Disasters, and the Children
The Correctness of our Pain
Bhola cyclone, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Death toll:
July 1976, Tangshan
earthquake China. Death toll: 242,419 – 779,000
December 26, 2004,
Indian Ocean earthquake, Indonesia. Death toll: 230,273
– 310,000 *
hearts were broken
Believer and agnostic
alike look to the Heavens and finding no satisfactory answer,
all the children ...”
We are scandalized by this.
“How could God allow
For some, their faith is shaken, for others it is a further
indictment of any faith in God at all.
After all, they were only innocent children ...
Scandal: the Greater Scandal Still
enough ... for all our pain, our tremendous empathy, our
terrible outrage ... we entirely lose this sense of scandal
at the dark doors of the abortion clinics — where
millions of utterly, totally innocent
children are killed — with deliberation,
purposely, skillfully, and with the cooperation of their
very parents ... to say nothing of our physicians, governments
Quite suddenly, our sense of scandal is lost.
can do something ... and do nothing!
Suddenly ... the
children do not exist. The killing does not occur. There is
no death and we do not mourn.
Would we really
turn our back on an approaching Tsunami and, pretending
it does not exist, equally pretend that it will carry no one
out to sea and death?
greater Tsunami has occurred; one that engulfs
nations, sweeps continents ... carrying off the lives of
millions of children — and we ourselves even
throw them into the sea! ... then, stepping
back, we turn around and pretend that the backwash of death
at our feet is an illusion.
What incredible hypocrisy and astonishing hubris!
Where is our outcry then?
How carefully we
select our scandals, our outrage!
We keep it for God on the one hand — and wash our own hands
clean of any complicity whatever on the other.
We call God to
the dock and we comfortably exculpate ourselves.
It is entirely acceptable, “correct”, to us, that we
encourage, allow, permit, legislate, murder in the millions,
the most innocent and vulnerable of all — our
own children by state-sanctioned abortion!
But if a disaster strikes, if a mass murder occurs, and the
lives of children are lost, we are furious with
cannot stop earthquakes and tsunamis — but WE
can stop abortion
Why do we have
no fury for God for allowing the far, far, greater evil of abortion
to exist, to endure? Why has it dissipated? Where has it gone?
We are rightly reluctant to call God to account for evils of
our own making — but we must account them evil, first.
draw the line between what we will select as a scandal,
although the results are sadly the same. Children die. Here,
we are eager to quibble, and death acquires another name, some
euphemism more in keeping with our ... sensitivities ...
and since we are eager to equivocate on death, it is only natural
that we equivocate on life.
As with our
so with the lives of our children: we choose what is
a scandal and we choose what is a child, and after careful consideration
both had better correctly accord with prevailing morals
... which is to say, none. Or there will be Hell to pay.
“if I were God ...!”
is a God ... if I
were God ... I would never allow such things
We are, of course,
more enlightened, sensitive, compassionate, merciful, more understanding,
and by all accounts far wiser than God. In a word, we are far
better than God, as evidenced by the sad sequence of events
that have numbed us. “...if I were
Sadly, you are
not. Shall I prove it?
at this time, in this place, before these doors
leading to death, we ourselves can
stop it! — and do nothing.
It is odd that
we do not bless God for what we deem this “great good” allowed
us — to murder our children — when, on the other hand, we curse
Him for allowing them to swept into the sea.
In both cases the children are dead. But only in one is it through
our own will and complacency — and in untold millions.
We can stop it, on the one hand, and
do not; we are thankful that we are
permitted to kill our children — while on the other, if we wish
them to live, and they die, we curse Him that He permits this.
What is this madness?
We murder our own children in the
millions — willfully — and
we will indict God
if the lives of children are taken by any means
other than willful murder?
And you would
that you were God ...? Thank God, that
you are not!
Our own hypocrisy, complicity, and complacency
are the only evils commensurable with the evil we permit ...
and even pay for!
Boston Catholic Journal