I'd like to begin this episode with a prayer, as there are evidently so many heathens around. "Dear God, and Jesus, and Mary, and baby Jesus, please bless us with reason, and intelligence, so that we may understand and accept the following truths. And I'd like some ice-cream."
Before I begin, an open letter:
"It's gone too far, now, Mr Atheist, whoever you are; you can send me rude emails but you cannot, repeat, cannot, undermine the principles of faith. And when you break into my house at night, try not to step on my remaining cats. You killed him, Mr Atheist, you killed him all."
This morning's question comes from Michael, in Mississippi. Hello Michael and I hope you're religious.
Why is pain? Why is hurt?"
Michael. You blaspheme.
Pain is for sinners. If we displease God, then He hurts us. It may seem to you as if suffering occurs randomly, by chance, but I assure you it does not. It is all part of His Plan. God doesn't hurt us as soon as we wrong him, no; he waits months, years, before striking, and that is why there seems to be no connection between what we do and what we feel.
Say, for example, a small boy gets infected with a horrible disease: this is God's work; the boy will surely have offended The Lord's sensibilities at some point in his life - maybe he asked too many questions, like you.
Bad things happen all the time, but, evidence suggests, some people are bad all the time, so God is fair and just and Righteous. Write it down.
Next time, I'll be dealing with some tougher ideas, so, grownups, if you'd like to write in and ask a question, you may be pleasantly surprised to find an answer printed in this very periodical, written by the genius that is,
No more atheists. No more liberals. No more stupid kids.