Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

3/4 2016

Why does God hate me?

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why does god hate meA couple of months ago, the New York Times ran a fascinating article called “Googling for God.” In this piece, author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explores recent trends in Google search data specifically related to questions people pose about God. Stephens-Davidowitz notes that the number one God-related question people ask on Google is, “Who created God?” Not surprisingly, number two is “Why does God allow suffering?” However, I was shocked and dismayed to see the question that came in at number three: “Why does God hate me?”

Stephens-Davidowitz then provides an even more troubling piece of information: “What is the most common word to complete the following question: Why did God make me ___? Number one, by far, is ‘ugly.’ The other sad answers in the top three are ‘gay’ and ‘black.’” Although the author of this article does not explicitly link “Why does God hate me?” and “Why did God make me ___?” I couldn’t help but wonder if there might be some connection between the two questions. After all, if you believe God made you “ugly,” it’s not a stretch to believe God hates you, too, since in our culture “ugly” is a very negative term that is used to denigrate people based, primarily, on their appearance. In the same way, given that those who identify as black or gay are often marginalized in our society—or even targeted for violence on the basis of those identities—it’s not hard to imagine that members of those groups might feel that God is, at best, indifferent to their plight, or, at worst, that God has hand-picked them to be oppressed and mistreated.

Reading this article made me deeply sad, because it made me realize just how many incorrect ideas about God are still out there, and how deeply those ideas are hurting people. Although the church certainly teaches that we are all sinners and have fallen short of God’s glory, it also fundamentally affirms that each one of us is created in the image of God and that through God’s grace we are loved unconditionally. Somehow it seems that this crucial message has gotten lost in the wider culture, because as the Google data show, people searching on the Internet for answers to their faith questions seem to assume that God is primarily a judgmental, capricious tyrant who selectively applies oppression and suffering to certain groups, or who makes some people “ugly” and others not.

The problem here is that it’s not God who is doing this labeling and excluding—it’s human beings. We are the ones who have created societies in which individuals are judged based on their physical appearance or on their membership in particular demographic groups, rather than on the content of their character or according to their unique gifts and skills. We—not God—are the ones who have decided that some are “in” and some are “out,” which is in direct contrast to the message we hear over and over again in Scripture: that God has come into the world to reconcile all people, through grace that is freely given to everyone. As the church, we are called to find new ways to spread the message of God’s grace and love far and wide, so that we might challenge and dismantle the erroneous theology that is causing people so much harm. My prayer is that one day, in the not-so-distant future, Google might report their top God-related searches as “Why does God care for me so much?” and “Why did God make me so beautiful and beloved?” May it be so.

The Rev. Dr. Leanna K. Fuller is assistant professor of pastoral care at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and teaches in the MDiv Program. Her ministry experience includes serving as associate pastor of Oakland Christian Church in Suffolk, Va., where she coordinated youth ministry and Christian education programming. She writes regularly on pastoral care and counseling, pastoral theology, and congregational conflict.

Comments ( 21 )

    • That’s understandable, Jim. Tragedy and pain can be very isolating. I encourage you to reach out in whatever way you can (whether to a friend, a church community, or a professional) to get any support you might need.

  • The more I pray the worse my life becomes. If you only knew what I have been through… when will it be my season???????????????????????????????? W
    I NEVER ASKED TO BE BORN… I NEVER ASKED FOR ANY OF THIS… SO MY LIFE HAS TO BE COMPLETELY SATURATED WITH disappointment, depression, trauma, abuse, sickness – I keep praying but it gets worse

    • M – I am so sorry you are feeling so badly. It sounds like you are experiencing what St. John of the Cross called the “dark night of the soul” – a time when it seems that God is completely absent and does not hear our fervent prayers. I don’t have a good explanation for why God feels so far away sometimes, or why terrible things happen even when we are praying as hard as we can. I do believe that God hears our prayers, even when it seems no one is listening, and that God loves us and wishes the best for us always. I hope you will be able to find someone who can support you in this time of great sorrow (maybe a friend, a congregation, or a helping professional). Please know I will be keeping you in prayer.

      • Ya, nobody has an answer why God hates some of us. God is not a loving and caring God. Millions of people suffer and he does nothing. Period. He’s cruel.

  • Unfortunately even after this article I still believe that if God exist he hates me. Too many bad things have happened to me for me to believe otherwise.

    • Nellie, I understand why you would feel that way given all that you have been through. I can’t explain why such bad things happen to people in a world that God loves. My personal belief is that God loves all people and all of creation, even when it doesn’t seem that way – but I very much respect the fact that you believe differently based on your life experiences. I hope that you will be able to find the resources you need to seek healing and wholeness in your journey. I wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time.

  • I disagree when you claim humans created exclusions and labels. All the mainstream religions, the Holy men/Prophets have superiority complex. Women, people of color, gays, anyone different were treated like slaves and this is promoted in the divine scriptures. God created human along with human nature knowingly and willingly to torture some. People believe in God as a coping mechanism because deep down inside they know such entity does not exist and things never do get better. *$#* God, I hate him and he hates me.

