As soon as the news of the miracle went out on facebook, the thanks and praise began: “God is so good, so merciful, the answerer of prayers, the performer of miracles.
The Christian community had been praying for days after young Jacob was found unresponsive in the family pool. The doctors said that it would take a miracle to save him and it appeared that God had performed one.
Even though for years after leaving Christianity I consistently said that believing in a god is damaging, I found myself wondering, what’s the harm in believing such a thing? Jacob is alive, conscious and out of ICU, off the breathing machine and on the mend. Who cares if people prayed to an imaginary person for a miracle. Is it harmful to believe in something that isn’t real if gives people a common hope or if it brings comfort?
The answer became clear to me in the following days. Without much warning, Jacob crashed, waking off and on in pain, panic and fear. It was absolutely horrible for his parents. They sedated him, put him back on the breathing tube, ran tests, but he was never to regain consciousness again. Evidently, god is not so good after all, but was it harmful for them to believe he was?
After all the prayers and praise, and now that their supposed miracle had been stripped from them, I knew the comments would take a turn and I cringed at the thought. Here is a couple of examples:
“Your beautiful son is with Jesus now, so run to Jesus. He will fill you with PEACE that passes all understanding, wrap His COMFORT around you, and hold you tight in those moments you feel like you’re not going to make it. He’ll give you STRENGTH to continue on when you want to quit, and allow you to experience the JOY that comes from knowing Him, our savior, and the PROMISE that one day, you’ll all be together again.”
What the holy f*ck? Let’s see, this Jesus did the worst possible thing he could do to a mother an act of cruelty beyond compare and now, NOW, she is to run to him, bending and scraping for his comfort. If an abused woman, runs back to her abuser people thinks she’s crazy, but when it comes to Jesus, well, he loves her and knows what’s best for her so…
“May you find joy that little Jake is now bright-eyed with wonder at the sights of Heaven, and he is full of joy to be right there with Jesus….better than any Candy Shoppe or Toy Store full of Leggos & balloons & bubbles & MatchBox Cars. Take joy for him…and may God’s Grace shower down on each of you.”
It’s like telling someone that yes, your child has been stolen, but he’s going to have so much fun there! Be happy!
Not only do these people appear delusional, they sound crazy! Beyond that, what they are saying is cruel and extremely damaging to this young mother who just lost her baby boy.
After watching this whole thing unfold via social media, this much I know: To believe in a personal god, one that can answer your prayers and perform miracles is beyond harmful for so many reasons, but in this case most destructive to Jacob’s mother. She is ruined, of course. Her life will never be the same. Statistically speaking her marriage may very well end and her little girls have forever lost the mother they once had. On top of all that, because of the “supportive words” of her Christian community, she now she has to contend with the idea that she is to thank her god and find comfort from him, believe that he loves her and knows what’s best for her. As a good Christian, she is to find joy that her baby is gone forever, because he is now with the god that let him die, let his mother beg for his life, give it back to her and then take it away and not just quickly. She had to watch him suffer unbelievably before he finally died. Way to go god.
Without even realizing it, her “supportive” Christian community has added grief upon grief and when she is tempted to shake her fist at their god, question his existence, or even just want to ask why,( which is a normal response) she will feel guilty and think that she doesn’t have enough faith or belief. Think of the emotional toll it’s going to take on her trying to convince herself that losing Jacob in the way she did was all just part of god’s loving plan for her. What plan might that be anyway? I grieve for her and even though those Christian’s delusional motives may be pure, or whatever. Their words are disgusting.
If I could talk freely to this mother I would tell her that horrible things happen in life. I would tell her what happened to her and her family is unbearable and I’m with her in her pain. I would put my arms around her and tell her it’s okay to be mad and to turn her back on the supposed god that abused her so and that there is not lesson to be learned or something she did to deserve this tragedy. I would tell her to embrace her grief and yell and scream at whomever she chooses and do her best to heal. I can’t do that though, because her Christian family and friends would call me a monster. I’m no monster. Their god is.
Dear Christians, if your god is real, he is monstrous, cruel and immoral. Is this the god you want to praise and worship? Suit yourself; I’d rather go to hell.