In a discussion set off by certain recent comments on God’s role in the Holocaust, my friends on a wonkish listserve strayed briefly from economic policy and election polls to The Big Issues. One comment was from Harold Pollack, a public health researcher and occasional columnist:
God, since I was twelve years old, I have wondered how Hitler could be one of your children. I’ve never received a satisfactory answer. Could you contact me offline to clear this up?
I couldn’t help but pass on this message:
God is busy for the next day (a thousand human years) trying to figure out how the crown of Her creation, human civilization, came to include such evil. She will respond to Her email afterwards.
Darned press secretary. Given my age, doesn’t he know that I’m operating on a fifty-year deadline here?
Well, yes, it does seem that press secretaries are the same all over. But I suggest to my professorial friends that those three comments might be a good outline for a course on religious thought after the Holocaust. I welcome suggestions for which readings should be included in each of the three sections.