God, Why Did You Let So Much Stuff Happen?

This picture and fictional conversation are making the Internet/Facebook rounds:

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Me: My car took forever to start

God: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.


Chris Calvey‘s continuation of the conversation is worth your time, though :)

Me: So then what about natural evil? Earthquakes in Haiti. Tsunamis in Japan. Hurricanes in New Orleans. No free will involved, what’s stopping you from preventing these?

God (Embarrassed): Errr… well… the thing is… that you have to understand… I work in very mysterious ways, alright?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Anonymous

    I do hope that someone I am friends with on facebook  posts that.  Oh the fun I would have…

    • tracker

       I was thinking the same thing.  Especially if this get picked up and forwarded to me.  I will not ignore it.

      • Twalker

         …and here I was being happy that my aunt the bigot has unfriended me so I don’t have to read her blithering about it.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t it have been simpler to stop the drunk’s car from starting? That way all the Christian cars could have started.

    • Fentwin

      My guess is the drunk driver was being used as a tool to take out a few non-believers.

      You know, those “mysterious ways” (to be said in a ghostly mannerwhile waving hands in front of face)

  • Grdkf4

    God the micro-manager.  But heaven forbid (no pun) he should do something helpful on the large scale!

  • Tracker

    Forgive my misspellings. :/

    • Anonymous

      Luckily for you, we don’t require you to accept a human sacrifice for that

  • Grdkf4

    Me: Wow, thanks God!  So, what happened to the drunk driver?

    God: Oh he crashed into another car, both he and the family in that car died horribly in the resulting fire.  But, they were all non-believers so, really didn’t think think I should get involved.  And now they’re all in Hell, burning for eternity. 

    Me: …

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    According to this guy, we’re asking the wrong question

    • cipher

       The “Depraved Wretch” channel? Seriously? They’re running out of terms to use to denigrate themselves. It’s become a contest.

      Anyway, as soon as I saw ‘DesiringGod.org”, I X’ed it. John Piper – no, thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Croteau/100000139232445 David Croteau

      Ok, follow up question then, “Why did this super smart and kind god make me so messed up that I would end every day deserving to get all jacked up?”

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

    Maybe a better intervention would have been to have the drunk guy slam into the Christian, killing him. Then all the pastors could have consoled his family with, “You just have to accept it as God’s will.” 

    • Fargofan1

       And of course, the Christian would be in heaven instantly.

  • http://rachelheldevans.com Rachel Held Evans

    I’m a Christian, and this line of reasoning drives me absolutely batty. 

    So God brought someone else into the path of the drunk driver because he didn’t love that person as much? And, on the same day that God manipulated events so  that you wouldn’t be on the road today, he allowed 30,000 children to die from preventable disease? 

    Ugh! It makes me crazy. 

    Where we tend to see God working says more about us than it says about God. And when people always see God working in ways that preserve their own comfort and happiness, I am suspicious. 

    • Rebecca Sparks

      Verily I say,  the idea of providence is one of the major problems I have with the church.  
      When I was in high school, the church I attended did a musical with the Music of Michael W. Smith about a girl dying a a car crash so that her boyfriend’s father could come to Christ.  ( I remember this in vivid detail, but I can’t this musical online.  I know we sang the Hand of providence…)  

    • FSq

      Hi Rachel,

      Appreciate your thoughts here, but I would like to ask you some questions:

      1) How do you rectify your views of being  christian with how christian teachings actually work? When the teachings of christian books – i.e. the bible – says that god does all things, knows all and has all power, how can you rectify your beliefs when evil exists?

      2) Are you on the path of reason and intellectual openness, and just stumbling because of dogmatic residue left behind as a result of indoctrinating childhood that brainwashed you into christian belief?

      The fact you are recognizing the folly of how things are seen seems to me that you are well on your way to letting go of outdated dogma and christian belief. I wish you good luck and I hope you arrive on the side of reason, fact and intellect.

      • boxie

         Wouldn’t it be just as easy to say that you think the way you do based upon the way you were raised?
        And yes God can do things that are far beyond our understanding, knows all things that were, are and are yet to come, but it is always easier to hate evil than it is to hate the evil inside of yourself that makes even war possible. If God took away (destroyed) all evil that would completely take away free will. The Point is for “you” to decide to do good because you want to do good and to keep a good attitude in the bad times because stuff does happen, that would be the ボンペンフギョ (Bonpenfugyo) of the universe.
              Also hurricanes, Tsunamis, earthquakes ect. arn’t “evil” people may die from them, but that’s also a part of life and should be looked at as much. I know you weren’t talking about these instances just thought I would ad.

