The Parable of the Mysterious Witness by John C. Wathey

The Parable of the Mysterious Witness by John C. Wathey:

This fictitious story begins with a sexual predator who has been stalking a family, watching their house. His eye is on the young daughter. He has studied her habits and those of her parents long enough. He decides to attack. So he enters her room through the window, silences the frantic child with duct tape, and carries her to his car. The predator reaches a wooded area and drags the struggling girl with her muffled screams into the woods, where he brutally beats her, rapes her, and buries her alive in a shallow grave. The predator then drives away.

Shockingly there was a mysterious witness watching him, an undercover policeman. Although he carries a gun he did not intervene. Although he has a police radio he did not call for assistance. He simply watched it all take place then drove home, leaving the girl to suffocate to death. Even more shocking we’re told the policeman is the girl’s father, and that he dearly loves her! “The crime of this sexual predator must surely be among the most despicable imaginable. Yet I expect most readers of this story are even more appalled at the behavior of the mysterious witness. How can one possibly rationalize his utter failure to rescue this poor little girl, his own daughter? And yet, for the believer in the omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent personal god, every horrendous act of evil in the world, every natural disaster, every injury, illness, and genetic defect that causes senseless suffering has just such a mysterious witness: God himself. [John C. Wathey, The Illusion of God’s Presence: The Biological Origins of Religious Longing (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2016), pp. 38-39.]