Who are you going to blame?

October 8, 2009
More by this author
Blame is a funny word, with an even stranger connotation. The true meaning is to assign fault, but in my personal experience, blame has become a word for passing off fault. Blame has become an excuse or state of denial; a constant safe place, one can run as a means of avoiding the true fault.
Today, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to their opponents the Cincinnati Bengals. As a die-hard Steeler fan, whom can I blame for this unfounded sports result? Obviously, the Steelers can do no wrong and therefore, it is not their fault they lost. Perhaps the Bengals got lucky? Or perhaps for a change, Marvin Lewis and Carson Palmer actually paid attention and did their job? I could certainly blame my boyfriend for rooting for the wrong team; after all if we had one more Steelers fan in the house, they would have won. Or perhaps, this game was simply the result of chance; neither team did any blatant “wrong” and there is no blame to be assigned (even to my boyfriend). In my experience with human nature, this is simply not an option.
Not once is it an option that there is such a thing as “accidental” or “circumstantial.” There is always someone to blame when things go wrong. Even if there is no person to find a fault with, God is always up for grabs as a worthy option for blame. In 2001 my grandmother died in a severe car accident as a result of swerving to miss a loose dog. As one of the persons who, in a sense, lost in the situation, it was my job to assign blame. I could blame the dog, for sitting in the road; I could blame the irresponsible owner for leaving their dog unrestrained; I could blame Toyota Car Company for not making a more crash worthy vehicle; I could even blame the state of Indiana for not putting a guardrail by the ditch in which my grandmother’s car flipped. However, none of these objects of blame seem nearly as tempting as the alternative: God.
It was God’s fault my grandmother died. His fault the dog was loose. His fault the family even owned the dog in the first place. His fault the car company did not make a better car. And yes, it was even God’s fault the state of Indiana had no guardrail by the ditch. Right?
Wrong. The truth I have come to over the past seven years is this simple fact: it was an accident. While I do believe God could have saved my grandmother’s life as she lay in the hospital seven years ago, I do not believe he caused her death. It was an accident.
This word accident is not so funny as the word blame. When there is spilled milk, we say, “I’m sorry, it was an accident.” Do we still blame then? Not always. So when the Pittsburg Steelers lose to the Cincinnati Bengals, can they walk into the locker room and say, “I’m sorry, it was an accident?” Or when death or misfortune of any kind occurs and we cry to God in pain, can He say, “I’m sorry, it was an accident?” This pathetic statement is so easily accepted for trivial coincidence, but so widely cursed for major misfortune.
In honor of this backwards idea, I’m starting a revolution. Stop passing off blame to the nearest individual. Stop finding fault with God as an excuse to avoid where the true blame lies. Instead, accept the words accident, circumstantial, and coincidence. Not every event in life needs to have blame assigned to it. Let’s start accepting the fact that maybe accidents really do happen.

Join the Discussion

This article has 20 comments. Post your own now!

Amai-kun This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 2, 2015 at 4:15 am
I'm a little confused, because what you seem to be saying is that God has accidents...?
AcrossTheUniverse said...
Jan. 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm
Excellently written piece. You scared me in the penultimate paragraph, but way to twist the essay and give it punch.
BlueRain said...
Feb. 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm
I agree with not blaming everything that happens on others, especially when those people probably didn't have everything to do with that. Sometimes the blame is on you. Sometimes you can't place it at all, if you don't look hard enough. There are billions and billions of tiny little things occurring every day that affect you, good or bad.

Sometimes, however, blaming others, from individuals to certain groups, is neccessary. There are situations were blame is neccessary, but it can be ... (more »)
Mtizzle said...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm
But the bible says God is perfect and he makes no mistakes??????????
FroBro said...
Jun. 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm
So when something good happens, it was God. But if something tragic happens, it wasn't God.
BlueRain replied...
Feb. 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm
Exactly. And "accidents" are all part of God's plan. Everything is based on planned accidents.

