The line is from a somewhat surprising source, a crime novel by John Le Carré, “The Constant Gardener”, centered on the character who before she is murdered said to her fiancée : “I refuse to believe in a God who permits the suffering of innocent children”.  Her fiancée replies : “So why are we getting married in a church ?”  The lady answers : “To melt His heart”.

Some believers blame God for the suffering and evil in the world. Theologians bend themselves backwards to offer “explanations” (excuses, to be more accurate), ranging from “Ours not to reason why” (the classical cop-out), to “We see life’s tapestry from the wrong side”, to “As we learn from the Book of Job, God allows the Devil to test our faith”.  Blaming God, of course, is a cry of frustration from people whose mantra is “In God we trust”.  They believe that a God of love can, should and sometimes seems to heed their prayers.  Some atheists cruelly, scandalously, exploit and add to believers’ distress by remarking that instead of blaming God they should blame themselves for their own credulity.  No need to salt the wound.

“The only thing that will excuse God for the suffering of an innocent child is that He does not exist” : the supreme example of an “inconvenient truth”.  No one can melt the heart of God.  Only blind faith can imagine that anyone could.

RIDENDA      RELIGIO

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