A new story sweeping the internet today is of a baby who drowned after his infant baptism in Eastern Europe. Obviously not an intentional drowning, but the full immersion baptism left the baby with water in his lungs, and en route to the hospital the baby “drowned.” Its one of those stories where everyone is left shocked, regardless of religious affiliation.
Some, naturally, wonder how a God could allow a baby to die because of a religious ceremony – you would think of any of the times to step in a situation and intervene – this would be the one. Therefore a lot of people are angry – with the priest for not seeing a baby in distress, but also with God. Religious critics have found new fuel for their fire that religion can be destructive when simply going through with a ritual ends up harming a helpless baby.
I can understand the anger and questioning of how God could not stop a ritual being done in his name from killing an infant. As a new father of 12 days, I’m sure that’s the exact position I’d be in were it my precious daughter instead of a European boy. However I do know that God does not distinguish between Christians and non – he does not give religious people special treatment or favors, nor does he sweep in to save them from their mistakes. Instead, Christians just get the same card as everybody else. And truth be told if it were the other way plenty of folks would be angry with God for excluding so many in order to focus on a few.
But instead of analyzing this situation, I’d like to end on a different note. Some will surely say that the justice of this situation is that the man who unknowingly ended this baby’s life will be some deserved time in hell. I’d say he’s already there, and I don’t mean that he’s lost his salvation. I’m certain this priest is in the pit of despair for what has happened, and I know that his life will forever be haunted by the ending of another’s. He will probably lose his job, but I imagine he’ll lose his sanity and self worth.
Hell most certainly can be a place on earth, and I hope that his community around him will follow him down that pit to help him back out.