Yup. The message of the universe...
HisPurePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm
The fact that my life is not so great right now is................entirely my fault!  Yes it is, and it's taking a while to fix it.  But I'm just glad I have such a loving God who is helping me through, when once again, I've stabbed him in the back.  Oh yeah, btw, good article!
Bubbles99 said...
Jan. 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm
Beautifully written (:
Chacharoo said...
Oct. 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm

You post a great point! I have been wondering this myself recently. I'm glad to hear this... you were mad at someone then... goes to show that you actually believed there was someone to be mad at.

And you're right. It is not an accident. It was all in God's will for your grandmother. While it was tragic, and terrible just the same. It was no accident... and I wouldn't say God's "fault"... He has no fault. But He did allow it to happen, hopefully for the glorification of Himself.... (more »)

luvxmex4xwutxIxam replied...
Jan. 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm
I can assure you that it definitly wasn't God's will for this persons Grandmother to die nor is it his will when anyone dies. I would say it was an accident but that doesn't mean that no one is to blame, The Bible tells us that no one other than Satan is to blame! If it weren't for satan we would all still be perfect nd living in the garden of Eden. Satan is the reason why we all suffer. Granted, God is allowing this to all happen but he is not the one causing it and it is not his will. The Bibl... (more »)
HisPurePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm
I'm gonna argue just that you said it wasn't God's will for anyone to die.  Maybe I can't say that he wants people to die, but doesn't he sometimes take people away from this world so that they can go and be with him?  Those who die in Jesus are in a better place, where there is so sickness, or pain, or sadness, or death, or night.  Evil cannot enter heaven.  So while God doesn't wish for anyone to die, he does want up to come and be with him.
MWM958 said...
May 28, 2010 at 9:12 am

hmm i always wonder why but for some reason the one argument that never really moved me at all was the Epicuruan "Problem of Evil". And that's usually the centerpiece argument in deconversion stories.

i dunno i guess im weird lol

Persona said...
Dec. 25, 2009 at 1:24 am
Please, explain something to me:
Let's assume, as the Christian religion does, that a being supposedly exists known a "God". This being is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. This being created the universe.
Now, tell me: How is it that a being which knew(omniscient) that if they created the world in the way that they did, while they had the choice not to(omnipotent), that terrible things would come about as a result, how is it not that being's fault that su... (more »)
Silevryn replied...
Mar. 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm
"If a god is willing to prevent evil, but not able, then he is not omnipotent. If he is able, but not willing, then he must be malevolent. If he is neither able or willing then why call him a god? Why else do bad things happen to good people?" Franklyn 2008
CruxClaire This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 6, 2010 at 12:20 am

The wisdom of Epicurus has definitely withstood the test of time. However, much of the Christian wisdom that was once famed and accepted as basic truth hasn't.


I enjoyed this article. It's true - we always need someone to blame, don't we? It's in the human nature to place the burden and responsibility for our troubles on the shoulders of someone or something else, yet so often we fail to realize what we are doing and how we might hurt ourselves and others by it.

Persona replied...
May 6, 2010 at 9:30 pm
I certainly find many points in this article true. Yes, people like to have something to blame. I disagree however, that if someone were to believe in that notion of deity, it is unacceptable to blame said deity(though, I myself personally don't believe in any such thing, so I wouldn't be blaming it in the first place).
ecjg108 said...
Oct. 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm
i like this..its very inspirational :)
Flower replied...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 9:17 pm
I agree, beautifull written.
JBrookes said...
Oct. 15, 2009 at 6:32 am
:-) very well written. I like the transition from a somewhat humorous situation into a more serious one. I think the structure of the piece echoes the point you're making. I enjoyed reading this. Insightful and well-written
J.L.Morgan said...
Oct. 14, 2009 at 9:52 pm
I love how raw and true this is brookes! Its totally human to pass blame and I think your writting is very inspirational to the fact that we need to accept that somethings are just accidents
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback