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A Miscellany 453
Coincidence? Or God?

by: JT

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Once more my reading for entertainment I came across a passage which I think makes a strong point about religion.

I'm sure most readers are familiar with those believers who attribute to God everything that happens -- until it becomes convenient to blame something else..

Here, from Ed McBain's Fat Ollie's Book, one of his 87th precinct novels, is a conversation between Emilio and Aine. Emilio thinks it is God that casues things to happen, Aine doesn't.

"I don't believe in coincidence," Emilio said. "You believe in coincidence, then you don't believe in God. It's God makes things happen, not coincidence."

"Oh okay. Then it was God made me a junkie and whore, right?"

Emilio looked at her.

"What are you?" he asked. "Some kind of atheist?"

"That's what I am, yes," Aine said.

"Since when?"

"Since I was twelve years old and a priest felt me up in the rectory."

"That never happened."

"Oh no?"

"And anyway, you can't blame God for some horny priest."

It only took a minute of discussion, and Emilio went from crediting God for everything that happens to disclaiming his deity's responsibility for a bad event. And he doesn't even recognize the conflict in his views. It's only a novel, but it really does reflect the way a lot of believers act in real life.


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