and weak, excuse. And church isn’t for stupid people. Being closed minded about anything is stupid. Acknowledging that we, as humans, are flawed sinners and that there must be a higher ideal rooting for us all is what keeps most of us going.
Great philosophers spent their lives discussing the nature of God, and I cannot pretend to compete. Perhaps he should read more, and not just sit on the toilet scrolling through his mobile phone while calling that research.
Stay strong and live your faith. Believe the truth. Your friend may someday come around, and with God’s grace it won’t be a deathbed epiphany, but a joyous revelation. Pray for him. Pray for everyone.