“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”
– Christopher Hitchens
As the heavens (ha! so aptly named!) spewed forth their violent cloud of sky ice, there was but one question burnt onto my mind (Cicero).
“What fool could believe in a God who allowed such wholesale, sky ice suffering of so many of his people?”
The answer is a clear one. The sort of person who probably spends their Sundays (and the rest of their lives) on their knees. Depending on the work of a sky man to make up for their own shortcomings.
M’gentlereaders, this week my Facebook feed was clogged with many a servant of the Lord praying to alleviate the harm caused by these ferocious nights. Pray, they said, for those without rooves, pray for those without homes, those without power, those near the flooding. Surely these are the sort of godly, natural phenomena that warrant praise? And from the sort of people who believe that a clear sky, or beautiful sunrise, is apt to be celebrated as the work of the divine architect! Pah!
But I ask you: where was their faith when they were getting out their chequebooks to make generous contributions to local charities in an attempt to financially aid relief efforts? Where was their faith when they took in stray animals, displaced by the foul weather and panicked by the floods? Where was their belief in the unwavering power of God?
Are these the compassionate actions of morally consistent soldiers in the army of Christ? Or cowardly inconsistencies from those who still wield no more rigorous an explanation for why it rains (or, indeed, hails, or storms, or fires) than the bronze-age progenitors of their system of belief?
The hypocrisy of this pray-and-act mob is shameful. But what else should we expect from the followers of a tyrannous fairytale?