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Our Father Who Art in Heaven...


Our Father way up in Heaven, what is Your name ?  I don't wish to use Your name in vain; they say it's a sin to do so.  But using it today is not being done with otiose intent, because frankly there are questions I need to ask You.  It is a mouthful but You are by definition Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, infinite in Reason, and all Good.  Your intelligence spans creation, everything fits so perfectly, maybe too 'perfectly;' from the birds in flight to the Laws underlying nature--You govern the heavenly bodies, and all which is subsumed within them.


97% of Americans believe in You, in Your existence, every coin and Treasury note reminds us of that fact and so does every poll conducted with the aim of defining religious beliefs in America.  So as I look up to the heavens after listening to yet another invariant of the evening news, I am once again asking myself, and in turn You, the following questions:

Why do we have wars ?

Why are we surrounded by violence ?

Why is there so much hatred ?

Why is mankind enveloped by fear ?

Why do human beings treat one another with such little regard for each other's humanity ?

Why do children suffer needlessly ?

Why do the innocent continually suffer the slings and arrows into seeming perpetuity ?

Why can't we rid ourselves of famine, poverty, and disease ?

Why do so many of Your creatures suffer for neither rhyme nor reason ?

Why is the world of 'man' imbued with so much injustice ?

Why, amid so much poverty, is there so much wealth hoarded by so few ?

Why, indeed, is there so much evil in our world ?

Our Father who art in Heaven, why have You created all these negations to Goodness ?

Some among us, who embrace the concept of God, say the answer to all the questions lies in fate. Have Faith, because the answer is Fate !  Much like Voltaire's novel Candide, everything in the physical world and in the world of man, is said to happen for the best of reasons, and it is all explained by fate.  It's God's design you see, it's 'intelligent design' and within these few words everything is possible and becomes acceptable; war, injustice, torture...  By so doing, 'man' shirks his responsibility for his deeds--it's fate you see, part of God's plan.  The pain, the atrocities, its all fate, all in God's plan--even Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of a foreign President.


Our Father, who art in Heaven, are You in fact up there at all ?  Or are You just a musing, a fanciful creation of 'man' instead ?  Yes, of course, you are probably not there at all, even as so many of us spend so much time trembling before Your 'power.'  So many wasted prayers, so much wasted time ! So much supplication, for what ? What ? Blasphemy, you say dear reader ? Heresy ?  Maybe the other 3% of my fellow Americans are right after all, and God has never been 'up there.'  Maybe, just maybe He doesn't exist, never did and never will.  What kind of God creates so much pain in the world ?  Where is the goodness in that ?  No amount of Reason can justify the purpose of so much evil in this world.  Its very existence negates, at least for me, all preconceptions of God.  It reduces the conception of the 'all powerful' to not so powerful after all.


As I look up to the heavens, I see the light of cold orbs, spatial gases and particles of dust, and the concept of an 'Our Father' vanishes, as I think of the billions across our planet tonight, who huddle together in pain, in fear, for want of nourishment; among them the thousands who shall perish in the coming minutes and hours from pestilence or from Bush's bombs, bullets and napalm in a war on terror, itself a misnomer for a war waged for terror's sake.


Our Father who art NOT in heaven, tell us why there is so much needless pain and suffering, waged at the hands of a God fearing people ?


by Leonard Manfred

Contributing Correspondent


Posted  August 24, 2005

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