At the end of last week I noticed an article that stated actress Julianne Moore no longer believes in God. Here’s the story:
But Moore said that while she’s experienced success in her career, including four previous Academy Award nominations, she has at times felt adrift. Her mother’s unexpected passing from septic shock in 2009 devastated her so deeply that she no longer believes in God, she admitted in a profile in The Hollywood Reporter.
“I learned when my mother died five years ago that there is no ‘there’ there,” she said. “Structure, it’s all imposed. We impose order and narrative on everything in order to understand it. Otherwise, there’s nothing but chaos.”
I can understand how someone can come to the place where they reject God. I have struggled with doubts and I think the great suffering in the world is a tremendous problem for those who express belief in God. If someone says they can no longer believe, I am sympathetic. But this reason for rejecting belief in God seems weak and somewhat selfish to me.
The reason I see Moore’s story as selfish is that she apparently believed in God prior to her mom dying. That is, she believed in God in the face of millions dying of diseases and genocides and all the other horrific instances of suffering throughout history. She managed to believe in God despite knowing that many children suffer and die. But when this suffering came into her life, and her mom died (after a life that not as long as one might hope, was quite long) she rejects God. Maybe she was just naive, maybe this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We do not know. Yet I have heard people say the same thing many times and it has always struck me as a bit selfish – others suffer and I am okay with that, but I suffer and no longer believe?
I imagine if tragedy were to strike close to me I would go through a time of deep doubt. I admit I would find it hard to believe in a good deity if my wife or kids died. But if I can believe in that God when other people’s spouses and kids are dying every day, what does it say about me to only reject when suffering strikes home?
What do you think? Am I just being too harsh?