Why does God allow babies to die? It’s a tricky question for the religious to vault. Atheist Stephen Fry summed up the sentiment a recent interview with RTE when asked what he would say if face-to-face with the Almighty.
“Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?” the actor replied.
On Tuesday, Christian televangelist and religious businessman Pat Robertson offered a competing view on his TV phone-in show: God kills babies to stop the next Hitler.
The ageing charlatan was responding to a letter from woman hoping to comfort a co-worker grieving after the death of a 3-year-old child. Drawing on the Christian teaching of kindliness, the evangelical announced that God had killed the child to stop it from growing up to be a mass murderer.
"As far as God’s concerned, He knows the end from the beginning and He sees a little baby and that little baby could grow up to be Adolf Hitler, he could grow up to be Joseph Stalin, he could grow up to be some serial killer, or he could grow up to die of a hideous disease," said the 85-year-old.
He added: "God sees all of that, and for that life to be terminated while he’s a baby, he’s going to be with God forever in Heaven, so it isn’t a bad thing. So how could God do that? How could a good God let that happen? Well, the good God is going to take that baby to Heaven right now, and that's isn't a bad thing."
Unfortunately, Roberts failed to address why God didn't actually kill Hitler, placing something of a strain on his thesis. But let’s not dwell on logic and instead note the pastor’s form in previous skirmishes with modernity.
Here he is counseling on adultery: "Males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn't want to wander."
And on sexual equality: "I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household, and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period."
And finally on feminism: "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
Now cleanse yourself by watching this: