May 10, 2009

An Open Letter to God

Dear God:

          There are over six million people fleeing violent conflict today. These refugees are dying of malnutrition, disease, injury, and execution by armed groups. Such tragedy and suffering have characterized human history. We’re told you are benevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent. We’re taught to have faith that you, God, can heal our human condition and reverse tragic human suffering. What is your rationale for creating and perpetuating this Hell on earth for refugees and other victims of violence?  

          In their quest for power, gang leaders, bullies, political strongmen/tyrants, Alt-right adherents, and warlords abuse, pre-empt, exploit, belittle, eliminate, and “disappear” others. Preachers, priests, imams, religious extremists, and rabbis speak in your name, God, but sometimes encourage hate and intolerance. They infuse religion with politics, often exhorting followers toward sectarian strife and violence.

         We’re told you are benevolent. What, then, have been your actions to reduce torture, corruption, extrajudicial killings, gun violence, disappearances, theft, human trafficking, and arson in our world? If you can prevent human suffering and choose not to, are you truly benevolent? If you choose to prevent or rid the world of evil and suffering but cannot, are you truly omnipotent? If widespread suffering indicates that your reasoning is flawed, are you truly omniscient?

If you were omniscient, would you not understand the very root causes of violent conflict? If you’ve overlooked these causes, God, could you truly be omniscient? If you understand these causes but choose to ignore them or not resolve the ensuing conflict, could you truly be benevolent? And if you choose not to (or cannot) peacefully resolve disputes, are you genuinely benevolent or omnipotent? It appears you’ve created tyranny, wars, and mass displacement you cannot manage.

      Jews, Muslims, and Christians tell me you are the God of love and mercy. Why, then, does human conflict exist under your all-encompassing benevolence? Can you moderate the egos of men? Can you help Christians, Jews, Muslims and nonbelievers rise above xenophobic fear, revenge, hate, and violence? Are you willing and able to help us coexist in compassion and mutual tolerance?

      I'm frequently told you have a plan, God. Can you reveal your plan for management of humanity? Can you help us live in harmony?


Sincerely, Will Walsh