The convenience of blaming God
When our kids were young and complained about being on the wrong side of circumstances, my wife and I urged them to repeat this line: “When things go badly for me, it’s usually my fault.”
In other words, we challenged our son and daughter to own their part of a bad experience.
If a teacher singled them out from a group of misbehaving students, they were to understand that their behavior was wrong, whether done individually or in a group.
If they got into an argument with a friend, they were to review the conversation and see how their words contributed to the dust-up.
If someone stole a pair of gym shoes from their locker, they learned the wisdom of using the combination lock we provided for them while they paid for new shoes out of their allowance.
Like us, many Christian parents swim against a strong cultural current of victimhood, which values freedom over responsibility and leads inevitably to an entitlement mentality. The line between right and wrong is blurred. Good and evil are subjective realities, not objective standards. And when things go badly, there are always other people to blame.
What young atheists can teach us
Larry Alex Taunton directs the Fixed Point Foundation, which seeks innovative ways to defend and proclaim the gospel. Recently, his organization reached out to college-age atheists nationwide in a unique campaign. As Taunton contacted leaders of Secular Student Alliances and Freethought Societies, he had one simple request: Tell us your journey to unbelief.
Taunton did not dispute their stories or debate the merits of their views. He just listened. Many stepped forward – some reluctantly – but ultimately Taunton found patterns emerging from the young atheists’ stories, and he summarized them in a recent article in The Atlantic.