Where is G-d?
Originally posted June 13, 2016 after the Pulse nightclub shooting Orlando, FL
Updated July 9, 2020
Updated May 25, 2022
There has been another tragedy There usual suspects are saying the usual things.
This is not about the 'ban assault rifles/more guns' madness. This is about one of the other usual suspects, "Why did G-d allow this?" or "Where is G-d?“
The short answer is of course, G-d didn't, we did. Or, to demonstrate that I really was paying attention during my Jesuit education, The difference between Free Will and predetermination. I am sorry, Predetermination is dumb. It is really G-d's will that a four year old drowns in the bathtub? that a DWI kills a bride and groom an hour after they were married? That a night out dancing should end in so much blood on the dance floor that a fire hose will be needed to clean it out? That is your real position?
Believing that means the corrallariy is also true. It must have been OK that I stole that money, I wasn't caught. I wasn't stuck dead so we are cool, it doesn't matter, I will still get in Heaven.
After a tragedy like this, when someone says something about "Why did G-d allow this?" I point the person to the below passage. It is from Night by Elie Wiesel.
Where is G-d? There on the gallows. Or in this case, under a sheet in a pool of blood and running with someone injured because a city of 250,000 doesn't have enough ambulances for over 100 victims at ounce.
Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out,
swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing...
And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes.
And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still
red, his eyes not yet extinguished.
Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
"For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
"Where He is? This is where--hanging here from this gallows..."
That night, the soup tasted of corpses.”
― Elie Wiesel, Night
So where is G-d? 19 dead children in school in Texas, ten dead the week before buying groceries.