by Anura Guruge
Last week we had the nerve gas attack in Syria and the bombing of the Coptic Christian churches in Egypt.
Both had to do with religion. In the case of Syria, two different factions of Islam (Shiite and Sunni) while in Egypt it was the ongoing 1,400 year feud between Christians and Muslims.
But ALL the people involved in both these atrocities believe in and worship the SAME GOD.
To I that does NOT make sense and never has.
And then you have the issue as to why this One God permits such atrocities in HIS NAME.
That is where Christians, starting with the popes, always seek refuge in Free Will (and how God refuses to micromanage the actions of humans).
I have always believed that this Free Will argument was the ultimate in copouts.
Then yesterday, after a Facebook interaction with my favorite Catholic priest, Father Anthony Churchill, on this subject, I had a blinding epiphany. See below.
God MAJORLY interfered with Free Will when he, intentionally, inserted Jesus into the World.
Humans did NOT have a say in that.
That was all God’s work on his own prerogative.
At the time he decided that the World needed Jesus there was a perfectly GOOD RELIGION in the Middle East — what we now refer to as Judaism.
OK, the Free Will people will contend that it was humans, i.e., some (but not all) the Jews, that decided that they would not accept Jesus as the true Messiah. And if all had then we would not have this mess. Yes, I can see that argument.
But, God, is omnipotent. Knows everything and more. The ultimate clairvoyant. He know what the future holds.
So he MUST HAVE known that my introducing Jesus into the World he was going to create a SCHISM, a divide.
And to I that is where he violated Free Will.
IF he had NOT introduced Jesus into the fray we would NOT have this mess and all these killings in the name of God.
We would just have ONE GOD, ONE FAITH.
Just a thought.
As some of you know I am totally and utterly areligious and have been so for at least 40 years — though I like to confound people, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, by telling them I am a reformed, born again, heathen.
The Facebook conversation that I had, IN PUBLIC, on Father Churchill’s timeline.
Anura: So, dear father … how do you rationalize this. Of course the pope will want us to pray … but I am not sure for what. I am so sick and tired of all these religion-based killings. And in this case IT IS ALL THE SAME God!
Fr. Churchill: The people who do this kind of atrocity have a very different image of God.
A God who would bless these actions would be a monster.
Anura: Father, it is ‘funny’ you should say that. Last night I watched the 2016 movie ‘Jackie’ about Jacqueline Kennedy during the first few days/weeks after the tragic assassination. She unlike her husband was not a great Catholic — though one has to wonder what JFK confessed during his confessions. This movie is said to be fairly accurate. Jackie has a couple of long conversations with an old Catholic father. In one she confesses that “JFK never spent an entire night with her during their marriage”. That is not relevant to this … She referring to the death of her two babies and then her husband does ask the priest about God.
Father, we have talked many times about God Free Will and not micro-managing. I will grant God that. But, PLEASE, PLEASE explain. Didn’t God REALIZE that he was creating 3 religions. That is NOT micro-management. He himself created the FIRST SCHISM — on purpose. IF God had made sure that there was ONLY one religion that worshipped him the World would have been a better place. AMEN.
Fr. Churchill: Anura. This is a busy week but a brief response. No one would suggest that “God invented three religions” all teaching something different. As Christians, we see God revealing Himself in the Old Testament leading to the ultimate revelation in Jesus. Jews do not accept Jesus in this sense, and so we are divided as Christians from those Pope John Paul described as our “older brothers and sisters.”
Muslims claim a further revelation to Mohammed. Both Christians and Jews reject that claim as false.
And into this dialogue, as IF to prove the point, one of Father Churchill’s followers interjected: “That’s Allah for you…..”
++++ Check Category ‘Religion’.
by Anura Guruge