  • But attraction is instinctual, not learned behavior like this article implies, and if God made us in his image, and some people are ugly while others are not, it is impossible to argue that isn’t his bidding.

  • I believe God hates me too, I have suffered with mental illness naturally and also brought on by tons of abuse, I cant seem to compleatly turn my life over I stumble almost every chance I get. I came tonight to go to a gsthering to honer Jesus death and feel like God threw me out I was sooooo uncomfortable and in sooo much pain physicaly too. i couldnt sit on the seat. This has happened on more than one occasion me trying to go to church feeling all tormented and. Here I sit out in the car while I wait for everone to get done for my ride home.

    • I am so sorry you are feeling this way, and that even a house of worship did not feel like a safe space for you to be. I encourage you to seek out any form of support you can find, particularly if you are feeling like you want to harm yourself or someone else. Some good places to look (especially if church feels too painful for you right now) would be in your local hospitals, community mental health centers, or counseling centers. You will be in my prayers.

  • God hates me show much as well. I’ve prayed and asked for forgiveness and grace but I never get an answer. Every time I pray things get worse for the last 7+ years my life has been a misery. I’m so suicidal, I’m dealing with pain and suffering on a daily basis. I feel like I’m being punished every day of my life. I’ve got to the stage when I ask God to end it for me even when I pray for that it doesn’t arrive. I just think I’m put on earth for God to torture.

    • It must be terribly painful to go through what you are experiencing, Graham. I am truly sorry that you are feeling this way, and that you have not been able to find any relief for your suffering. I am concerned for you, and would strongly encourage you to reach out to a helping professional – perhaps a counselor, a physician, or a pastor that you know – and ask for help. If you feel like you are in danger of hurting yourself, please go to your closest Emergency Room or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can find more resources on their website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ I will be keeping you in my prayers.

  • OK I would have to say God hate us. If an infinite God can do anything created everything down to subatomic particles, stars, black holes and even the notion of time, dimension even the notion of good versus evil would not exist without his bidding. He made it like this. You can’t get something from nothing right? If I build a computer to run a specific spec or program it won’t magically overnight upgrade itself with new algorithms unless you place them there as a variable in the first place. I believe that this universe is to God what a television is the people, it’s just for entertainment purposes. He could give two f**** as long as we play by our rules that he give us, shit on our live’s daily just to spice things up (except for his favorite characters) then expect us to say thank you. We are just toys that got thrown away after the funs been had….even Satan had no say in his role. “But God sends these trials to see if we really love him or “how would we know pain or suffering if everything was perfect?” Well my answer to that question folks is we would because the same argument could be applied to God! Who has never died , FELT FEAR never feel pain, never sweat, never cried, never got sunburn, not even a papercut, NEVER HAD ANYTHING, ANYTHING, not go his way, NEVER EVEN HAD A BAD DAY, Everyday surrounded by TRILLIONS OF thousands of tons of jewels myriad of gold pearls food ,planets, people, friends, in a dimension of neverending bliss, is trying to give us a lesson in pain to prepare our minds for pleasure riiiiiiight. Just look at his kingdom description in revelation, the one about his throne in heaven not the one on earth. For somebody who doesn’t want us to take stock in material possessions sure as hell have way more than even the greediest human could ever acquire in a billion lifetimes. After all we are made in his image so we naturally crave deityhood. It just comes off to me as a universal case of do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do type of thing.

  • And to think that all i ever wanted from God was for him to bless a good man like me with a good wife and family that i still don’t have today unfortunately. God is very mean.

    • Lo and behold, I feel what you’re saying is true, I’m 22yrs old, from a born again family and starting to doubt God’s plan.long story short, there’s a girl I wanted, I prayed to God that she’s be my wife and for awhile it did indeed seem like we would be married but now she’s engaged to a different man. I don’t understand. Why would god tantalize me like this, he says “ask and ye recieve” but now it seems like hes’ really saying “ask and I promise then laugh” it hurts so much being lead to believe he’ll give you something good then have him rescind the promise.

  • God only loves and does for who he wants. People worship him and he spits in their face daily. That’s a fact. Ask the children who are repeatedly raped. Ask people who beg God for some relief and he does nothing. But yet child molesters, dope dealers and rapists get whatever they want. But a five year old little girl can beg God to stop being raped and he does nothing. Oh, ya, but God loves you!

  • I so relate to the comments. I am turning 51 in a few days and the only deep desire I have had Is to marry and have a child. I have prayed my whole life for this. I have tried my best to be obedient to God and serve him. We are suppose to trust that His plan for us is the best one. I can’t imagine being alone is His best plan for me. Then I look at my sister who is not a Christian and has a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. Please explain about this loving God??

  • I love God with all my heart. I want Him to be in my life but he keeps failing me. I trust only on him but does He even foe once think of me? I pray, i fast, i am born again but God hates me and want to dissapoint me everytime. I read His word n believe in it but nothing written there ever works for me. It is hard for me coz all my hope, trust n faith i put in Him but i guess he feel happy seeing me suffer. Why should i suffer if Jesus died for me?

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