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, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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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