I’m an atheist. When inexplicable tragedies occur, my anger is directed at human agents only. In cases of natural disasters, I often feel no anger, per se, at all — unless the death toll has been increased by human incompetence. In tragedies caused by a person, such as the Virginia Tech shootings, I feel primary rage toward the perpetrator, and secondary fury at any of those whose glaring errors of judgment have failed to minimize the killing.
What I don’t understand in such situations, however, are the platitudes that theists spout about their god. The president has called him “loving,” and religious leaders throughout the country urge believers to turn to him for “comfort.” At convocations large and small, puny mortals send send their prayers skyward, seeking solace.
But where’s their wrath? Why aren’t believers gathering together in open fields and on street corners, in their houses of worship and on rooftops, to scream up at the cosmos, insisting that their “savior” account for his random cruelty? Why don’t they curse and excoriate their allegedly omnibenevolent deity for his act of unspeakable brutality? Why don’t the pious media publicly call on their god to answer for his odious behavior in allowing innocent lives to be taken.
I just don’t get it.