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Heavenly father,

Why do you let bad things happen?

More to the point,

Why do you let bad things happen to me?
Elder Price, The Book of Mormon

Some characters have a very immature relation to God or His local equivalent. "God loves ME, not you, and He will provide me with anything I want." This comes in two main variations with two main variants each.

  1. Faith: Bob has this mindset about God.
    1A/Bratty Faith: Bob is religious, and expects God to take care of him and his life, favoring him over everyone else. Even if Bob is a fully-grown adult, he comes across as if he's a spoiled bratty five-year-old and God is a regular over-worked parent. Likely to also be a Windmill Crusader.
    1B/Whiny Faith: Bob is not religious (either as in "not very religious" or as in Hollywood Atheist), but keeps whining at God that he would believe in Him if He just started pampering him. This may be combined with a legitimate Rage Against the Heavens.
  2. Accusation: Bob has this mindset about Alice, expecting her to have this mindset about God. Thus he steer the conversation in this direction, trying to expose Alice as having the "Spoiled Brat Of The Lord" kind of conceited "personal relationship with Jesus".
    2A/False Accusation: Bob turns out to be wrong about Alice, looking rather silly in the process.
    2B/Insightful Accusation: Bob is right, and Alice is probably a Straw Loser.

Compare Holier Than Thou, Hiding Behind Religion, The Fundamentalist, Immature Hedonist and The Presents Were Never From Santa. Contrast Pals with Jesus and Clap Your Hands If You Believe for when the character actually has the benefit of divine favor.

No Real Life Examples, Please: Not only would it be flame bait, but this is also one of those tropes that most people can agree is common in Real Life but can't agree what cases are examples and what cases are not.

Examples of Egocentrically Religious include:


Comic Books

  • Chick Tracts goes both ways on this issue, encouraging this mindset in evangelical Christians while frequently having An Aesop about how this mindset in people of other faiths open them up for demonic temptation.
  • One Nemi strip uses a straight 2B, in a conversation between the protagonist and a fundamentalist. Nemi hold a long speach about a hypothetical person who is clearly Too Good for This Sinful Earth, and then ask The Fundamentalist if she really think that this woman should be tortured in hell forever for not sharing her exact beliefs, while she gets to be rewarded forever for happening to belong to the exactly right version of Christianity. Her answer is simply "Jesus loves *ME*". Nemi's reply to that is "Good, because the rest of us think your'e a jerk".
  • In Persepolis, the child Marjane has God as her Imaginary Friend. She even thought she'd become the last prophet of Islam. Her growing out of it and becoming an atheist, after the Islamic government has her beloved uncle executed, is portrayed as a quite age-appropriate temper tantrum where she yell at God in a mix of this trope and Rage Against the Heavens.

Film

  • Bruce Almighty starts out as 1B, with Bruce constantly whining to God about everything that isn't perfect in his life.
  • In Fiddler On the Roof, Tevye constantly and very self-consciously walks the thin line between a polite personal relationship with God and being Type 1(both A and B) of this trope. Ultimately he averts actually being this trope, but he Apologizes a Lot for it anyways.

Jokes

  • One classic joke: A man is notified that his house is going to be flooded and he needs to get out of the house. He says "no I don't have to, God is going to take care of me." Then the flood starts to rise and a sheriff comes along and tells him to get out. The man says "no, God is going to save me." So, the floods continue to rise, and he climbs on top of the house. A boat comes along and he's told to climb into the boat. He says, "no, no, God is going to save me." Finally, a helicopter comes along and they lower the net to rescue him. The man says, "no, no, God is going to save me!" Well, the man drowns and goes to heaven. When he gets to heaven he says to God, "why didn't you save me?" God says, "I sent the sheriff, I sent a boat, I sent a helicopter, what more did you want me to do?"
    • It's old enough that a version appears in Aesop with the punchline "start swimming and help Minerva."
  • Another joke: A man is praying daily for God to let him win the lottery. Finally, after weeks of not winning, he asks God why he's not helping him. A booming voice replies from the heavens, "I'd love to, but you have to buy a lottery ticket."
  • Two men, one a very devoutly religious man, and the other an atheist live next door to each other. The religious man, though is troubled, because he has a low-paying, unsatisfying job, his once-beautiful wife has let herself go, and his children are disrespectful underachievers. What really bothers him is that the atheist guy next door seems to have it all: a well-paying job that he enjoys, a beautiful wife, and well-behaved, high-achieving children. So the religious man falls to his knees, asking God why he is poor and unsatisfied even though he goes to church every week, reads The Bible, and prays several times daily, yet the man next door who never does any of these things has everything a man could want. And God replies, "Because he doesn't bother me all the time!"


Literature

  • In Our Man In Havana James is not religious, but swore to his wife to raise their daughter Milly as a devoted Catholic. Milly seems to take advantage of this trope--if she prays for some gift then James has to get it for her, because if Milly doesn't get what she prays for she might lose the faith.

Live Action TV

  • In Falling Skies, Karen pulls a Type 2 on Lourdes in the pilot episode, taunting her for being a Christian by requesting that she'll pray forth a B2 Bomber for them. Lourdes soundly rebuff this, turning the situation into a 2A.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined's Gaius Baltar becomes a Type 1A after Head-Six convinces him he's an instrument of God.
  • Played with in 7th Heaven at least once. In a later season, the dad (a reverend) has a heart attack and ends up being ready to give up not just his job but his entire faith in God as a result of having to confront his mortality like this. In the end, IIRC, his Rabbi friend has to come remind him that God doesn't really play favorites, even good and devout people will still encounter personal suffering.

Religion

  • In The Bible,
    • The book of Job is a straight 2A - the "false accusation" version of this trope - with The Devil ending up in the role of Asshole Loser for accusing Job of being this.
    • The group of pharisees in the New Testament were a type A, which makes it ironic when they didn't recognize said Lord when He appeared to them disapproving of their hypocrisy and arrogance.

Music

 I know you smoke, I know you drink that brew

I just can't abide a sinner like you

Y'know, God can't either, that's why I know it to be true

That, uh, Jesus loves me, but he can't stand you

  • Jonathan Coulton's song "Gambler's Prayer" features a person like this. He's not praying to get over his gambling addiction.

 Deal me good cards and I'll handle the math

We'll take their money while they take a bath

I'll show them my hand, you'll show them your wrath

Oh Lord, help me take money from my friends


Video Games

  • A Get Back Here Boss in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood continually rattles on how God's on his side throughout the whole chase/fight. If you actually do catch up to him and manage to hurl him over the side of a railing, there's a special cutscene where Ezio grabs him before he falls away. "Haha! You saved me! I told you God was on my side!" However, Ezio was only grabbing him to get the key from him before he fell away, and lets go right after.


Web Comics


Western Animation

  • On Daria, Quinn becomes a sympathetic version of 1A for an episode--after avoiding an accident, she comes to believe she has a guardian angel who will help her with whatever she needs. After a Humiliation Conga at a party she believes that she's been abandoned. A conversation with Daria helps her realize that she's been overly reliant on her hypothetical angel.
  • On God, the Devil and Bob, Bob often asks for favors and becomes upset when God fails to provide them; this can shift between 1A and 1B, since he literally has a special relationship with God but doesn't act particularly devout.
    • In addition, he once came to believe that being God's prophet meant God was protecting him from any harm, causing him to take dangerous risks (including ultimately sky-diving without a parachute). In reality, he'd just had a lot of dumb luck recently.
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