Buona sera. Today's rant is a bit different. It's from the heart (I do have one despite what my ex will tell you), there are no hard facts — but some reasoning.
Lemme 'splain, Lucy. I'm going to connect my conclusions with my observations, and I'm going to show a bit of "two can play at that game".
Due to circumstances that I will not discuss, I had to watch some of a soap opera. (To be politically correct, "daytime drama". To be honest, "waste of time".) But I have to give some credit to the actors, actresses, writers and director because the cast was doing quite well in looking like the infant on the show really was in imminent danger of dying from a virulent disease. I almost wanted to reach out and comfort the sobbing babes.
One scene set off a mental chain reaction for me. She was in a hospital chapel and saying to God, "Is this what you want? What are you doing? Spare the child" and that sort of thing. Well, that sort of reaction has bothered me for years. I cannot believe in, and I do not find Scriptural support for, the idea that God causes illnesses to teach you, or someone else, a lesson. Perhaps that can be inferred in the Bible with some isolated cases, but it's not a general rule.
I'm going to interject that people say some amazingly stupid things when a child dies. They want to be comforting, and sometimes they want to look like they're full of wisdom. Yes, I can get along with "He's in a better place". Stuff like "God wanted one more angel, so he took your baby up to Heaven..." I have to walk away! Besides, angels are not dead people, capice?
Now I'm going to tie this in with a conversation I had with Tommy the Knocker. The conversation was more civil that it looks on the screen, and he was playing Devil's Advocate to help give me a mental workout. And no, I'm not going to pretend that I have all the answers. But I do have some of the answers, and also offer alternatives to what some people say. No way am I going to make this an extended theological treatise!
TK: If God made everything, why is there death and disease?
Me: Everything was perfect at first. There were physical consequences to the sin of Adam and Eve. That "free will" thing has a lot of responsibility. We are the created beings, we cannot fully understand the creator.
TK: People want God to stop the suffering because he's supposed to be all-powerful and all-loving. That's why the woman in the show was crying and praying that way.
Me: We make demands of the creator of the universe and expect him to be a cosmic Santa Claus; if we don't get everything we want, the way we want it, when we want it, we think he doesn't care or isn't even real.
TK: If there was a God, he could stop all illness, war, evil and all that. So there must not be a God.
Me: You can also say that the results of (blank) election prove that there is no God. It's always amazed me that people want to blame God or assume he's not real. But the facts also add up the other way: The existence of all the evils that you see in the world are evidence that there is a Satan and his minions. The Bible tells about him, too, you know. And I think the existence of Satan should be obvious if someone bothers to think.
TK: Give another answer for evil in the world adding up to belief in "no God".
Me: People with this narrow view forget all the good that has happened, even in our daily lives. Little things count, and there are big things...ever hear of St. Jude's Children's Hospital? World Vision? Samaritan's Purse? Good old Salvation Army? Bright Hope International? Church specific, denomination specific on the local level? Or other research and medical outfits? Those were started by Christians. "You know them by their fruits", and Christians have been doing good for others for centuries. Sure, there are Jewish organizations as well, I don't want to claim a monopoly. But I don't know of Muslims doing anything for those outside of their religion. Hey, have you ever known of an atheist organization that did anything for anyone? Maybe atheists are good people, but they don't have history on their side for doing good deeds.
OK, that's enough. My point is that the "evil in the world" is a biased world view, and there is plenty of evidence for people doing good in God's name. Evil does not rule. Yes, there is suffering and sickness. We try to overcome it, and I believe that God inspires people to discover cures and advances in medicine. But remember, the created cannot fully understand the creator. No, it's not a cop-out, it's the truth.
Back to the usual snarkiness and sarcasm later.