God could plead ignorance. That may be the only acceptable excuse for God in the face of the mass murder of children in their schools.
A plea of ignorance entails many strategies.
God could plead ignorance in giving humanity free will. God didn’t know that giving free will to humanity was like a parent offering sharp knives to toddlers and having no foresight that toddlers will cut themselves and each other with those knives. God could plead ignorance of what free will would accomplish in the world.
God could plead ignorance of the deranged gunner who was making plans to murder school children. God didn’t know the guy. Or God could say he knew the murderer slightly and thought the murderer seemed like nice person, that the murderer was quiet and otherwise law-abiding. God could never have guessed that the murderer would come unhinged in such a dramatic fashion.
God could plead ignorance of the assault rifle. God could admit he’s not up on human weaponry and that He finds human weaponry rather boring and doesn’t really research the progress of weapons or their effects.
God could plead the ignorance of His angelic spies, whom he relies on for timely intelligence reports. The angels didn’t know a plan was afoot to murder school kids. They were ignorant and therefore God was ignorant. God could also plead ignorance that His angels are under-staffed. God originally knew that angels couldn’t procreate and couldn’t increase their numbers, but God did not know there would come a time when there would not be enough angels. In the beginning of the world the angels only had to police a squad of human beings, and so God didn’t need many angels for that. But now there are billions of people and millions added daily. There are not anywhere near enough angels to spy and eavesdrop on many billions of people. Angels are spread thin over the planet and just can’t get everywhere. And so, God may frankly admit that He didn’t know He would need many more angels when he created angels, and He has no way now to enlarge His crew of angels, having deprived them of the art of sex and reproduction.
Or God could say one single angel did get wind of the murder plan but that angel bungled the intelligence report and God never got the memo and therefore remained ignorant of the events. (If you think angels cannot be flawed, revisit the story of a throng of angels who made a sorry choice to follow a rebel angel to their doom.)God could plead that He did get a report on the murder of school kids but He got the information too late, as the murdering was underway. God did not get the news in a timely fashion that have would allowed Him to intervene in the murder scene. God’s ignorance was not relieved in time to do anything about the murders.
God could say He was ignorant of the intrigues of his archenemy the Devil, who had plainly made direct contact with the murderer and thus out-maneuvered God.
God could plead ignorance of the effects of murdering school children. God could say He had no idea that grief lingers for decades in the parents of murdered children, and so He permitted children to be murdered with the uninformed thought that a murdered child was a trivial injury to parents. God had no idea that grief mars parents’ every third thought in each hour of seventeen hours of daily wakefulness for decades on end. And so God permitted children to be murdered, being ignorant of the lasting effects of murder.
God could plead ignorance of a thing called ‘pre-mature’ death. God could say He knows nothing of dying ‘prematurely’ or ‘early.’ God could say everyone has an allotted number of days. At conception, a number is assigned to a fetus. Simple as that. Maybe you get 30,000 days. But maybe you only get 5000 days if a shooter is destined to come to your school.
God could plead ignorance in the matter of school shootings and yet boast that He is knowledgeable on many other topics.
God’s not ignorant of the mechanics of myriad gaseous orbs that sail through the universe. God’s not ignorant of basic chemistry. God’s not ignorant of mathematics (and He might even know the last number). God’s not ignorant of the kinds of rocks that exist—igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic. God’s not ignorant of penicillin because Dr. Fleming made God aware of penicillin in the twentieth century. (It might have been nice if Hippocrates had made God aware of penicillin 2400 years earlier.) God’s not ignorant of the system of veins and arteries that circulate blood in animals. God’s not ignorant of plant biology and the reason green leaves turn red and orange in the fall. God’s not ignorant of many things.
But we may suspect that God is ignorant of the murder of our innocents.
Ignorance might be the only tolerable plea.
Featured image ‘Kid With Gun’ by Andrew Kitzmiller via Flickr