“War isn’t Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse…There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chock full of them – little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander”. – Hawkeye from the TV program MASH
I’m having a challenging time letting God off the hook. I know according to the Bible the root cause of war and suffering is the “man’s inhumanity to man” thing but according to the Bible, God created “the heavens and the earth” along with puppy dogs and pink flamingos. He also gave us the free will to eviscerate and dismember our enemies and in the Old Testament seems content to do it himself. Doesn’t he have to take some credit for the pain and suffering?
Despite the “Dude” whispering for me to “abide” I asked my deity that very question this morning. I was greeted as always with silence.
I have this thing I do. Wake up, pee, breakfast, and then head outside and focus on some heavenly body. It was foggy so I looked in the general direction of Venus and prayed. I gave thanks for my many blessings, enumerating some. I asked for blessings for family and friends, and asked forgiveness for “sins real and imagined, past and future”. It is much easier than enumerating them all.
From there I have a one-sided conversation about whatever is bothering me. This morning, war was bothering me along with its dose of pain and suffering. I couldn’t help but ask, “Why?”
Silence. Neither beast nor fowl interrupted my train of thought. Even the calliope of swamp frogs from the night before had fallen silent. I paused to give thanks the silence wasn’t being interrupted by bombs, artillery shells, cruise missiles, and nuclear weapons. I was thankful the silence had not been interrupted by pain and suffering.
I know “the wages of sin” and all. According to a video game, Diablo, “the wage of sin is war.” It seems men like Vladimir, or Adolf, or Joseph, or Pol can escape their wars and must wait for eternal damnation to reap their just wages. Even little Adolf sent himself to his just rewards. Little Suzy Q on the other hand gets her fingernails pulled out or incinerated from hell fire reigned from above by human demons in flying machines.
Did we learn from you, God? I’m thinking the Sodom and Gomorrah thing and the number of battles waged in your name and by your command.
I do know it is a human failing but again I ask “Why?” Is this just because Adan accepted the apple from Eve? Does this have to do with our original sin…” St. Augustine where are you when I need you?” You are as silent as God but then you are dead.
While I’m rambling, how many wars have been fought over “my god is better than your god” and how many have died thinking that “God is on my side?” God, it seems like you attract war and suffering, and my grandmother told me that “you will be judged by the company you keep”. An argument might be waged that you could be a warmonger by the company you keep. Even in Exodus it says, “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.”
More whys? Why does the Old Testament God seem so hateful compared to the New Testament God? Why does he annihilate rather than use diplomacy? I’m certainly not a theologian so I consulted Google and picked several well-known theologians. I read your words Billy Graham. Well, that wasn’t productive. Context? Wrath and vengeance taken out of context. I don’t know. If it looks like a duck….
Anyway, I’m not going to bore you with anymore whys. I’ll leave that with you and your God, god, or gods. Maybe they will answer your “Whys”. Questions but no answers and the silence is deafening.
Don Miller’s latest literary masterpiece, “Pig Trails and Rabbit Holes”, may be purchased in paperback or downloaded at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09GNZFXFT/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
4 thoughts on “Why?”
Great post Coach. I read a line somewhere that has stuck with me. Probably not a great reply, but… “On the seventh day, man created God.”
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I’ve seen that line too. I struggle with it. Sometimes logic gets in my way.
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Thanks for sharing your reflections, Don. I, too, have problems with the Old Testament God: He is a god of wrath and war. With him came the beginnings of a “dominator” male society, the fall of the Mother Goddess, and subjugation of the female. If you have not already done so, I recommend that you read The Chalice & The Blade: Our History, Our Future by Riane Eisler in which she answers all those questions that you raise. Her exploration of the lives of our Paleolithic ancestors and the first appearance of weapons has been a vision-changing experience for me.
I will, thanks.
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