The Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 BCE ) leaves Christian theologians scrambling for explanations. Epicurus said:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
“Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
“Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
“Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Christians desperately want to believe their God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. After all, if he doesn’t measure up to these most basic standards, then he can’t be much of a God.
Yet, here we are with America’s worst mass killing of innocent people in our history. The latest count from Las Vegas is 59 dead and more than 500 wounded. This is wickedness personified. If God is all that Christian theology proclaims, then where was this God on that fateful Sunday night?
An omniscient God would have known what was planned by the killer Mr. Paddock. An omnipresent God watched Mr. Paddock acquire automatic weapons and then watched as he rented a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel bringing his 23 guns. Certainly an omnipotent God could have stopped Mr. Paddock by giving him a heart attack or some other sudden affliction. But no, God simply let it all happen as though it were God’s will.
Certainly some brilliant theologian will figure out a way to excuse God so God does not appear to be at fault. Among those 22,000 people attending, there must surely have been people living in sin, so the massacre was really the sinners’ fault. That’s the answer, blame the victims instead of this allegedly all-powerful, loving God.
Oops, we forgot, maybe the devil coordinated this tragedy. Really? Poor God, I almost feel sorry for him because that makes the devil more powerful than God. What a pathetic excuse for this God!
The Las Vegas tragedy forces honest truth-seeking Americans to join Epicurus asking about this so-called God the Bible-believing religious right would impose on Americans. This God is obviously missing in action, so “why call him God?”