Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Thu Mar 21 06:17:38 EST 2002

Philip wrote: 
> Now I don't see how it could be morally satisfying for either 
> a Christian or an Atheist to blame God for the sins of the Church (much
> the God of several worlds for the sins of the Church in one of them).  A 
> Christian should know better, and an Atheist shouldn't have that option.

Well, I don't blame God for the sins of the Church. People are quite capable
of abusing power structures all by themselves. But it depends on the God- if
God was as active in smiting his enemies today as he was during the old
testament, and he never zapped a priest, we could conclude he approved of
what the priests did. I don't think we see Pullman's Authority actually *do*
anything, so this explanation is a post hoc one, but it's possible that when
Pullman was thinking up his god, he thought of him as inciting the church-
writing on the walls of churches in letters of fire, or speaking to the Pope
in dreams, or whatever. (If so, however, I would have thought it would come
across more strongly in the books. Maybe he looked at it the other way
round- here's a supposedly good and powerful god, looking at terrible things
done *in his name*, who does nothing to stop them- therefore, he is partly
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