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God Hired a Hit Man

I was reading an article this morning about the mother of one of the Virginia Tech victims five years after the shooting. The mother was extremely religious and when her daughter died, she said that she stopped talking to God for a while but she recently started to talk to God again because God told her that he had a plan.

Apparently, God’s plan was to hire a hit man to have this woman’s daughter brutally murdered. Or maybe that was just the first step in a much larger plan involving world domination… or something. I’m not sure.

Aside from the ridiculousness of people talking to an imaginary deity and claiming that that deity is responding literally, I take issue with this grieving mother’s rationalization. For starters, it shows an obvious contradiction within the belief system. Either everyone has free will or God used this murderer as a pawn in his master plan. Both can’t be true.

More than that, it takes responsibility away from the killer. He had no choice; he was just playing his part in God’s plan. In this sense, God is really the killer and the guy who pulled the trigger was just a hired gun… or worse, he was the actual gun with no choice but to fire when God pulled the trigger.

I feel bad for the mother. I have two small children and I couldn’t imagine what I would be feeling if one or both of them were brutally murdered. It is easy for me to be rational now, but if I were in her situation, I hope someone would help me stay rational instead of allowing me to lose my mind to ridiculous superstitions. This is one of the reasons why therapists exist.

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