    • DebraBrunsberg

      It never said that God brought someone else into the path of that drunk driver, maybe the only one who would have harmed by the drunk was this young man. God does not cause evil, he may allow it because he gives man free will. He wil however, bring good from evil because that is what he does. You say that God allowed 30,000 children to die from preventable diseases. No, he didn’t. You did. I did. All those who are more interested in their three Starbucks a day rather than using their money to take care of others in the world, or using their time to take care of others in the world. There are enough resources on this planet to feed every human being and provide for them, we just choose not to do that.
      You are right to say that where we tend to see God working says more about us than it says about God. More importantly when we can’t see God’s hand in everything, we are clouded to his presence.
      This world is the illusion. God is supernatural and we want to be standing on his side of reality. You can call yourself a Christian, but I don’t see you having much understanding of God and how he works.
      There are no coincidences. Everything that comes into our lives is from God. If we cannot recognize him, we cannot see that nor can we live our lives as we should. How we react is how we react to God.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Mrs.Clucker Beth Henson

        Then, please, explain the kiling of first born sons.

  • MG

    That artist is really, really bad at hands…

    • Fentwin

      Maybe if Adam had hands like those he’d still have all of his ribs.

  • Rbray18

    eh i got pissed off right at the start just by seeing what the guy was miffed about. his car didn’t start right away and he’s talking to the sky daddy like a whole in the world opened up under him. please i’d tell the dude to get over himself already.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    So this was the full original conversation:

    Me: God, can I ask You a question?
    God: Sure
    Me: Promise You won’t get mad
    God: I promise
    Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
    God: What do u mean?
    Me: Well, I woke up late
    God: Yes
    Me: My car took forever to start
    God: Okay
    Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
    God: Huummm
    Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
    God: All right
    Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
    God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
    of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that
    Me (humbled): OH
    God: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
    Me: (ashamed)
    [Stop the drunk driver's car from starting.]
    God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.
    Me (embarrassed):Okay
    [If you could interrupted the sick person's free will to force them to make my sandwich incorrectly, why didn't you just stop them from making my sandwhich at all? Why did you even let them come in to work and prepare meals?]
    God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
    Me (softly): I see God
    [They can still give false witness whether I spoke to them or not. Even if they needed to speak to me to twist what I said, they're eventually going to. If they wanted to do so, why would 1 dropped phone call stop them?]
    God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.
    Me: I’m Sorry God
    [Why let a malfunctioning foot massager get onto store shelves in the first place? And I own the damn thing so I'm going to use it again eventually. Are you just going to keep preventing it from turning on? Electronic malfunctions set fires and burn people alive all over the country, why aren't you stopping all of those?]
    God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.
    Me: I will trust You.
    God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.
    Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.
    God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…
    REPOST if you Believe in HIM ♥

    God really sucks at micro managing. If you believe in a personal god, this would be insulting to him.

    • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Uly

       They really think they’re the center of the gosh-darned geocentric universe, don’t they?

      • Rrr

         That word would be egocentric, right?

        • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Uly

           Well, that too, but no, I meant “geocentric”, as opposed to “heliocentric”.

    • FSq


      As a pilot, I understand the concept of “you never get credit for the crash you didn’t have”, but sorry, this type of thought does not apply to some imaginary sky fairy.

      I didn’t slip on ice yesterday, thank goodness my invisible guardian dragon was there to prevent the slip. What? You say there is no invisible dragon capable of such things? Why, you must prove that…

  • Anonymous

    I guess the problem is that believers really DO think that way. It helps
    them survive hardship (even though the dialog didn’t involve any REAL
    hardship), and gives them comfort when they just can’t understand. To be
    a non-believer, you have to give up the security blanket, and admit
    that neither you nor humanity is anything special or different from
    anything else in the universe, and that SH*T happens. It takes a LOT of
    emotional and psychological strength to accept that, and believers who
    relate to that “conversation” are not strong.

  • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

    Your rationalizations skills are pretty weak when they have to invoke a real deux ex machina.

  • Anonymous


    So, Jesus, when someone does get killed by a drunk driver, does that mean you didn’t give a shit about them?

    And shouldn’t you be using your omniscience and running interference to keep priests from molesting kids and such… maybe you could have inspired one of them to go on a drive and lose their genitals in an accident with the drunk driver; heck, I bet they’d be singing your praises and claiming it was a miracle they had lived. (Which, come to think of it is kind of weird, because death is supposed to be the beginning of “happily ever after” for a Christian… you’d think more Christians would be courting death by not wearing seat-belts and such.)

    What about the hijackers on 9-11… why not just thwart them the way you thwarted me… or thwart the passengers on the plane from getting on the plane the way that you thwarted that atheist, Seth McFarlane who missed his flight that day? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwR1RWH-Hes Or use your superpowers to land the planes safely– you ARE omnipotent, right? Why not use it for something spectacular.  Or does Allah have more pull than you? If I had the power to land the hijacked planes safely, I’d have felt monstrous not to.

    And it’s nice of you to care about my not getting an infected sandwich so I don’t miss work– but what about all those people with no jobs or the kids that are dying because of no food? Why are you going out of your way to help out a spoiled brat like me when children are starving?

    I mean I guess I should be glad you took a break from helping out Tim Tebow and others achieve their assorted victories to make my comfy life a little more comfy in the long term… and I guess I should praise you in case you take the goodies away– but I’m beginning to see why atheists think that you are akin to Santa Claus for adults.

