Well, I thought I’d heard all the excuses for why an omnipotent and omnibenevolent god allows horrible things to happen to children. But here’s another: The victims must have done something to deserve it.
It happened in this clip from ‘The Atheist Experience’. The hosts, Matt and Tracie, are discussing god’s continuing non-intervention in child sexual abuse, with caller ‘Shane’.
Tracie starts off with a bracing observation, which has already been made into a meme:
Shane begins his response by saying, “First of all, you portray that little girl as someone who’s innocent, she’s just as evil as you.” Dillahunty then cuts off the call and spits, “Good-bye, you piece of s**t.”
Here’s the clip.
That’s right; according to this caller, if a child gets raped, we shouldn’t automatically assume that she didn’t deserve it.
But really, isn’t this just the standard answer for Old Testament genocide? The Israelites (allegedly) wiped out entire tribes, and when I’ve pointed this out, Christians have told me something like, well, we don’t know that the Canaanites didn’t deserve it. Richard Dawkins has refused to debate William Lane Craig for this very reason.
It’s a new rhetorical low for the religious: blaming innocent victims for the awful things that people do to them, instead of blaming an (allegedly) all-good and all-powerful god for his tendency to watch and do nothing. Once someone decides that’s acceptable, there’s nowhere else you can go. They’re morally gone.