coincidence, tragedy and other acts of gods

Having just spent some time with people of a religious persuasion, I’m struck by how often coincidences (or indeed any and all random events with supposedly positive outcomes) are desperately attributed to the machinations of the Christian god God.

Do you know anyone who died? If they died quickly and peacefully, that’s the loving work of the god God. If they died after years of suffering, that’s the god God taking away their struggle. If they died suddenly and tragically, the god God works in mysterious ways.

Did you find a place to park at the supermarket? That’s the work of the god God. If you didn’t and drove round and round wasting petrol, that’s the god God showing you how to be patient. If you gave up and went to another supermarket and spoke to any random person, or saw any random event, the god God stopped you from finding a parking place in the first supermarket so that anything that happened there could happen.

Did you want something to happen that actually happened? That’s the work of the god God. If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s because it’s going to happen at the right moment in your life according to the plan of the god God. If it doesn’t happen at all, it’s because it wasn’t supposed to happen according to the plan of the god God.

Because if the Christian god God didn’t exist, and wasn’t shimmering around invisibly making things happen in the petty little lives of all Christians, then clearly nothing would actually happen in the world. Petty little things that make Christians happy only actually happen because the invisible creator of the world loves them and has time to put the fridge they want on half price sale, or provide a parking place for them, or make them bump into someone who says something nice to them.

Us atheists can never find reasonably priced appliances or parking places. And I have never bumped into anyone at a surprising or convenient time, because the world is too big for random events like that to ever happen if the invisible, middle eastern god of the Jews isn’t intervening.

So, next time anything surprising or nice or interesting or useful or fun or tragic happens, don’t for one minute think that things just happen. Remember it must be the work of one of the very many mythical and invisible creatures that humans have imagined in the history of the world. And if you live in 2015 in Europe or the USA, it must be the work of Christian god God.

And don’t forget to thank him incessantly for this wonderful intervention in your petty little life, and wonder with awe what odd benevolent deity would revel in the petty little coincidences in your petty little life, while millions of other people are living tragically short, painful and brutal lives. What a comforting Christian life!