    So this is what you are doing these days… running interference that is indistinguishable from a coincidence? Does this mean that all Christians would have much crappier lives if they didn’t believe and worship you? No offense, but this isn’t even as impressive as those Greek Gods… just sayin’

    And say… while I’ve got you here, Jesus… are you god? or god’s son? Or both? And if you’re god then why didn’t you just use your omniscience to get rid of all the useless suffering… you know, just make sure that the people you knew were going to end up in hell just didn’t get born and stuff– never make the crappy stuff in the first place. Better yet, why did you create hell and Satan? Why would a “perfect” being do such a crazy thing… especially if he could see how much suffering would result and had the power to prevent it?

    I know these questions might seem rude and all– but this is the first time you’ve ever appeared to me and been distinguishable from a voice in my head, so naturally I thought I’d ask so I didn’t have to try to find the right religious blowhard to divine your answer. 

    • FSq

      Like ^^^^ he said!!!

  • Anonymous

    I linked an interview with atheist Seth McFarlane talking about him having arrived too late to board Flight 11 on 9-11. The link is from a Piers Morgan interview but it was put up by “truthers”.

    Here’s a better interview about the experience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obMspVT9-yw Seth says he’s grateful to the travel agent who accidentally gave him the wrong time rather than imaginary micro managing physics altering deities.

  • Lyra

    Oh! Oh! Let’s try another one.

    Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?God: What do you mean?Me: My father sexually abused me today, just like he has been doing for years.____________How will God respond?!

    • http://conuly.dreamwidth.org/ Uly

       I can tell you what some people think their God thinks, but it won’t make you happy….

  • Mike Laing

     God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I
    didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to
    miss work.
    Me: What about the Christian Missionaries that get
    kidnapped, tortured, and killed? Isn’t their work and life as important?
    If they don’t preach your word of peace and love and the people that
    now won’t hear it are condemned to eternal Hell, they CAN afford THAT
    God: (Sputtering)B-B-But, m-my plan, you don’t understand -
    Next time, mind your own business, okay? I’ll miss a day or two of
    work, you don’t have to kill handfuls of people so I can pay roaming
    charges on my cellphone, okay?

  • Ruth

    I mentioned before,  lost in the comments of another thread, that I have a brother who is mentally ill and is a street preacher.   He also has a facebook page for his flock and he posted this.  I kept my mouth shut.    He gets insulted and yelled at all the time. It only strengthens his convictions and reinforces his illness.  

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

    I like to ask the question, “Why do you think your god will suspend the laws of probability and physics to help your favorite sports team to win a meaningless contest and do nothing about the 27,000+ children around the world who are dying of starvation and malnutrition?  That sounds a bit arrogant to me.”

  • Thosesickbastards

    God hates minorities, and Jews.

  • Imagdelatorre

    Blaming God for all the bad will not help you…”a little girl was making a whole in the sand, and when her mother asked her, what are you doing? The little girl answered, I want to put that (pointing at the ocean), in here.  Her mom said, “that is a lot of water to put in there.” God is like the ocean and our brain is like that whole on the sand, nobody will ever understand it, that is when faith comes in.  

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Praising God for all the good will not help you…”a little girl was making a whole in the sand, and when her mother asked her, what are you doing? The little girl answered, I want to put that (pointing at the ocean), in here.  Her mom said, “that is a lot of water to put in there.” God is like the ocean and our brain is like that whole on the sand, nobody will ever understand it, that is when faith comes in.
      So in other words, God is some unfathomable who-knows-what that we shouldn’t bother to praise or blame.

      In the words of Alexander Pope: “Presume not God to scan, the proper measure of man is man” 

      So let’s get on with our lives and make the world a better place, and spend less time worrying about ‘God’. 

  • Irismileski7

    After thought; Why not stop the drunk driver?  He decided to get drunk – it was his choice, not the one who was at home not getting drunk.  Any thoughts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.williams.90834776 Dave Williams

    Oh, PLEASE…let’s unsheath Occam’s Razor here and let it do its lovely work.  “Thou shalt not multiply entities,” and that includes allegedly omnipotent ones.  Howzabout THERE IS NO GOD, PERIOD, END OF STORY? Any proof — PROOF — to the contrary? I thought not.

  • The Absolute Truth

    when it comes to relationships i will never understand why God blesses so many men and women that were very fortunate to have met one another, and other men and women like us that were very less fortunate. God is very mean the way i see it, and i would had wanted myself to find a good woman to share my life with. what in the world makes these people so very special? and we are certainly no different than they are. but then again since there are so many very mean women out there nowadays especially the ones that think they are God’s gift to men, that sure doesn’t help the situation at all. and with much more Gay Women today it is worse since they are adding to the problem too.

  • Paul

    I am still trying to figure out why did he create so much more Gay Women nowadays when there are many of us Straight Men trying to meet a good woman to settle down with, and then to have them Curse at us when we will try to just start a normal conversation with the one that we are really hoping to meet? I will certainly never understand that at all.