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Blaming God . . .

blame god

An Evangelical preacher, whom I will no longer name, nor will I link to his site, continues to rage against Bruce Almighty. My wife, Polly, asked me last night, “does he ever write his own material”? I replied, “not very often.” It seems the best he can do is take my work and deconstruct it with deep analysis such as: you are wrong, you are a quitter, God is always right, the Bible is always right, atheists are liars, and scientists are deceiving the masses. Sometimes he does the same with the writing of my friend Ben Berwick, and, on occasion, as with a recent grammar error-ridden post about Hemant Mehta, the writing of other atheists. This “follower” of Jesus — a man denies or ignores the behavior rules found in the New Testament or thinks they don’t apply to his treatment of atheists — has been banned from numerous Christian and atheist websites. Yet, he refuses to accept responsibility for his boorish behavior. His bannings are always, according to him, the result of his “truth-telling” or taking a stand on the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of the Protestant Christian Bible. Simply put, in his mind, his peculiar version of God is right, the Bible is right, and his interpretation of an allegedly supernatural religious text is right. Just a typical Fundamentalist Christian, right? This man delusionally believes that if everyone believed as he does, all would be well.

Yesterday, he decided to use my post Where is the God Who Created the Brain-eating Amoeba? as a reason to personally attack me, saying that I “blame” the Christian God for everything “bad” that happens in world and in my own life. This is, of course, a bald-faced lie.

First, I am an atheist. I don’t believe deities exist. Not the Christian God, not the Muslim God, not the Jewish God, nor any of the deities of the religions of the world. Thus, it would be absurd for me to “blame” God for something that happens in my life or the lives of others. If I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and step on a Matchbox car, what happens? Do I look to the heavens and shake my fist, saying, “I hate you, God!” Of course not. I blame my grandson for leaving the car in the walkway or I blame myself for not making sure all the toys were put away before I went to bed. On a more serious note, I have a dear unvaccinated friend who died from COVID-19 several weeks ago. Do I blame “God” for her death? Of course not. I blame her ignorance. I blame her willingness to buy into conspiracy theories. I blame Donald Trump. I blame Fox News, NewsMax, and OAN. I blame those who convinced her that the COVID vaccine would kill her. But God? Child, please.

So, let me be clear, I DON’T BLAME GOD FOR ANYTHING, and anyone who suggests otherwise is either ignorant of my position or deliberately lying.

Sometimes, people who say that I am blaming God for ____________ don’t understand my writing style and methodology. My writing daily attracts a significant number of Evangelical and Independent Fundamentalist Baptist readers. Knowing who my readers are helps me tailor my writing in such a way that will be amenable to them. I want them to “hear” what I have to say, so I write using verbiage they are comfortable with and understand. I am conversant in all things Evangelical, and I use this knowledge to effectively reach my target audience: those who have questions/doubts about Christianity or who have left Christianity. Thus, many people find my writing encouraging and helpful. My writing says to them: here’s a guy who understands where I am coming from. Here’s a man who speaks my language.

When I wrote the aforementioned post, Where is the God Who Created the Brain-eating Amoeba?, I was writing from the Evangelical perspective. I want Evangelicals to “think” about their beliefs, about their God. I want them to carefully examine what is going on in their lives and in the lives of the people around them. I want to challenge their “Biblical” beliefs about God and suffering. Most of all, I want them to try to square the suffering and heartache in their lives with their theology. I want them to look beyond the pat answers or quoted Bible verses, and see that maybe, just maybe, their deity is not worthy of their praise, worship, and devotion.

I hope this clears up the false accusations leveled against me by the Evangelical preacher mentioned above. Let me be crystal clear, I DON’T BLAME GOD FOR ANYTHING.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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14 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Neil Rickert

    I did read your amoeba post the way that you intended, which is very different from how your critic has read it.

    I’m guessing that most of those who follow your posts did read it as intended. It is mostly those who have been sucked into the evangelical vortex, who have difficulty.

  2. Avatar
    BJW

    I’m assuming it’s he who needs to never be mentioned, as he’s got a one track mind and a superior air, in spite of his writing deficiencies. sigh

      • Avatar
        Matilda

        My 5yo g/son has a response he uses to me quite frequently. It’s ‘No granny, you’re wrong.’ As in when he picked up 2 shells from the beach and I said ‘Those are cockleshells.’ But ‘No granny, you’re wrong, they’re what mermaids wear on their chests.’ Or when he said his vicar-aunty doesn’t drink alcohol, and I replied that was fine, lots of folk just drink tea or coffee. ‘No granny, you’re wrong, she’d never drink coffee, don’t you know it’s made from alcohol?’ His take on the world amuses us. I say I feel fortunate to have a g/son who puts his ancient ignorant granny right on so many topics. This’ll change as he grows and understands the world better….TEWSNBN, OTOH seems stuck for life with a brain in 5yo mode!!

  3. Avatar
    GeoffT

    Just had a read of SNBN’s blog and he really does have a problem. I do wish he’d engage. I don’t mean at a commenting level but simply try and understand opposing points of view. Rather than dwell on his post in its entirety, however, I’m just going to pick up on one, almost aside, assertion that he makes, and that is that by rejecting God and the bible we reject objective morality. As I always point out there is no such thing as objective morality, at least not in the sense that he means. Just because he chooses to be guided by some sort of moral imperatives, selectively culled one must say to make them moral, doesn’t render the imperatives objective in any way. SNBN makes a choice as to whether he will follow these imperatives, rejecting any that don’t comport with his own sense of morality. Exactly the same way as atheists do.

  4. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    Bruce, sorry to hear about your friend. It hurts when someone passes, and it hurts to know that they were misled intentionally by groups that profit from intentionally misleading others. A friend/coworker died in August for the exact sane reason; and recently a former teacher from my high school days became another sacrifice to anti-vax rights.

    It’s amazing how hardcore fundamentalists just can’t wrap their heads around the idea that there are a lot of us that don’t believe in deities. They think everyone believes in deities but that some of us just say we don’t. No, many of us just don’t believe in deities. Period.

  5. Avatar
    BJW

    Oh, I too am sorry about your friend, Bruce. There are people I love that are not vaccinated, and if any of them die it would be a crushing loss. But they have their mind made up and it’s past a point where I could influence them to change. It’s also my understanding that maintaining good relationships (if possible) is better and can lead to a change of mind. That I can do, and I am at peace with my decision.

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Bruce Gerencser