You see, God, I have a little problem with this whole holocaust thing. You know, the 12 million people who were killed and all. It just bothers me. Here's what I've been thinking:

  1. You can and do intervene in human affairs. The Bible records you doing so many times, and modern-day Christians pray to you, because they believe that you will help them, at least every once in a while.
  2. You are omnipotent. You are aware of everything that is currently occurring, and also aware of what will occur.
  3. Therefore, it would have been possible for you to stop the holocaust before it even began.

Now, let's imagine the year is 1939. Say I told someone in 1939 exactly what was going to happen in Nazi Germany. I then gave this person a button. I say: if you press this button, there will be no holocaust. If you don't press it, 12 million innocent people will be murdered. Is there anyone who would claim this person was acting morally if he didn't press the button? I doubt it.

So thanks, God, but no thanks. If I'm going to choose to believe in an omniscient being who is kind, merciful, and loving, I think I'd at least want to believe in one that would stop the brutal murder of 12 million of my fellow human beings.

"Never should I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust."- Elie Wiesel
"In the concentration camp I had cried out in sorrow and anger against God and also against man, who seemed to have inherited only the cruelty of his creator."- Elie Wiesel

Not all Jewish people made it out with their faith intact.

Shanoyu: you seem to be mixing like two or three different religions there(or does the Bible discuss Karma?) But I just don't accept your defense. I *might* be able to accept it if God had a general policy of non-interference. Some sort of divine Prime Directive. But again, in the Old Testament, God was interfering like it was going out of style, and a main part of the Christian faith still seems to be the belief that God will intervene. What's the point of saying "Please God, save my sick child.", if not that you think God might come through for you. So how many people must have been praying in the concentration camps? God chose to ignore those prayers, and I while it was clearly humans who were doing the killing, God was guilty for letting it happen(if he exists, is obviously the assumption here).

I just simply don't think the Holocaust is compatible with the Christian concept of God. Other faiths might be OK, but not a faith with a God who supposedly cares about, and helps, humans.

Well, how about God does not care about those killed in the holocaust, or Heaven needs souls, or more likely God does not exist?

But anyway suppose God exists, why would shem (shem's an all purpose pronoun I made up to describe multisexed things... strangely though its plural is shemp) allow suffering? Job goes to great pain in the Old Testament of the Christian bible to explain why we suffer in the presence of this all purpose omnipotence (i like how omnipotence sounds a lot like impotent, seems fitting to me).

Buddhism considers the human condition as suffering which can only be overcome by coming into harmony with the misery. Islam literally means submission, which, though it probably translates poorly, is a word that many see as synonymous with suffering. Hinduism probably has a God of Suffering (I'm guessing here. I don't know many Hindus).

And Jews... listen to Jews when they speak of suffering. Any people that can be persecuted the way they have and still hang together as a faith, I respect. No one in the Western world has been fucked with longer than the Jews -- they know suffering.

Every hour of every day, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerence has a holocaust survivor give a talk about their experiences in the camps.

I went there one day, and listened to an old Hungarian lady talk about how she went into Dachau (I think) when she was about 17, and how she spent 2 or so years there.

She was still an observant Jew, and she said that people had often asked her if she blamed G-d for the Shoah.

Her reply: "I don't blame God, because that would let man off the hook."

Deuteronomy 28 contains a list of blessings that God would bestow on the people of Israel for obeying him, and a much longer list of curses if they didn't.

45 ¶ Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:
46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.
47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;


62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.
63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:
66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

Why ask about the Holocaust, why it happened? What about Somalia, Rwanda or even the streets of Chicago? Do we so quickly forget the small evils and only cry out to God when we see "great evil?" Why would He allow such horror?

As C.S. Lewis noted, there may be evil and sin in the world, but there also lies in this world for us the ability to love and have mercy, show bravery and intervene where we see such evil take place. Some people think they can imagine a world without sin and evil, and still have the chance to love freely, do real good and have a purpose in life. I cannot. God, it seems, thinks it worth the risk in order that we be truly free.

Any theist believes that God gave us certain rules. Religions differ on some, but most differ merely by degree (Don't kill people, or don't kill anything: don't kill. One wife or three: you can't take any woman you want whimsically). Many of the rules are alike: it seems some "truths" reflect a real Truth, something outside our own existence. The real Truth, the real Right. The real God.

These rules, which seem like Laws of Religions, in particular, the Word of God, isn't something He made up to bind us to despair, but are really simply expressions of Who He Is, and how the world works. Don't kill because 1) that life isn't yours to take, 2) it's His world, His Creation, in His image and 3) it disrupts the surroundings (society, relations, etc).
Don't have sex outside of marriage 1) not because He doesn't want you to have fun - He invented "that fun" and wants you to enjoy it - but He wants you to enjoy it in the fullness of the context for which it was created: loving, sharing, becoming one with someone else, friendship, honor, trust and charity; not to be selfish or greedy and seeking only your own pleasure or the smallness of what our physical pleasures seem to be. 2) Your actions have meaning and consequence. Fun SHOULD be had, but not at the expense of another - even if that person feels the same as you - you both still miss out on the fantastic fullness intended.
Etc etc etc.

God says don't break these rules because He doesn't want Holocausts, Rowanda or hurting children. On the other hand, since we have sinned - and make no mistake, they are our sins - it seems He did in fact make a world where the worst evil can be the cause for the greatest good. He saved you for that purpose. To do good, to honor Him. So we can love and be joyful. So there will be no more Holocausts.

"I dare not ask God why He doesn't do something about all the evil in the world because I fear He will ask me the same thing."

Christians believe we are the hands and feet, the body of Christ. Christ is the Head of the Church and that we exist for God, and for Him alone. If we are His hands and feet, why aren't we doing something.

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