Dangerous faith: Marco Rubio isn’t worried about terrorism, because it is all part of God’s plan.
GOP presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio claims the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month and in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, were both part of God’s mysterious plan for the universe.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Laconia, New Hampshire on Monday, Florida Sen. Rubio told a story about being asked a question about terrorism and God during another campaign event a few days prior. Rubio reports that he was asked:
Where was God on 9/11? Where was God in Paris?
Rubio said he answered the question by saying:
Where God always is — on the throne in Heaven.
The question was how could God allow these bad things to happen?
Rubio then tried to answered his own question:
It always challenges us to understand that God’s ways are not our ways. What we may interpret as bad, and most certainly is in the case of Paris or 9/11, even that is part of a broader plan for the universe and for our lives that we are just not going to know the answer to. God’s ways are not our ways.
In other words, Rubio is making the tired and supremely unsatisfactory universal disclaimer: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”
However, contrary to Rubio’s Sunday school pandering, the idea that an all powerful, all knowing, benevolent God would allow the horror and suffering attending the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month and in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, is absurd.
In fact, the problem of evil is one of several powerful arguments against the existence of an all powerful, all knowing, benevolent God that most theists claim as their own.
The question Rubio tries to answer, the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering in the world with that of of an all powerful, all knowing, benevolent God, is an ancient one:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Compared to Epicurus, Rubio’s answer is simple minded and childish. To claim that God is on his “throne in heaven” is laughable in its naivete, yet many Christians are happy to accept Rubio’s silly account of how the world supposedly works under the mysterious guidance of the Christian God.
Despite his imaginary God’s apparent callous indifference to human suffering, Rubio reassures himself and his audience that it is all part of God’s plan, and that we should not be afraid:
We are biblically ordered not to be afraid. You know why? Because God is telling us that no matter what happens, ‘It is part of my plan. I will give you the strength to endure it whether you like it or not.’
On one level, Rubio’s remarks are trite Christian truisms, accepted by many Christians unwilling or unable to think critically. Yet on another level, Rubio’s claim that everything “is part of God’s plan” is sadistic and cruel beyond measure.
To tell the child with cancer, or the child being abused, or anyone who is suffering and in pain that it is “all part of God’s plan” is the height of arrogance and cruelty, a sublime smugness that is ultimately despicable in its callous disregard for the humanity of the other.
Rubio’s childish faith in “God’s plan” is intellectual malpractice and an abdication of reason. And while it is fine for a private citizen to ignore intellect and instead grovel in subservient supplication to ignorant religious superstition, in a perfect world such behavior should disqualify one from being considered to be a suitable candidate for the highest office in the land.
Watch Rubio’s remarks below –