Child in a Manger: Chapter 8

At Allison’s house, our young couple (Well, Brock is young.  Allison is thirty-five, and thus ancient.) goes all Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Christmas dinner, having canned ravioli and carrot sticks and toast.

Admittedly, it’s pretty cute.

They flirt a bit (and by “a bit,” I mean “about one-twentieth the amount that a couple should be flirting under these circumstances”), and then, of course, they get to talking about God and how he plans things.

Allison’s Martyr Complex Alert!

“Do you ever think that sometimes we’re put in situations for a purpose, even when we don’t understand what it is?” [Allison asked]

Brock swallowed and tried not to wonder if she’d been reading his mind.  “You mean does God put us there?”  He waited for her nod before he added, “I don’t know.”

“Don’t you think He intended our lives to cross with Joy’s?”  She didn’t mention two other lives that had crossed, but it was understood.

“Does that also mean God planned for the baby’s mother to leave her in a stable?”  He watched as her relaxed posture tightened, and he shook his head.  “Even I don’t believe that.  Not really.”

Her smile returned…

Boy, for a minute there, Brock almost disagreed with Allison on a point of theology!  Like those horrid unbelievers who harass the poor woman on a daily basis.

(Is it just me, or do these repeated attempts at martyrdom make Allison’s faith seem really weak?  She just can’t stand to hear one syllable of a possibility that God might be less than she would like to think he is.)

I get that this is the whole free will thing, but if God’s omniscient and omnipotent, how did he not plan for Joy to be abandoned?  I mean, if he is omniscient and omnipotent, he knew it was going to happen, and he could do something about that, but didn’t bother.

(Omniscience is a paradox anyway, but we’ll leave that aside for the moment.)

But yeah, yeah, God meant it for good.  Just like with Joseph.

They compare notes on their romantic pasts: Brock laughs off his ex-girlfriend, Robin, who cheated on him.  (At least he admits to himself that the cheating is a big part of the reason he is a crappy cop who doesn’t listen to women.  Okay, he doesn’t put it quite like that, but you get the point.)

But Allison gets all sad-puppy-eyed and explains that she believes God called her to a life of being single forever.

They stand by the window, staring out at the snow, and I guess Brock finds sadness attractive, because he kisses her.

Okay, it’s a bit romantic.  A bit.

But, of course, given the chance to kiss him instead of talking him to death…

…Allison breaks the magical moment and loads the dishwasher.  Brock is understandably hurt, and beats cheeks outta there as quickly as he can.

(By the way, lest anyone think that I’m a hedonistic atheist who thinks that a scene can’t be romantically sexy unless clothes are ripped off, one of the sexiest scenes I can think of involves two fully clothed characters…)

Damn, It’s a Wonderful Post, I guess…


Posted on December 20, 2014, in Books, Child in a Manger, Christmas. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. “Does that also mean God planned for the baby’s mother to leave her in a stable?” He watched as her relaxed posture tightened, and he shook his head. “Even I don’t believe that. Not really.” Her smile returned

    Sooo… Allison wants to believe that anything that happens is part of god’s plan… except if it’s something that she really doesn’t like, then it must be a random event, or a result of fallen humans, or a satanic plot or whatever. My flowchart becomes more and more relevant to Allison’s theology. If it’s good, it’s from god. If it’s not so good, it’s part of god’s plan to get to something good. If it’s very bad, god had nothing to do with it. And if the person you love seems to suggest that god may have had something to do with it, you should make it very clear that you’ll kick the filthy heaven out if he doesn’t take it back.

    Also: “So do you think god intended for the child service’s case worker and their new prospective foster family to cross pats with Joy?” “No, that doesn’t benefit me, so that clearly wasn’t god’s doing.

    It does explain why she felt god called her to a life of being single: She hasn’t gotten a hubby thrown in her lap yet, and she decides that means god wants her to be single. Hypocrisy warning: I’m the same age as Buck WIlliams and have about as much romantic experience as he had pre-Chloe. But I admit this is mostly due to my own actions and priorities, not due to some outside force wanting me to be single. (Nor is it part of some evil plot by manhating feminists, or being a too nice beta male or being friendzoned or any other MRA bullshit.)

    Question: How’s Omniscience a paradox? I know the Omnipotence problem of make-a-rock-so-heavy-he-cant-lift-it, but I’m not familiar with Omniscience.

    • Does god know what he will be thinking about tomorrow? If he doesn’t know, he’s not omniscient. If he does know, then he’s not really thinking about it tomorrow, he’s already thinking about it today.

      Knowing what he will think about tomorrow, can god change his mind and think about something else instead? If he can change his mind, he’s not omniscient since he should have know that he was going to change his mind. If he can’t change his mind, it means that at the beginning of time, in the first instance of god coming into existence, he already knew every thought he would ever have. And then spent the rest of eternity incapable of ever having an original thought.

      In which case god isn’t really thinking at all, he’s just an automaton forever going though the motions he has always known he would make. If an entity is incapable of forming new thoughts then the whole concept of “having knowledge” becomes rather meaningless. At best you could say that the entity “contains information”, but without thought that’s not the same as knowing something.

  2. loads the dishwasher.

    I can see the fingerprints of the Divine all over this decision.

    • “Allison believed god had called her to a life with clean dishes, so she turned the loaded dishwasher on.”

      • “Allison Hensley’s mind was on a man much too young for her. With her fully loaded dishwasher on autoclean under the sink en route to a 9:37 P.M. putting away in the cupboards, Allison had pushed from her mind thoughts of God’s planning using bad acts.”

  3. But Allison gets all sad-puppy-eyed and explains that she believes God called her to a life of being single forever.

    Why would he bother? She’s doing such a good job of it on her own.

    • If Allison was single forever, she would be sad. If God calls her to being single forever, she’s slightly less sad. God is all about making people slightly less sad. He’s cool that way.

      Why not just make people happy while he’s at it, you ask? Sheesh, you put the word “omnipotent” on your resume, and suddenly everyone starts assuming you can do stuff!

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for December 26, 2014 | The Slacktiverse

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