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  • Writer's pictureFr. Paul A. F. Castellano

Some Ask, "Where is God in This?"

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

****This was originally written on Dec 14, 2012 after the Connecticut shooting. It seems appropriate today in our current cultural climate.****

The events in Maryland are heartbreaking. I have lived with death all my life. Some of my earliest recollections as a 4 year old are the memories of watching my father die. From that point in my life until I turned 20, my family lost at least one family member or close family friend a year.

Yet as devastating and personally formative as those experience were, the death that stands out above all others was the death of a 4 year old boy while I was an E.R. medic in the military. I didn’t even know this boy. But to see his helpless little body lying there was to burn an image in my mind that I still recall to this day.

The only thing worse than that experience was the loss of my three boys.

As I listen to all of the talk and commentary on T.V. the inevitable question arises, “How could God let this happen?” or “Where was God in all of this?” Before I even attempt to respond to this I must confess that I am a bit incredulous when these questions are posed, given the individuals who generally pose them.

We are living in a Country now, that has done and is doing, everything in its power to eradicate God from its thinking. Yes, its very thinking. The powers that be are removing God from the Schools, from the public arena, from the legal system, from the very government His law influenced.

If you see a depiction of a Christian in the movies or on T.V. they are depicted as feckless, weak, simps, who are morally compromised at best. And that’s not if they’re being portrayed as an outright joke.

Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead, has any image of Him dipped in urine, ridiculed, maligned, or placed in outright scorn. All the while we’re told, ‘Oh but I love the teaching of Jesus.”

A Country that was founded upon the very principle that religious freedom meant, not only freedom to practice the religion of your choice, but the freedom of religious expression in all areas of life; is hell bent on removing religion from our visible lives. AFTER the Constitution was ratified; AFTER the Bill of Rights was ratified; AFTER the First Amendment was agreed upon; EVERY STATE in the U.S. had one primary State religion! I have the Constitutions of each of the original colonies after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and each STATE Constitution expressly mentions God as the providential authority guiding them (not to mention that one must believe in Christ to serve in state government; but that’s a discussion for another time).

However, now, today, we don’t dare try to point out that this Country’s political heritage is inextricably interwoven with its religious identity. God has been effectively pushed out, removed, banished from the political, social, public square and relegated, limited, and isolated to Churches that, for the most part ARE FORCED TO THE OUTSKIRTS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE CITIES. How much longer do you think it will be before that is taken away from us.

Given this current situation, can you blame me for being incredulous when people ask, “Where’s God in this?” What do you mean? I don’t understand your question? You have forced Him out of every area, sphere, domain of our existence with the exception of marginalizing Him to what, you consider a irrelevant, inconsequential location – Church – and you wonder where He is? He’s been here the entire time! He’s never left!

You just treat Him as if you’re an organ grinder and He’s your cosmic monkey and He’s supposed to respond to your every whim when it suits you! ‘Oh, I need to win the lottery, go ahead God, give me the winning numbers;’ ‘Oh, my mother, father, daughter, son, etc is sick, please heal them;’ ‘Hey, there’s a hurricane coming, reach down and stop it before it hits my area;’ ‘OH NO, there’s a sick, evil man who wants to hurt all of our children, strike him down before he’s successful.’ ‘Well, it’s all over now God, get back where you belong – out of sight. What? I’m supposed to worship you in Church? I’m supposed to glorify you in my life? I’m supposed to submit to your Son, Jesus as my Lord and Savior because of His sacrificial death on the cross? I have to behave according to your law? Stop sinning? Live a Holy life because you are a Holy and Righteous God? You’re kidding right?’

We live in this world as if God owes us something and then we do everything physically, emotionally, intellectually possible to put Him out of our lives! And then we have the audacity, the temerity, the gall to demand that He do something to stop us from killing one another. We have the audacity to ignore Him in virtually every segment of our lives and then demand He gives us peace or an answer to our own horrible behavior when we abuse one another!

My friends, this issue isn’t about gun control, yet that’s what the media and politicians will attempt to make it. This isn’t about safer schools, more laws, arming teachers, etc. There are many and numerous elements that must be done to address the specifics of these horrific situations such as the one in CT. But with that in mind the issue isn’t about those things per se. The issue is about unfettered evil; the issue is about a society that wants to have it’s relativistic cake and eat it too; the issue is about a society that wants to allow any and all immoral behavior yet divest that behavior from the consequences that may arise. The issue my friends, is disobedience, disobedience to the laws of God; disobedience to the Holiness of God; disobedience to the Righteousness of God. The issue is SIN. We will never totally eliminate sin, but we can sure address it before God.

So, back to the initial question that is asked by people on T.V. of in the news who have no business asking such a question, “Where’s God in all this?” I’ll tell you where God is friends, He’s been locked out of our schools; He stands on the front steps of our schools peering in, looking down at the ACLU chains on the doors, designed to keep Him out. He stands on the Courthouse steps, with a quizzical expression because he sees above the Courthouse the words, “In God we Trust;” or He over hears a bailiff say, “God bless this court;” and yet, He’s barred from the very Court that invokes His name! He stands at the door of the Museum of Metropolitan Art, glancing in agony at how His Son is ridiculed, insulted, slandered, and blasphemed, yet they won’t allow a simple Nativity scene to be placed on its steps.

Maybe, just maybe, before the next tragic, senseless murder of helpless children, or high school kids, or a storm wipes out a town, or a hurricane destroys the Gulf Coast, we should fall on our collective knees, fall to our collective faces, and beg, cry out, ask for God to forgive us; repent, turn to His son who died for sin and maybe, just maybe, we won’t have to ask that question. I leave you with the words of Jesus. (Luke 13:1-5 New American Standard Bible)

"Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And He answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this fate? 3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

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