The aftermath of a tragedy always see many people praising ‘God’ for how they managed to escape and survive the tragedy. From natural disasters like the fatal earthquake in Haiti, Tsunami in Japan to the very avoidable road accidents and man-made plane crashes in Nigeria, many always come up with the “Thank God I survived” and “God knows best” supplication.
Truly—Thank God? Really... God knows best?
Do people ever paused to really comprehend how selfish and distasteful this statement is? There you are, staring at the burnt remains of humans from a fire accident, grossly twisted bodies of innocent children from a car accident, pieces of charred human flesh scattered at a bomb blast scene and all you could say is ‘Thank God it wasn’t you’? Really?
Yes, you might be glad that you are not one of the burnt persons, that your child is not the grossly twisted child who groaned and screamed in agony but should you not save your ‘Thank God’ supplications for the privacy of your room when only you and your ‘God’ is present?
How do you think it seems to the family of those bereaved when for example:-
- You hold a ‘Thank God I survived’ thanksgiving in your church?
- You gleefully give a testimony of how God saved you from the wreck of a burning building even though your neighbors and their innocent children all perished in that wreckage?
- You claim that you survived because God loves you therefore implying that your God didn’t love the dead victims enough to make them survive or even prevent the accident?
You say that it is not your portion, but then whose portion is it? Did your God gleefully assign the portion of death by fire, air crash, burning buildings to others while this God anointed YOU with the portion of ‘You shall be part of it but shall not die so that you can live to testify to my goodwill’ ? Oh…save me the breath, do you really think of your God as a childish, bigoted, selfish, egoist being who kill people just so you should come and thank him and appreciate his glory the more? Is this really the image of the God you want to sell to me? Hmm... actually, Yes, that is the image of the bloodthirsty Abrahamic God as portrayed in the Holy Bible and Holy Quran, but really, do you still want to keep making Gods in your own sadistic image?
I am often astounded by the reasoning of my people. The recent National tragedy of Dana Air 992 that crashed in Lagos on Sunday 3 July 2012 brings it all up again. A pastor was amongst the 153 onboard passengers of the crashed plane and a few members of the congregation raised the question of why God should deem it necessary to take away their beloved pastor in such a gruesome manner, as usual the responses were admonitions like:-“Don’t question God”, “You are going too far”, “God knows best” …
What is it about my country people that make them so afraid of questions and confrontations? They are afraid of every authority whether real or imaginary! Does their precious bible not say something about ‘Seek ye the Truth and the Truth shall set you Free’? Why are we so afraid to open the Pandora ’s Box even if it contained unpalatable truth that could set us free? Why should the truth box be a ‘no go area’ especially when religion is concerned?
Now, if I had any superpower that would have allowed me to prevent such a terrible accident, of course I would use my superpowers even if it cost me the last reserve of my superpower.. I mean is that not the stuff heroes are made of? Always ready to help humanity, anyone in need even if it means going that very extra length? Isn’t that why we love Spider man, Superman, Bat man, Voltron, Wonder woman and all great action heroes and heroines? Why can’t we expect same of God? Is God not a hero or is there a double standard for heroes?
This leads me to Epicurus age old unanswered question:-
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Now if we say there is a God and we claim this God is-
Omnipotent- He could have stopped the accident from happening.
Omniscient- He knew that plane was faulty and could even have rectified the fault if he wanted.
Omnipresent- He was present during those agonising minutes and heard the heart wrenching cries of the people; definitely many would have called out to him in their desperate hour of need while that plane dived to its death, and could he have stopped the disaster but chose not to?
- Did he simply turn a deaf ear to the pleas?
- Did he feel half the sorrow we all feel now when he was listening to the anguished cries of everyone on board but chose not to do anything about it?
- Did this god choose not to help because of Freewill?
- If God refused to help because the ‘Wages of Sin is death’ and ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ as the bible claims…why not just wipe out the human race?
- Why are the animals also suffering, did they sin too?
- Why won’t this God just switch off whatever engine is keeping humans alive and then make a new set of humans, after all, scientists and inventors improve on their inventions all the time, maybe it is time for this Creationist God to improve on his human invention rather than make people die slow agonising death on earth while he stokes the flames of hell fire for his faulty creations!
Please, do not say it is because of an original sin committed by a woman made from the rib of a man, who was tempted by a talking snake to eat a forbidden fruit planted by the Creator aka God, in the garden of Eden! That is an absurdly ridiculous story for adult bedtimes! And nope, God works in mysterious ways does not cover this and actually covers NOTHING! Saying “You can’t understand because your eyes are blind to the truth” is also a terrible cop-out, it is not an argument just a sad way of avoiding a logical debate.
Really God Knows best? And that is a comforting statement? God knows best, that is why he allows so much suffering, air crashes, cancers, famine, natural disaster etc, yeah, God knows best. I truly will never understand how that can be a comforting statement. Saying God knows best in the face of disaster is itself admitting that this God knows nothing, is bigoted, is evil or just plain don’t exist. If your neighbor set your child on fire, you don’t stand there and say God knows best… that would be sick! It is just another way of saying “I have given up on understanding this nonsense!”
When next you say God knows best, you are practically depriving yourself of the power to make a change.
- When you imagine your dead Pastor sitting at the right hand of God , you console yourself that he is in a better place and you therefore lose the urge to demand that his killers be brought to book.
- When you imagine your precious child who died in that plane crash, floating with angels in the bosom of the Lord, you lose the will power to demand that the killers be tried in a court of law.
- When you console yourself with the image of your oxford bound sister who lost her promising life in that plane crash with the idea that God had a better plan for her, you lose the ability to be angry enough to demand that justice be done.
God knows best is itself a calamity statement. Whether you believe or do not believe in the existence of a God, God knows best is a statement that robs you of your power to make a change. If we truly desire a change, a positive change in the fortune of our country, we have to start thinking of making that change ourselves and not leave it up to a deity, real or imagined to make that change on our behalf.
Why do you think this Deity/God would change His/Her/Its plan just to suit you anyway? Why not take your own destiny into your own hands and mold it? Why not challenge authorities that imprison you physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally? The greatest prison is our minds, the most difficult chains to let go is the chains of mental slavery and we are never truly free until we let go of the prison of our minds. Be not afraid to question, your question is not a doubt of your faith but the truth slowly emerging to set you free!
BTW, next time you exclaimed “Thank God I survived” remember that god had no business allowing that disaster to happen in the first place, if your God had no control over the disaster, why call him God? Why assume God saved you? Why rub it in the faces of others whom your God didn't love enough to save from the disaster?