There’s a lyric in Lady Gaga’s ripoff song “Born This Way” that says, “Cuz God makes no mistakes.” This was not the first time I’d heard this sentiment expressed, and not the first time I thought it was absolute Disneyesque hippy garbage. To disabuse Miss Gaga of this ridiculous notion, I’d invite her to spend a little time looking at pictures and videos of the myriad babies born everyday whom are so horribly disfigured that their deformities condemn to die within days or weeks of being born, and those days or weeks will in many cases be spent in absolute and constant physical agony, after which death with be a relief. I have adherents of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam explain their respective religions’ teachings on this issue, and am familiar with the various rationales used by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic and its various saints who wrote on the subject. Saint Augustine (who was basically God’s attorney) tells us that “evil” is not something that God created because it is not actually a thing. It is a privation. That is, what we perceive as evil is simply an absence of Gods love and presence. Which is a positively brilliant argument. However, I reject it and all of the other justifications for painfully deformed newborns out of hand. These babies are, as the song says, literally “born this way.” They never even had a chance to do anything to deserve such a fate. You can cite karma, past lives, the sins of the father, we mortals being unable to comprehend God’s plan with our infinitesimally limited perspective, original sin, whatever. I say horseshit. I’m not buying it. I’m an atheist, so I understand that horrendously deformed babies and all the other horrible aspects of existence are not directed, not personal, not punitive, but simply the result of most of what happens is a result of random chance and chaos. But if you’re going to espouse the idea of an omniscient and omnipotent creator God, then you can’t somehow say He’s responsible for everything that exists and intentionally created the way it all exists, and kiss His ass with thanks and praise every Sunday morning and then not dump an Olympic amount of blame on his hallowed lap for all the fuck ups. Whatever it takes to get you through the night, I guess. But He sure as hell doesn’t deserve 100% on his review with this “God makes no mistakes” nonsense. If you believe in a creator god, then I think he probably has a pretty reasonable performance review coming up…probably something in the high 80s…a solid B. He gets a lot of shit right. But 100%. Absolutely not. My ignorant and sinning ass could do better than that. Maybe not with all the issues…I have no experience managing the rotation of the planets or creating stars or black holes or anything. But if I was as all-powerful as you credit Him as being, I would at least manage not to fuck up the newborns.
N.P.: “In the Name of the Father” – Bono, Gavin Friday