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[personal profile] mamaof2dadous
I know a lot of you are religious, and I get it. I used to be too. I grew up going to a Catholic school, went to church, all that. Things changed though. Richard Dawkins opened my mind to a different way of thinking. Science has opened it as well.

I read, almost daily, of a child or person suffering from one type of illness or other. Babies born with congenial heart defects who endure surgeries, hospitals and sometimes don't make it. It baffles me when people say things like "oh, it's Gods' will" or similar things. Gods will is to allow an innocent baby to suffer? Wow.

Today I read a comment by a mother who's little boy needed a heart transplant. He was put on the list one day and the next day he got a heart. The mother commented "our god is so merciful". Merciful? Someone DIED so that baby could have a heart. That wasn't god, that was just the way life goes. A god who chose that one life was worth more than another? No thank you. I was speechless when I read that.

To each his own, I know. I don't and will never understand some people.

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Date: 2012-10-11 01:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A slightly different perspective because that - unfortunately very common - viewpoint is a superstitious lottery/penance mix of crazy.

We had our baby baptised before her heart surgery because I wanted her to be ritually welcomed into the church, although as both of the priests involved assured me, she was already loved and belonged to God, baptised or not. God loves sparrows and lilies, of course God loves babies. God gave us brains and compassion to become doctors and researchers and nurses and medicine, glorious wonderful medicine - there's a bunch of Orthodox saints who are doctors for that very reason.

When I was in those months of not knowing if our daughter would die or not, I felt like I needed to pray not so I could rack up enough points or somehow persuade God that my child deserved a miracle - all babies deserve miracles - it was saying basically this sucks, this is awful, I love her so much, take care of her.

And then thinking okay, if babies can die in pain, then there has to be a much bigger reason. It can't be to teach me a lesson because I couldn't be that cruel, and God is by definition way better than me, it can't be because the baby deserved it because hello, baby, so it has to be for some much bigger stranger part of life that these terrible things happen. And if something like this can happen, then those other awful things where I think I know who's to blame and what caused it - I'm probably only seeing a tiny part of that too. And I realised that the world is far more complex and terrible and still beautiful, if a baby can die for no clear reason. I can know the how but the why - that's a mystery I walked right up to and still don't understand. I don't know if I ever will. I know I didn't deserve my daughter to live by being "good". I didn't deserve her to die because I sinned. She lived because of a million small things coming together - that infection wasn't serious, this brilliant surgeon had seen that complication before - but there were a million things that could've gone wrong too. And babies did die while we were in the hospital. Babies and children and people die terrible painful deaths all the time, and it doesn't make sense. It can't make sense. God makes no sense to me. But I still believe.

Accepting that helped. I think people fear the chaos, and do have a religion where if you do the right things, if you feel/wish hard enough, if you follow the rules, you'll be safe - is immensely comforting. Wrong, especially with the victim blaming, but I can see why people prefer that to accepting the chaos and mystery of the world and still going on.

Also people say stupid things to grieving people all the time. I wince at the dumbass things I have said and probably will say. Grief feels contagious and terrifying and people want to box it up and fix it so they don't have to witness it.

Date: 2012-10-11 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh my goodness, so much this.

I really struggled with the 'god's will' issue during my infertility and miscarriages. I walked right up to that mystery too, and nearly lost faith because I wanted so badly to believe that if I did xyz, the outcome would change to what I wanted it to be. Eventually, I realized that that line of thinking is essentially prosperity gospel and it is one of the greatest lies ever spread in the name of religion. I haven't railed about it much lately (certainly not in my personal journal, but I have in communities) but it still frustrates me to no end that so many people believe that if they pray hard enough or do x amount of volunteering or get baptized the right way that life will magically work out super-happy-fun-times. It took a great leap of faith for me to get to the point you got to - where you realize that life is just chaos, and we see a small part of it, and shit happens. Really, horribly awful stuff happens all the time. And really awfully beautiful stuff happens all the time, too.

But I think you put it best when you said God makes no sense to me. But I still believe. I'm right there with you. I don't get why bad stuff happens, and I don't think I ever will. I'm still kind of pissed about my miscarriages. And now, I'm mad about my layoff! :) But I think I've come to terms with the idea that shit just happens, life is a mystery, and God is there, behind it, somewhere, and I don't know what He's doing, or why, but it is what it is, and I'm going to just have to deal with that, and lean on Him like I would a friend, rather than leaning on him like I would a genie. But in the end, I really would like some serious explanations, or perhaps a view of the grand scheme. Because there is a lot of stuff that just sucks. This was the only song I ever ran across that really spoke to me about that stuff, when I was hurting so much:

Anyway- it pretty much says it better than I do :)


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