How to Become an Atheist

December 2004

If you're like us, you've heard it a zillion times: God is loving, compassionate, comforting, nurturing, and tender. Catholics are supposed to call God our Father, but it sounds more like God is our Mother -- or perhaps God is "Gay."

Jimmy Akin, writing in This Rock (Jul./Aug.), quotes Glenn Stanton: "Go to any playground and listen to the parents. Who is encouraging their kids to swing or climb just a little higher, ride their bikes just a little faster, throw just a little harder? Who is yelling, 'Slow down, not so high, not so hard!'? Of course, fathers encourage children to take chances and push limits, and mothers protect and are more cautious."

Akin comments: "If our spirituality has taught us to think of our relationship with God primarily as one of loving, nurturing union and to think of God as one who, like a mother, is quick to intervene and comfort his distressed children, then we are likely to be surprised and disappointed.... God, in these situations, does not seem to be a nurturing comforter.... God is not quick to swoop us up, comfort us, and make it all better, because that is not what fathers tend to do. To be sure, fathers will intervene if their children get into situations that are truly over their heads, but they are much more likely to let the child 'sweat it out' a bit, learn to 'stand on his own two feet,' and even 'burn his fingers' in order to learn his lesson. This is much more how God seems to treat us in times of crisis: We get the help we need to get through the situation, but we don't usually get waves of comfort and consolation and miracles to smooth our path."

God loves as a father loves.


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New Oxford Notes: December 2004

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