The BBC showed a drama this week. Based on a true story in the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Jews facing death put God on trial for murder, collaboration and breaking the Covenant to Jews. They found him guilty on all three counts.
I expected the resulting conversation with those of a more religious nature to be about justifying Gods actions in the 2nd World War. Instead it has been about the accusation that the imprisoned Jews came to that God 'not only broke his Covenant with the Jews, but he had signed one with the Nazis instead'. That the Nazi's thought that they were doing God's work was what stung the religious most it seems.
On the belt buckle of the German soldiers was the legend "Gott Mit Uns" which translates as "God Is With Us". Hitler made pronunciations of doing Gods work throughout his political career, in Mein Kampf he explained that "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord".
Absurd, they say. God was and is on our side, not allied to one of histories greatest mass murderers.
William Churchill was a famous atheist and made no claims of assisting God, it was the Third Reich that claimed they had God their corner and were driven by the thought that they were 'doing Gods will'.
Bush and Blair in 2003 both claimed they were on a mission from God when they launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq while Bin Laden cites God in everything he says so which side is God on this time? Is he brutally guiding our missiles and cluster bombs that slice down families of frightened innocent civilians in their homes or is he mercifully protecting those same civilians and guiding the ammunition coming back the other way?
Possibly he doesn't side with anyone and just lets us all get on with it which goes against the idea of a Covenant and Commandments and you may as well throw away that prayer mat because the big guy isn't listening.
The Jews in the camp decided that God, believed to be all powerful, loving and just, had abandoned them as he could have stopped Hitler but never in which case he holds no power or he could but chose not to so he can't possibly be just and caring as they died agonising and painful deaths in their millions.
How can the religious decide just whose side God is on? It must be more complex than 'ours, because we are the good guys fighting the bad guys', that's just ignorantly arrogant and is said on both sides of most conflicts.
Was God with the religious Hitler and his Third Reich after all as they claimed or was he with the Atheist Soviets and Churchill?
If it's the former, we were wrong to fight against him and if it's the latter, not praying or spending your existence lauding an Almighty works just as well.