(Photo: The Thinking Atheist via The Christian Post)
An atheist known for satirical videos on Christianity recently released an update to "The Story of Suzie" video, which depicts Christians as delusional for praying to God for help amid tragedies.
The animated video features a devout religious character named Suzie who sees divine love and intervention everywhere while the narrator suggests otherwise.
Before going to bed, Suzie prays asking Jesus to heal the sick and ease the suffering in the world. But when she wakes up, "the problems of the world were still there," said the narrator. Suzie rationalizes the result by believing that "somehow it was all part of God's plan."
Produced by The Thinking Atheist, the video implies that while Suzie continues to seek God when there is violence, natural disasters, or illness, her prayers only serve to bring her comfort, not produce any real effect.
Dr. Norman L. Geisler, author of If God, Why Evil?, said the video contains a lot of misconceptions.
"You look at all of that [and] you sympathize with Susie because you think they (disasters, illnesses, etc.) are evil," he said. "But if it's evil, then there must be a standard for good. If there is a crooked line in this world then there must be a straight line. If there is a straight line then there must be God."
The video also gives a very limited picture of God's presence in Suzie's life, said Geisler, who is a Christian apologist and philosopher. When it comes to Suzie's recovery from sickness, for example, the video fails to acknowledge that God is the one who designed her body with properties to heal naturally, said Geisler.
In the video, when Suzie gets sick, she prays for healing. However, the narrator says that she only got better after she "paid a doctor, took prescription medication and took two weeks to recover naturally."
When a hurricane kills thousands, Suzie prays thanking God that more people were not killed.
Suzie prays asking Jesus to heal those afflicted with disease. But the narrator notes that she asks Jesus to find a vaccine in a laboratory because "God is busy."
The video applies a similar message to other events in Suzie's life.
Natural disaster and illness are not part of God's original plan for the world, stated Geisler, but it is man's sin that "messed up" the natural order.
"We brought in death, judgment and the whole creation groaning. There weren't any tornados, hurricanes or tsunamis in the Garden of Eden. There won't be any in the new heaven and new earth," he said. "God made a perfect world. He's going to remake one. In between, we messed up this one."
He also pointed out that Christians are usually at the forefront of responding to natural disasters, such as the Christian humanitarian groups Samaritan's Purse and World Vision.
God permits evil but does not promote evil, stressed the Christian apologist.
"In every situation, God works for the good. He permits evil so He can produce good," he said.
"For example, you permit yourself to go to the dentist knowing it's going to be painful but if you don't then it's going to be more painful. God permits evil to bring a greater good."
The Thinking Atheist's YouTube channel has more than 4 million views.