Goodness of God in When Bad Things Happen to Good People

The interesting passages in this regard are the ones in which Kushner threatens (I think I'm justified in using that word) not to believe in God or not to worship Him.

"That is to say that the morality of the Bible, with its stress on human virtue and the sanctity of human life, is irrelevant to God, and that charity, justice and the dignity of the individual human being have some source other than God. If that were true, many of us would be tempted to leave God, and seek out and worship that source of charity, justice, and human dignity instead." [page 42]

"I have to believe that the Holocaust was at least as much of an offense to God's moral order as it is to mine, or how can I respect God as a source of moral guidance? I have to believe that the tears and prayers of the victims aroused God's compassion, but having given Man freedom to choose, including the freedom to choose to hurt his neighbor, there was nothing God could do to prevent it." [pages 82-85]

"I can worship a God who hates suffering but cannot eliminate it, more easily than I can worship a God who chooses to make children suffer and die, for whatever exalted reason." [page 134]

"Nature is morally blind, without values. It churns along, following its own laws, not caring who or what gets in the way. But God is not morally blind. I could not worship Him if I thought He was." [pages 59-60]

Think for a moment about the qualities of Kushner's God: In the material world He can do little or nothing. But He is good, He looks down on us with compassion, and He can send us strength of character so that we can cope with what is happening to us. New-agers will recognize this being not as God, but as the Higher Self. It has been known by many names over the centuries. The Romans called it a person's "genius". In some traditions it is the guardian angel. In nearly all traditions, especially monotheistic traditions, the word "God" is reserved for something far more grand.

I would argue that Kushner has done just what he threatened to do on page 42: He has sought out the source of human charity, justice, and dignity, and is worshipping it instead of God.