Yesterday, televangelist Pat Robertson unexpectedly rationalized the death of one woman’s baby boy by opining that he might have become an evil dictator as an adult.
As far as God’s concerned, He knows the end from the beginning and He sees a little baby and that little baby could grow up to be Adolf Hitler, he could grow up to be Joseph Stalin, he could grow up to be some serial killer, or he could grow up to die of a hideous disease. God sees all of that, and for that life to be terminated while he’s a baby, he’s going to be with God forever in Heaven, so it isn’t a bad thing. So how could God do that? How could a good God let that happen? Well, the good God is going to take that baby to Heaven right now, and that isn’t a bad thing.
Theologians have struggled for millennia to answer why bad things happen to good people, and chances are that most of them did a better job of comforting the bereaved than Robertson has. Perhaps he does not realize that he is playing right into a pro-choice meme, either, but the implications of his endorsement are still very interesting. How would forced-birth lunatics react if every woman entering the clinic started brushing them off by saying, ‘I’m here to kill Baby Hitler’? Maybe clinic volunteers could step on the inevitable spluttering responses by demanding to know why the forcible-birth fanatics want Baby Hitler to kill the Jews? “Why do you hate the Jews so much?!”
It’s interesting that Robertson rests his ‘Baby Hitler’ argument on both an acknowledgement of human agency and an appeal to his god’s omniscient knowledge of everyone’s ultimate fate — a perfectly Calvinist dissonance. Robertson’s deity supposedly sees all and knows all, allowing random illness and disorder to claim whichever children He dislikes, but has Robertson considered the possibility that his god also uses abortion doctors to weed out the Baby Hitlers who would otherwise destroy us all? Of course not, but he should. After all, God let humans invent abortion, and who is Robertson to question God’s will?