Atheism on the rise in Rwanda.

The New Times reports that atheism is on the rise in Rwanda following the genocide.  It’s hard to keep believing in a god who professes to help those who pray, when those who pray are being killed, while praying, at the hand of their religious leaders.

His loving grandparents – who were proud to spent most of their lives within the walls of Kibeho Parish – were burned alive while they knelt in front of the altar hailing the Virgin Mary, but this time for their survival.

“I renounced Christianity to become atheist when, after the Genocide, I learned about what happened to them,” says Jacques Musoni, 32, a married man living in Nyamirambo. “I couldn’t possibly bear in mind how priests unleashed killers to exterminate their flocks. It was unimaginably incomprehensible. But also, I was wondering where that so-called omnipresent, omnipotent God was.”

What gets me is that surely he read about god committing genocide against the entire planet (and all the animals save for two of each species, and the sea-dwelling animals which got off easy…they must not have been snogging before marriage).  People like Musoni worshiped that god, but when human beings engage in genocide in a relatively small part of the world, that much smaller horror is more than sufficient to demonstrate that god isn’t there.  Maybe it’s just the fact that the killing is so close that drives the terror of genocide home, even though god’s crimes were millions of times worse.  The difference is easy to see: the genocide in Rwanda is real, and reality moves people in a way that stories of the absurd never could.

Sadly, when god’s depravity transcends that of the most twisted mortal, it is often perceived as a sign of god’s greatness – even though there is no terrestrial jail that isn’t too comfortable for the men who emulate god on a much smaller scale.

“He doesn’t exist. I decided to not waste time any longer. And if he exists, I don’t see any difference between him and genocidaires,” he says sternly. “He’s a God who ruthlessly murdered innocent babies, a God who proudly committed terrible massacres in the history of mankind.”

He’s right, of course.  But he knew that.  Just like all Christians know that.  And yet they keep praying as if the same god who killed a world of people by one of the cruelest imaginable means (drowning) will take pity on humanity now.  It’s so twisted, but if you can convince yourself that someone rose from the dead, I guess the idea that someone who murdered virtually every person on the planet is a loving god isn’t much of a stretch.

I’m so sorry the people in that region had to go through all this.  It shouldn’t take abuse and murder at the hands of religious leaders to convince someone that the god of Christianity is not there.  The ghastly stores in the bible are composed of such wickedness that they exceed all dreams of death, and they were available as an insight into the Christian god’s nature long before his apathy to modern genocide.  I have no sympathy to lend for god’s indifference, as god was never there.  But I am truly sorry that human beings can be as cruel as the genocidaires in Rwanda.

In this world, god is not part of the equation (even if beliefs about his will are).  The only credit for good belongs to other human beings.  Sadly, so does all the blame for malice.

  • CJ Klok

    It should be Rwanda, not Rowanda.

    Rowanda sounds like Mr Bean’s spinster aunt…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      You are correct. :) Fixed, and thanks!


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