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
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
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