God must have reasons to permit mass shootings of school children.
Since an omnipotent God could prevent evil events beforehand or stop evil events during their commission, it must be assumed that God has good reasons for permitting evil events.
Here is a list of answers to the question, ‘Why does God allow mass shootings of school children?’
- God values free will more than God values the lives of children. Because God dislikes robot behavior God has given human beings free will, free choice, and free choice sometimes leads to evil behavior by humans. God will not permit himself to interrupt free will in action, even if the action is highly evil. God, as a matter of principle therefore, values the free will of the murderer over the lives of the murdered children (as God valued the free will of Nazis over their Jewish victims). If I hear that you came upon another person who is a weakling, a person you could easily overpower, and you watched and sat idly by and permitted that weak person to beat a small child to death, I’d just assume you valued the free will of the murderer over the life of the beaten and murdered child. (I am ruling out that you are malevolent or weak or fearful because you are widely known to be decent and strong and fearless.)
- God intends a lesson to be learned. The murdered children learn a big lesson. Parents of the dead also learn a very large lesson. The community learns lessons. And even the murderer learns a pretty potent lesson.
- God is testing faith. Did the murdered children keep faith or find faith at the very end of their lives? Do parents of the deceased keep faith or find faith during several decades of grief? Does the murderer keep faith or find faith? Does society at large keep or find faith?
- God is providing an occasion to build moral character. For instance, the murdered children probably improved their moral character in the last seconds of their lives. Parents, during subsequent decades of grief, build their moral character. Other survivors have a significant opportunity to improve their moral character too. Even the murderer has an opportunity to improve his moral character.
- God is bidding us to pray for the whole sorry event. Pray for the murdered children. Pray for the parents of the murdered children. Pray for other survivors. Pray for the culture that produces such abominations. Pray even for the murderer. Candlelight vigils are most effective. But do not pray that God will prevent such mass shootings in the future because God cannot promise such a thing (see the first bullet above).
- God is assigning due punishment. Everyone involved receives a fitting punishment for Sin—both the inherited sin acquired from Adam and Eve and personal sins committed by each individual involved. Or perhaps God is punishing all of American society for the anemic attention God receives from a slender portion of the population called agnostics. In any event, the general suffering by everyone is a justified punishment.
- God has nothing to do with mass shootings. The devil is behind it all. God apparently values the free will of the devil over the lives of murdered children and the suffering of parents since God is more powerful than the devil and could easily prevent or stop the devil’s designs. But God doesn’t prevent the devil’s designs or stop the devil’s designs once they’re underway. And yet, it’s the devil’s fault.
- God aesthetically punctuates our happiness with moments of sorrow, like shadows and light in a painting. We would not appreciate light without shadows, and so God visits us with ‘shadows.’
- God will erase all memory of earthly sorrow in a disproportionately euphoric future paradise.
- None of this is evil, per se. Our use of the word ‘evil’ to describe an event like the mass shooting of children is a ‘category error’ and a delusion. ‘Evil is nothing in itself but is only the absence of good.’ Evil does not exist.
That’s it. I can’t think of any other conceivable reasons why an all powerful, all good God would permit mass shootings of children.
There are no other reasons—short of defaming, slandering, vilifying, insulting, maiming, and staining the idea of God.
Featured image ‘American School Bus’ by GreenWhiteOrange via Flickr