The God Who Wasn’t There
I’m not there. I wasn’t in the operating room when your mother had cancer, I wasn’t in the car when your best friend crashed into the median, I wasn’t there when your favorite sports team won the big game. I didn’t show up to your son’s baptism, nor was I present when he was born. I didn’t stop thousands of children from being abused in my supposed house of worship, I didn’t prevent the genocide against my own people at the hands of Adolf Hitler.
I have never been present in the most disease-infested, impoverished continent on the planet. I don’t make it rain, regardless of how many people put their hands together and beg for it. I’ve never been in your schools, your homes, your churches, or your workplaces. I wasn’t there when a maniacal young man killed 26 people, many of whom were toddlers.
I never stopped any leader, in any part of the world, from waging war against others. I don’t care about people being executed, or fetuses being aborted, or gays being allowed to marry. Did it ever bother you that when randomly good things happen to people who live in civilized parts of the world, I always get credit – but when bad things happen in underdeveloped countries, it’s apparently going toward some sort of master plan of mine? There is no master plan. There never has been.
Have you really been convinced that I, the alleged sculptor of this complex reality, care about what human beings do? Did you convince your feeble mind that I care who a person chooses to love? You really think that I created the vastly confusing world of sub-atomic particles, but it bothers me when a woman menstruates?
Do you think I’m petty enough to only care about people who worship me? If I created the entire Universe, and gravity, and atoms, do you truly believe I’m ignorant enough to not recognize the fallibility of my own biological creations? Do you really think I created you, a mere human, in my image? Do you truly believe you’re the best I could have come up with? Do you think a parent who loves his children would allow them to senselessly murder, rape, and hurt one another every single day just so I could give you the ability to choose whether or not you spend an afterlife with me?
“You cannot conceive, nor can I, the appalling nature of the mercy of God,” said Graham Greene.
Do you know why you cannot understand it? Because I simply do not exist. I’ve never existed. I have never been there with you. I have never intervened on behalf of you. I have never helped you acquire a job, or meet that perfect match, or find your car keys. Young children die every single day from starvation, cancer, AIDS, and a slew of other things. If I do not care about the most innocent among you, what makes you think I would care about someone perfectly capable of taking care of themselves?
There is no place for children to go when they die. They cease to exist, much like you, one day, will cease to exist. Your grandmother is not seated next to the human version of myself that I sacrificed to create a loophole for rules that I designed. You will never see your loved ones again. I do not welcome the people you care about into some otherworldly place where everyone gets to sit around and worship me for all of eternity.
I’m not there, dear believer. I never have been.
The truth is, you always ask me to do things for you, but the only person who has the power to make the world a better place is reading this letter right now.
If you want to live in a world that’s peaceful, harmonious, and just – then it’s on you and the rest of your species to make it happen.
I have never had any power to make the world better. But, you do.
The God Who Wasn’t There