Thank you for the children who will starve today

My friend Dave Richards composed a prayer in the style of CPAC on Facebook today. He gave me permission to quote it.

Dear God-

We thank you for the 4110 children who will starve to death today and every day. We know you want them to come to live with you in Heaven. Except for the ones who aren’t Christian; they can suck it. We know they did not get a chance to experience life, and that the life they did experience was probably miserable, but, hey, the little brats would doubtless grow up to be ingrates anyhow, as all children do. Or they might have just been a drain on society. You know: takers. If they didn’t want to starve, they should have gotten up off their lazy asses and gotten a job. Or perhaps even started their own business, so clearly it’s their own fault. Anyway, we thank you for smiting them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

It gets at what annoys me perhaps most of all about piety – if they think “God” did all this why aren’t they furious at that “God”?


  1. Blanche Quizno says

    “It gets at what annoys me perhaps most of all about piety – if they think “God” did all this why aren’t they furious at that “God”?”

    And why don’t they see the inherent, screamingly-insane unfairness of sending some people – including those who were raised in other cultures – to an eternity of screaming, writhing agony? “Punishment” is supposed to help people learn to better follow the rules (ideally), but this is an eternity of sadistic glee! Nobody gets a chance to show they’ve learned anything, in other words.

    And, while we’re at it, why don’t they care enough about anyone else to be deeply, inconsolably worried about someone they know going to “hell”? Why is it they aren’t losing sleep over the prospect, and despairing for their very existence in such a cruel, unbalanced, powerless reality? For all Its supposed “love” for them, they dare not ask “God” to change the rules, you’ll notice. That could get THEM sentenced to “hell”, after all, and they can’t risk that!

    The answer, as far as I can see, is twofold:

    1) They believe they stand to benefit personally from this unjust situation, and I got mine O_O

    2) They believe that’s just the way it is and either you “play ball” or you get whacked *le shrug*

    The first is the overwhelmingly obvious factor, but I’ve run into Christians who use the second to explain why they don’t challenge the tyrant. They feel they can’t. It will reward them for being good little slaves, and by “reward”, I mean “not torture them forever in screaming, writhing agony”, and that’s the best one can hope for.

    It’s gross. It’s obscene. It’s craven. It’s cowardly. It’s wormy, lick-spittle, fawning, groveling debasement.

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    Here is a nice quote from a person of faith:

    “For me it is inexplainable how a person who holds the orthodox view [of eternal torment] can at any time have a glad moment in this life. He is constantly mingling with people whose final destiny will be to be tormented eternally without end…To me it is even more inexplainable that such an ‘orthodox’ person can expect even a happy moment in eternity, when he knows that contemporaneously with his blessed estate continues the endless torment and agony of innumerable millions of the accursed. Can he, if he loves his neighbors as himself, yes, even if he has just a little bit of human love and is not solely a selfish wretch, have even a single happy moment?” — John Persone, Swedish Lutheran Bishop

    And another perhaps more recognizable:

    “Perhaps the worst part of the hell-vision was theologians’ insistence that
    the joy of the blessed ones in heaven couldn’t be complete unless they
    were permitted to gloat over the sufferings of the damned. St. Gregory
    the Great assumed with appalling naturalness that the “good” people in
    heaven would be entirely without pity. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “In
    order that nothing may be wanting to the felicity of the blessed spirits
    in heaven, a perfect view is granted to them of the tortures of the
    damned.” Other fathers of the church proclaimed that, while the greatest
    pleasure of the saved would be contemplating the Divine Essence, their
    second greatest pleasure would be watching the damned writhing in hell.
    They couldn’t feel sorry for loved ones or friends in torment, because
    their opinions would always be identical with God’s; and God apparently
    reveled in sinners’ pain.

    Thomas of Cantimpre mentioned some “simple folk” who worried about having
    to watch former friends or relatives suffering in hell. He said these
    worries were foolish, because no one in heaven could grieve for anything.
    He cited the Blessed Marie d’Oignies, who saw in a vision that her dead
    mother was damned, and so stopped mourning for her at once.

    St. Bernardino of Siena argued that heaven must be perfect, and
    perfection couldn’t be achieved without “due admixture of groans from the
    Damned.” Only a few people were good enough to be saved; the vast
    majority would go to hell. This was the orthodox opinion. Raymond Lull
    was condemned as a heretic for trying to teach that Christ’s mercy would
    save nearly all men. Christ was not that merciful…” – Barbara G. Walker

  3. Al Dente says

    Gordon Willis @3

    On the off-chance you weren’t being sarcastic, reading the Bible shows that Yahweh is a petulant, sadistic bully who kills people just because he can. He kills Job’s family and servants and tortures Job to win a bet. When Job asks Yahweh why an omnibenevolent god allows evil Yahweh, in a long-winded sneer, tells Job he doesn’t have the right to know.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    The prayer is incomplete without a gloating description of the sumptuousness of the pray-er’s most recent meal(s).

  5. daveau says

    I just think that everyone thanks God for the wrong things. Oh, sure, he made that lovely rainbow, but nobody ever gives him propsfor that awesome tornado that leveled half the town right before that. Credit where credit is due.

  6. Gordon Willis says

    And he rides around in the whirlwind and thunderbolts come out of his mouth. Or was that indigestion? I forget now. Anyway, he obviously has a lot of fun with his creation, watching the religious burn each other and deciding whether to prevent someone from hearing the good news so that he can watch them burn alive for ever. And of course he invented plasmodeum and asthma — or was that the Devil, on account of Eve’s fall? I forget. But he invented the Devil anyway, so there’s no difference.

  7. Blanche Quizno says

    Psalm 139:16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

    Any further questions???

    Like…free will? Determinism? Who’s responsible for everything a given person does?

    Then shut up.

  8. kpidcoc says

    I read this just today. It doesn’t matter who said it, you can find this every day.

    Our hope is that there’s a goodness and love more enduring than our trials and tribulations that, paradoxically, suffering actually can reveal.

    So those corpses of the innocent proclaim the glory of God.

  9. Gordon Willis says

    Well, God invented paradoxes, too. Now that was clever. And there’s always hope, of course. And hope is as good as faith, so it’s true. Phew.

  10. daveau says

    The math is 1.5 milliion children every year. Comes out to 4109.58 daily. I hope Jesus will forgive me for rounding up. Children are approximately 20% of the number of people who starve to death every day. Thank you God for all the terrific indifference. Yes, we’re cowering and genuflecting.

  11. Blanche Quizno says

    “This is the day that the Lord has made.
    We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

    …as we carefully step around the mounds of corpses.

    “Lord of all creation, you have given us this day of beauty, full of your handiwork. Open our eyes wide to see your Spirit’s artistry in all that happens. Open our hearts to the surprising ways of your creative goodness. Then grant us grace to reflect your glory, through the transforming power of Christ, your Word, who beckons us into life abundant. Amen.”

    Yes, amen to your wonderfully wise and kind methods of population control! It’s certainly only right that life can only be abundant for those who can afford to pay for it.

  12. Gordon Willis says

    Oh, but tea-leaves are so passé. No, I prefer the Bible. It consists entirely of ink-blots.

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