Besides the many comments on the USA Today site about my science-faith op-ed (they’ve now exceeded a thousand), I’ve also let some of the religious objectors post here. (I’ve spammed the ones that were either insane or contributed nothing to the discussion.). And of course I’ve received the requisite private emails damning me to hell, and conjuring up dire scenarios when I finally face Jesus (who said Christians weren’t strident or shrill?)
One comment that I didn’t allow through, but am posting here, is a unique response to my assertion that the Holocaust should certainly erode people’s faith in a loving and just God. The writer has an answer—which I’m sure is not just his—why the Holocaust was indeed part of God’s plan. Try to guess before you read this!
Dear Mr. Coyne
I just read your article in the USA Today Newspaper from October 11th, 2010. First, I just wanted to congratulate you on your use of the English vocabulary. Well done.
You wrote and I quote, “I’ve never met a Christian, for instance, who has been able to tell me what observations about the universe would make him abandon his beliefs in God and Jesus.(I would have thought that the Holocaust could do it, but apparently not.)” That is a section of your article which I thought very, very curiously interesting, objectively of course. Why you ask? Isn’t it obvious? Well, I thought it was common knowledge.
Everyone knows Hitler’s thought process was primarily responsible for the Holocaust and everyone knows Hitler was trying to start a master race that he hoped would rule the world; peacefully of course like good little atheists. Obviously, Jews don’t fit the bill (and for other reasons as well) and neither do gays, blacks, cripples, or any others who don’t fit his perfect description. I mean they obviously aren’t the “fittest” people or most evolved, right? I also thought we all knew that his greatest inspiration for the whole idea was evolution which as we all know was primarily thought up by Charles Darwin; which had to have been one of Hitler’s favorite people. We know evolution is the choice of belief for atheists since it caters so nicely to their thoughts on the world.
Therefore, Mr Jerry Coyne next time you make a list of violent religions why don’t you add the religion of evolution to it. Since as we all know, now, it was the primary driving force behind the eradication of all races not fitting the “perfect” description made by one of the most famous and intelligent atheists of all, Hitler. (I mean can you point out any other atheists who practically took over the modern world and did what some atheists wish, deep down in their scientific hearts, they had a chance to do; no). When I look back at the Holocaust it only makes me believe in God all the more. Just because a bunch of twisted people decided to murder a large group of people (yes, people did it) it’s not going to make me abandon my belief in God.
Also, Mr. Coyne, what was the result of the Holocaust? Yes, millions of people died. But think more. What else happened? Yes, your right…the Jews got Israel back as their own country. Since your such a big Bible fan you know the significance of that. Do you think that could have happened any other way. I would challenge you to devise another way that the entire world would feel so sorry for the Jews that they would decide to just hand over their country back to them. That is no coincidence. I don’t know God’s ways. How could I understand something that created the very organ I try to understand Him with.
Does that make sense. Lastly, dosn’t evolution have a certain measure of faith behind it. I mean are you really so certain that all that evolution stuff is really true or do you have to have a little faith in it? Maybe not, but it sure seems that way.
In case you don’t get the reference, the return of the Jews to Israel is taken by many lunatic evangelical Christians as a precondition for the return of the Messiah—the beginning of the End Times.
I suppose there are ways that an omnipotent and loving God could engineer the return of Jews to Israel in a way that didn’t involve unspeakable horrors and millions of deaths, but never mind. The religious mind bent on theodicy is endlessly creative.