The New York Times published an article recently about how Islamic state fighters had institutionalized rape into their culture and had made it part of their recruiting pitch to potential volunteers.
The article described how these guys knelt in prayer, raped a 12 or 13 year old girl, and then knelt in prayer again. And, you know, explained to her how this is bringing him closer to God. Really.
That’s the sequence:
And all of this is, of course, endorsed by their God. The God of Abraham. The same God that you, if you’re like most Americans, prays to as well. They explained this to the poor young women before they raped them.
And what does the God of Abraham do?
He stays silent. As he always does. Hasn’t spoken in about 2000 years.
He stayed silent for the inquisition.
He stayed silent for the crusades.
He stayed silent for the holocaust.
Apologists for God will explain that he “works in mysterious ways.” As far as I can tell, he doesn’t “work” at all. Oh, he may work little miracles now and then if you believe in that sort of thing. Bring someone’s cancer into remission. Answer a prayer for a desired toy. Help find a lost dog.
But for the big things — inquisition, crusades, holocaust, the rape of 12 year olds as a sanctioned religious event — God neither answers a prayer nor opens his mouth to suggest that maybe, just maybe, this shouldn’t really be done in his name.