Copyright 1992 Freethought Today Reprinted with permission --A NATIONAL DAY OF BLAME By No

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Copyright 1992 Freethought Today Reprinted with permission --A NATIONAL DAY OF BLAME By Norm R. Allen, Jr. During the Thanksgiving season last year, I did a lot of thinking about this special day of thanks. Americans routinely thank god for historically blessing the United Stations with land, abundant harvests, health, wealth and many other good and desirable things. But I have come to the conclusion that if it is good to thank god for the good things in life, it is only fair and fitting that we blame him for the bad things. After all, god would likely be insulted if we were to lower our standards of accountability just for his sake. I therefore propose a National Day of Blame (which could possibly be held the day following Thanksgiving.) On this special day we could blame god for either causing or refusing to prevent natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. We could blame him for either causing or refusing to prevent cancer and various other devastating diseases. We could blame him for hardening the hearts of pharaohs, rapists, muggers, murderers, war mongers and various other mischief makers. We could blame him for promoting sexism, patriarchy, slavery, parochialism and genocide. We could blame him for being inconsistent and contradictory in his sacred texts. We could also ask god many questions--and demand logical answers. We could ask him why, if he is responsible for our plentiful harvests, does he not bless starving Africans, Asians, Central Americans and South Americans for a change? And why did he decide to destroy all life on the planet with the Deluge, though only human beings were supposedly responsible for the planets mismanagement? We could ask why, if Eve had to be punished with pain during childbirth, were all women consequently cursed? Furthermore, why did god curse all female animals with pain during childbirth, simply because one woman sinned? And why did god choose two bumbling idiots (Adam and Eve) as representatives for all human beings? Why were we not allowed to elect our own representatives? Why was not participatory democracy conceived and instituted (by human beings) until many centuries later? There are also many questions about war we could ask him. If he helped us to win the [so-called] "war" against Iraq, why did he cause us to lose in Vietnam? And why did he wait until after Hitler killed millions to make us victorious in World War II? And most of all, why did he bless us with the nuclear bomb which today threatens our very survival? Certainly, if we have much for which we should be thankful, it logically follows that there may be much for which we should be angry. Perhaps on this special day we could initiate essay contests for those who have the most to complain about. Perhaps we could even have special interest groups present god with a long list of grievances. Native Americans could ask why god blessed America at their expense. African Americans could ask why god blessed America via the Middle Passage. Borrowing from Catholicism, we could have nationwide confessions. People could go to their moral leaders and say things like: "I blame god for blessing me with a job, and then allowing my factory to go bankrupt, leaving me poorer than I have ever been in my life." Or, "I blame god for saving my life when my house was on fire, while he allowed my other family members to die in the fire." Or, "I blame god for blessing me with the talent to become a champion boxer, only so that I could go on to suffer permanent brain damage at the end of my career." A National Day of Blame. What a concept! But will the Congress go for it? Probably not. But that does not mean that we cannot recognize it in our own way without official approval. The National Day of Blame is an idea whose time has come. I strongly suggest that all Americans observe it just for the sake of consistency. Norm R. Allen, Jr., is from New York, editor of the book African-American Humanism: An Anthology, available from the Freedom From Religion Foundation for $19 postpaid. (PO Box 750, Madison WI 53701)

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