Sorry, Coach. I have tried and tried to come to common ground with my former flock, and time and time again, they have made me regret it. They get to say whatever they feel: that God either acts or permits action; that God is Great and is In Charge; that anything not done by God is allowed by God.
They are literally on the topic of personal crime — violence against vulnerable others — and talking about how God allows it. For Reasons.
And *I* am the bad guy for simply saying that anyone who could stop violence against the vulnerable, and does not stop it, is terrible, horrible, no-good, and definitely not worth worship. For some reason God gets worshiped despite behavior you would not accept from an antisocial thug.
Many people I love are believers. I used to be one myself. When I did believe in God, it cut me *to the bone* to know that my God — the omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent — saw what was happening to my early-grade-school-self and did nothing. I broke up with God over that. But I am unable and unwilling to break up with my family…despite the fact that they know all this and worship Him anyway. It’s as if His need to be worshiped is more important than a child’s pain. In their understanding of the universe, He watched what was happening to me and did nothing. I do not give two shits what His ineffable rationale might have been; it could not possibly be good enough.
And if it sounds selfish for me to say that: think, thou, on a neighbor kid…a grandma…your dad, your mom, your favorite person in the world…watching a child get assaulted…and staying glued to the peephole without intervening, without calling for help, without lifting a finger. Would it not change your view of that person? If so, why does it not change your view of your God?
And if it does not change your view of that person, why do you think that person’s inaction was okay? Serious answers only, people. Trusting that someone had a good enough reason, if you’re an adult, means you have an idea of what that reason might look like. And if you are going to try to explain how an omnipotent being had to allow a child to get hurt for some reason, you don’t understand what “omnipotent” means.
Life taught me that people get to mistreat me with impunity, so I don’t ask that you explain why bad things happened to me. Just explain why it happened to the other kids. Why they deserved it. Or why you worship someone who believes in harming kids who *don’t* deserve it.