Stop Hitting Yourself!
“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”
I can’t help but think that Christians are unable to place the blame where it really lies here. If there is a God, he really should be treating us better. If he’s omnipotent, he should be saving us from hardship at every opportunity. But instead, he hurts us, then says he’s sorry and that if we only hadn’t said or done that thing, he wouldn’t have to. We are told that we hurt ourselves by not obeying him.
Matt Dillahunty has compared Christian rationalizations to Battered Person Syndrome, and I think it fits here. The Wikipedia article on it lists the following beliefs and attitudes that appear in people who have suffered repeated cycles of abuse:
- The abused believes that the violence was his or her fault.
- The abused has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere.
- The abused fears for his/her life and/or the lives of his/her children (if present).
- The abused has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.
I think God could have stopped the Tsunami in Japan or Hurricane Katrina and relieved a lot of suffering. If God exists, he deserves to be held accountable for not stepping in and preventing human suffering. I, for one, would not worship him even if he did exist unless some serious explaining was done.