When such unfortunate events happen, the media in general--the Star Tribune not excepted--invariably assumes the next of kin to be a fine source for philosophical insight.
"I am not angry," his wife, Julie Berntson, said. "We believe in a God of love. He forgives us and to be in relationship with him means to live that example. Brad lived that example. I am honored to have been married to Brad and will not dishonor him by living any other way."In contemporary American culture, everyone is allowed to dictate to god the characteristics they like best. You can dress god however you please.
If you're a Christian and you believe in a God of love, you've decided to nullify large portions of your holy codex--which depicts god as wrathful, capricious and violent. The god of the bible endorses child sacrifice, rape and prescribes the death penalty for a dozen or so crimes. The bible supports eternal punishment for undefined offenses.
The Jesus described in the bible has the ability to cure ghastly diseases and disabilities, but often chooses not to do so--even for horribly suffering children. Had the Prince of Peace simply told his followers about the germ theory of disease, he could have saved millions of lives.
Had the Son of Man simply said 'Women should enjoy the same civil rights as men,' imagine the horrors that might have been forestalled. Had the Perfect Book unambiguously proscribed slavery, think how much better a book it would have been!
Human beings are the products of evolution. Consciousness is the product of biological evolution. No evidence points to the existence of consciousness independent of a body. No non-human mind can offer us any forgiveness--something which we can only receive from the living.
What could the widow conceivably mean, then? To be 'in a relationship' with the imagined entity misdescribed in the bible 'means to live by that example.' Huh?
If the widow unilaterally withdrew from the imaginary relationship with her self-authored god character, would such a move in any way dishonor her lost husband? Why?