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Letter: Surprising column

I’m amazed that The Recorder thought Ms. Stamper Brown’s opinion (“Where was God?” April 17) might be an important contribution to any discussion of our feelings in the wake of the Boston bombings and their aftermath — a confusion of grief, frustration, fear and anger, among many others. I dare say that even those who accept a divine paternity for INRI, let alone theists who do not, will see her musings as a highly idiosyncratic view of the godhead, if not the patent fatuity that I, an antitheist, see. Indeed, it seems nearer parody than anything else.

It will be significant if theists who disagree with the validity of her theology will nevertheless feel reluctance in making any statements to that effect, and will see my doing so as an unnecessary application of salt to the wounds of those trying to comfort themselves with their faith; cruel at best. I beg to disagree, and stress that I would not broach this subject if I did not think it important to point out that the writer has provided important illumination of the harm that such faith does, and that it is precisely at times like this that these harms should be discussed.

Inherent in the idea that an omniscient power which has ordained moral absolutes, and can be petitioned through prayer to intercede, still allows innocents to suffer such an ordeal, is the search for the “cause” of its allowing these ordeals, and the possibility that they could have been avoided if one had been ‘better,’ prayed harder, performed the correct ablutions or genuflections or, worse, more energetically resisted the efforts of others to do these things “incorrectly.” This mimics the motivation of those perpetrating the acts we decry, and thus distracts society from addressing actual causes and cures.



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