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…questions…and thoughts…and more questions…

July 27, 2012

In the wake of the movie theater shootings in Colorado, a lot of questions are raised and I, like so many others have been pondering them, exploring them in words and thoughts.

CNN has an entry on it’s belief blog that asks “Where was God?“…which, no matter what your personal belief, one must recognize is an age old question that takes us back to some of the basic building blocks of the human condition, the need for there to be some greater meaning, some purpose beyond this finite life. The question sparked an incredible number of responses, pages and pages of musings and rebuttals, declarations of faith, expressions of disbelief and on and on (So much so that there was a follow up wherein Stephan Prothero tried to boil down the essence of those remarks).

As is usually the case in discussions on that forum, there was a lot of back and forth between the “believers” and “non-believers”…a lot of talk about how god doesn’t exist, or about free will, about how a perfect god could allow such evil…and in smaller pockets, about the nature of evil, and whether this shooter is evil himself.

I can understand how situations like this can test the faith of anyone who believes in a personal, personally involved deity. The fact that innocent people die is troubling and platitudes offer little comfort. How does an all knowing, all powerful, loving deity all such tragedy?

There are those who will justify their belief by saying it is part of god’s plan and that we, with our finite minds, can not begin to understand. I understand this coping mechanism. I have used it often enough myself, but while it can offer some comfort to some, for others it only leads to frustration and anger.

There are those who will lay the blame on whatever sin or perceived sin they dislike most, or on the nation’s “ungodliness” in general, but I find that worse than merely believing that god allows suffering for reasons we can’t understand. It is disgusting to believe that a deity is so petty as to punish innocents for the “crimes” of the guilty.

Which ultimately, I suppose, shows a great deal about why I’m not a Christian.

Where was god? Depends on how you understand the word, I think.

May the families of the deceased find some kind of peace. May the injured heal. May the courts find justice. May the questions keep us talking.

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