Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist, the cosmologist, has been shaking his fist at God the past few years.
In 2010, he authored a book, “The Grand Design,” in which he declared that God had nothing to do with life as we know it. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something, rather than nothing,” he wrote, “why the universe exists, why we exist.”
Then, last year, he told the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper that the Bible is a fiction. “There is no heaven or afterlife,” he said. “That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
It was understandable that Hawking might be angry with God. He suffers from a motor neuron disease that has left him almost completely paralyzed. He communicates through a speech-generating device.
Still, there seemed to be another – unspoken – explanation for Hawking’s over-the-top hostility toward his Creator.
Well, we may now have that explanation: Hawking has for some time lived with a secret sin for which he clearly feels guilty.
That sin was exposed this week when news reports revealed that the 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this nation’s highest civilian award, has made multiple visits to a Southern California sex club.
Cambridge University, where Hawking currently serves as Research Director of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, confirmed yesterday that the 70-year-old, wheelchair-bound physicist has indeed visited Freedom Acres, where patrons are promised their “ultimate swing club experience.”
Freedom Acres is not merely a strip club, with scantily clad (or fully unclad) dancers writhing for paying customers. It promises its male patrons sex with accommodating women every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and – God forgive them – Sunday.
It’s understandable that a man, like Hawking, who delights in such prurient activity, would want to suppress his moral conscience.
So, to quiet that still, small voice that tells the physicist that what he is doing is wrong, that his handicap does not entitle him to sexual depravity, Hawking insists to himself – and anyone else who will listen – that there is no God.
That there is no inherent right or wrong in the universe.
But I am persuaded there is a God. And that He may very well have used the media to expose Hawking’s secret sin.
Not because God wants to punish the physicist. But because He loves him and wants him to know that heaven is no fairytale. And that the pain and suffering Hawking has endured in this life will not follow him to the afterlife.
If he but believes.