Sent in by Scott
I grew up as a Catholic, believing in God. Eventually my faith wandered and I had many questions. I became a Methodist and was raising a family. I still believed in a God that would help explain the mystery of the cosmos, but Christianity was becoming increasingly absurd to me.
Nine months ago, my ten-year-old son Connor died of a heart attack related to leukemia. Needless to say, we were devastated. I'm lost and broken; my whole world was shattered. There is nothing more tortuous than losing your child. It's not like you've heard it described -- "a big hole in your heart" -- it's your whole soul, your very existence being ripped in infinite directions, and so much worse. I've been robbed and violated and there is absolutely nothing I, or anyone else, can do to fix it -- I'm helpless and it is hopeless.
There is nothing like having your young son die, that pulls the rug from under you.
Everything I ever believed or thought I believed went with Connor; I have been disenchanted. My son represents every young child who has ever died. How is there a meaning to life, if children can die? What meaning can we give to life, if young children can suffer then die?
A personal God went out the door. In fact if there is a personal God, I hold him in contempt! As a parent I am completely responsible for my children. I must feed them, clothe them, protect them from harm, shield them from disease, put up with their stubbornness and rebellion, and under no circumstance wantonly harm them physically or mentally, But this supposedly loving and merciful God lets his earthly children suffer -- like the ways mentioned above -- every second of every day. If HE created the universe, HE did a piss poor job by letting my son's own blood poison my son to death.
I've heard all the platitudes. "He was God's gift." Yeah, well, when I give a gift, I don't ask for it back! Or, "It's part of God's perfect plan." OK, what's HIS plan? Oh, you don't know -- then how do you know it's perfect? Or, "You'll see him in heaven." What does heaven look like? Where is heaven? How do you get there? Or the greatest platitude, "God is testing you." Are you kidding me with this one? All I want to do is punch their teeth down their throats. How come God tests me with the loss of my precious, ten-year-old son while you are boo-hooin' because God tests you with the death of your ninety-year-old grandfather, or because you are on your second divorce?
If there is a God, he is apathetic. And like an idiot, I went to the Bible for comfort, only to find the most vile atrocities committed by God. This is what we base a religion on? This is the God of love and mercy?
I also have a evangelical Christian friend who decided to walk with me once or twice a week, because he said, "I want to help and I love you, man." A couple of weeks into our walk we were discussing Abraham and Issac of the Bible and I asked him, "If God asked you to kill your son, would you do it?" "Yes," was his answer. I then asked him how he would do it? He thought a little longer and I had to prod him. "Would you choke him to death? Would you shoot him? Would you beat him to death?" His answer was, "I would probably slit his throat."
(SLIT - HIS - THROAT)
I was dumbfounded. This is where his blind faith has taken him, and you have to remember that he was telling this to me, a father who's child had just died. Needless to say, he is not my friend anymore, and never will be again.
For more on this idea, check out this story: Religiosity Common Among Mothers Who Kill Children
Now I live in misery, my own personal hell, from which there is no escape.
I used to think raising kids was like climbing Mount Everest -- the hardest but the most rewarding experience a person could have, but sadly that experience has crumbled. With the death of Connor I will be buried under that mountain until I die.
Where are you, God? Where is my hope!!??
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)