Pat Robertson said one reason God might let a baby die is because God knows the baby will grow up to be evil. Let the free-for-all begin.
It’s an outrageous and illogical statement. If God takes a baby because it might be the next Hitler, why didn’t God take the last Hitler?
Pat Robertson is old, hated, crazy, controversial, right-wing, and a lot of other nasty things, according to those who claim to know. What he isn’t is uniquely outrageous and illogical. We all have a share in that pie.
[sharequote align="center"]If there is a God, and I believe there is, he opts out of clarifying any of this for anyone.[/sharequote]
No matter what you believe—and just about every belief is represented in the labyrinth of comments to TheBlaze’s article on Pat Robertson—it carries its own flavor of outrageous and illogical.
Take a few outrageous and illogical beliefs that appear on the comment thread in great number.
God doesn’t exist. Really? Explain how inanimate matter sparked into life.
God does exist. Really? Where’s the proof?
God does exist but doesn’t interfere in humankind because he set us up and gave us free will, dominion, and salvation. Really? Explain miracles.
There isn’t a person alive who’s never experienced or heard tell of “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws.”
America started as a miracle because the British should have soundly defeated the colonists; instead we defeated the world’s greatest Navy.
The miracle of music has no evolutionary purpose, yet it exists in every human society ever created.
It’s a miracle more mothers don’t snap when the kids are out of school for summer.
God does engage with humankind but only when he feels like it. Really? Explain the Holocaust. Explain Rwanda. Explain Stalin, Mao, and Jihadi John.
If God can intervene, why doesn’t he feel like intervening to prevent millions upon millions of his children from being slaughtered? If he doesn’t intervene then, when does he? When the Dallas Cowboys pray in the locker room before a big game?
Believers who accept Christ as their savior are given power to perform his works; the baby died because believers weren’t faithful enough to prevent it. Really? God can’t save the baby but the Bible Study group can?
Evangelist Pat Robertson acknowledges the crowd before Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Va., Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. Charles Dharapak/AP
The answer to why God let the baby die is unknowable so it should never have been asked. Really? Everything good is attributed to God while everything bad is a mystery?
Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world; the child’s death had nothing to do with God. Really? God gives life but doesn’t play a part in taking it?
Everything happens according to predestination so we are all just playing around in a big sandbox where nothing we do matters. Really? Really?
Interwoven with the biblical exegesis is a variety of comments expressing yet more outrageous and illogical aspects of religion: Christ was born of a virgin; Jesus is brother to Satan; the child is not really dead because it was not a body but a soul; belief in Jesus requires you to shut off your brain; God takes us when we’re righteous enough, and the child’s work on the earth was finished.
Each believer, atheist, and troll on the thread argues for one of these outrageous and illogical positions while arguing even more fiercely against all the others. Outrageous and illogical are in the eye of the beholder.
Pat Robertson may indeed be an old coot, a lunatic, or—worst of all—a televangelist. His views derive from his particular flavor of outrageous and illogical, as do all of ours.
If there is a God, and I believe there is, he opts out of clarifying any of this for anyone. He leaves us be to wonder, ponder, study, and debate. In that case, there must be greater value in questioning than in certainty. There must be greater power in the intimate, personal experience of Spirit than in the public, provable evidence of God.
God must be okay with outrageous and illogical. He probably just wants us to own our unique flavor of it. Whatever else can be said of Pat Robertson, he definitely owns his.
Donna Carol Voss is an author, blogger, speaker, and mom. A Berkeley grad, a former pagan, a Mormon on purpose, and an original thinker on 21st century living, she is the author of “One of Everything,” the story of how she got from where she was to where she is. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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