Shock to the System

When writing about losing my faith I decided to break certain parts off and dedicate a post to give those areas more attention.

Bigger than the process of questioning and losing my faith is a realization that slammed into me while sitting, reading, in a carpark while I waited to collect my daughter.

I was reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and was getting more and more angry at the fundamentalist father, but even more so at the Belgium’s for their part in decimating the Congo. I could have that wrong – my memory of the specifics is a bit hazy. Anyway. I was getting more and more angry at how unjust it all is, how exploitative the west was and still is, how greedy and abusive, etc, etc.

My first thought was something about there is so much injustice in the world. Then, out of no where, so suddenly it sucked the breath from my chest – my faith imploded and died.

All the stuff I had been questioning and analyzing, all the different doctrines and perspectives and questions – none of them were enough to bring me to a conclusion one way or another. Looking at the state of the world, the abuses, the human rights violations, the sex trafficking and child abuse and rape and murder and whole nations starving to death and us with our big flat screen tellies and mind numbing riches while the rest squirmed in their squalor… God Did Not Exist and Was Not Involved In This World.

No being with even an ounce of empathy or love or emotion or justice could exist, and having created this world, just let it be.

Even now I cannot re-create that feeling, that realization or the impact it had on me. It was a blinding moment of absolute realization and it was like being sucker punched and the wind knocked out of me.I just knew God wasn’t there. The bible made so many promises of a loving God who would lift up the broken hearted, heal the wounded and wipe the tears of the mourning. Bullshit.

Where is God? Where is God in Darfur where women are raped and their breasts cut off and their babies thrown into the fire before their very eyes. Where is God in China where infanticide occurs regularly and boy babies are deemed more worthwhile then girl babies? Where is God in the child sex trafficking? Where is God for the homeless and the helpless and the abused? Where is God in the Tsunami? Where was God in the Holocaust when his OWN FUCKING PEOPLE were slaughtered in their MILLIONS? Where is God in the thousands of starving children all over the world? And WHERE the FUCK is God when people commit horrible atrocities in His name? Where. The. Fuck. Is. God?!

I came home and told one of my closest friends who I could discuss the deep stuff with and I explained what had happened, about how my faith imploded. And then another realization that brought me to gasping tears. There was no justice at the end of it all. There would be no retribution. The wounded, hurt, abandoned, abused, neglected, starved, murdered, betrayed and left for dead would never see justice. God would not be waiting to wipe their tears and hold their hand. He didn’t do a damn thing on Earth to help them and they would receive no vindication after death either.

There was no justice.

I cried myself to sleep that night and several nights after.

There is no justice.

There is only what we stand up and do ourselves. I have heard many Christians say with a kind of smug self righteousness that without God there is no morality and no ethics or values. Lies. Humans will be moral with or without God depending on who they are. There are Christians that I have seen first hand readily admit that if their was no God there would be nothing stopping them from raping women.There are non believers who risk their lives every day to make a difference to those who need it most.

As for me? Losing my faith and the realization of there being no Judeo Christian God to make it all right at the end means I am accountable for everything I do or do not do on this Earth. I am accountable to me and to anyone I don’t protect, defend or hurt with my inaction. I can’t do everything but I will damn well do everything I can.

It’s still the single most disturbing realization I have ever had in life and the one that haunts me.