Thursday, September 08, 2005

 

God's "Swift" Vengeance?


Punishment for the Will to Power?

So fringe elements are saying that the destruction of New Orleans, Biloxi and other towns are a result of their wicked ways. Biloxi had gambling, New Orleans had...well take your pick, debauchery, drinking, gambling, gays, crime, abortion clinics you name it. In a move that would make Jonathan Edwards (the Puritan, not the politician) proud, God flicked his finger sending torrents of destruction down on the wicked, wicked people of the Gulf Coast. But despite what these fringe elements are saying, perhaps that's not what God was upset about at all (if in fact he participated in this event at all).

Maybe after four years of people like Pat Robertson, James Dobson, & Jerry Falwell trading on his good name for their own enrichment and political power, God sent a modern day flood to refocus our attention as Christians on helping our fellow man rather than helping ourselves?

How many times in the past four years have so-called religious/values leaders used God as a tool for their own financial and political gain? The instances multiply like so many fishes and loaves when I think about it. First we had Pat Robertson blame "They gays, the feminists, the abortionists (et. al.)" For the 9/11 attacks. He defended a thugish dictator in Africa in a country where he owns a diamond mine, yet called on another thugish - yet democratically elected leader, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to be assassinated. Then he lied about it.

He had some leaders within the Catholic Church denying communion based on how people voted. At the same time, they continued to protect and hide the rogue priests who molested children in parishes around the world, even moving Cardinal Bernard Law to Rome to protect him for potential prosecution.

Dobson and his allies too, played on God's good name for fame and power. Dobson lead the charge to deny gay families protection under the law, because it would undermine the sanctity of marriage. Never mind religious aspects of marriage aren't involved in this debate. Even if his ends were just, his reliance on lies and 'fake' reports to bolster his claims and insight hysteria were in pursuit of a greater good...It's ok to lie, when you do it for God.

Then we had a pastor in the Carolinas excommunicate parishioners who voted for John Kerry.

Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign seeking membership lists from churches around the country. Even jokingly referring to their strategy as "God, Guns and Gays."

Maybe that's the root of this catastrophe. That we as Christians have gotten to caught up in the mortal world, using his name to gain power over our enemies for political gain. Gays, Intelligent Design, Abortion, Tax Cuts you name it. The only problem is that in writing all our checks to these various God/GOP causes we forgot what's really important, following his word, sharing his compassion and helping those who are at societies margins. I mean after all, we can no longer ignore those at society's margins any more as they camp out in various domed stadiums around the country? Can we?!

I've never seen God in a politician or those snake oil salesman like Robertson who claim my protection and salvation lie in suppressing or fearing the various "Others". In fact, for the past few years all the folks claiming to act in God's name on various ballot initiatives or what have you have only done one thing...push his presence farther and farther from my life.

But this past week, I've seen Him. In the massive and spontaneous generosity of everyday Americans responding to a horrendous catastrophe to help their follow man. And maybe, just maybe that was the motive behind all this...at the very least, it's just as valid as those who'd blame the victims, the democrats, the gays, the Unitarians, the gamblers or what have you.

Comments:
I am crying as I finish reading this because it speaks for the way I have fealt for a long time. I was sick at watching faith be taken over by these charlitans to be used as an excuse to go to war or discriminate against gays, or give tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the poor. How could that be? That isn't what I learned at Sunday School. Every time I would visit the Baptist Churches that I grew up in there would be political coments meant to demonize the liberals and in support of the Republican agenda. I was young when I attended the Baptist Church full time but I don't remember it ever being used so politically then. I remember learning about Gods mercy and his giving us his Son. I remember Jesus preaching that we take care of the least amongst us and that we treat people the way we want to be treated. He would have thrown these money changers from the temple. I have moved farther away from organized religions over the years because of this. But at the same time I have always stood up for what I believed to be God's word. Thank you for stating it so well. I am a liberal and don't believe it to be a dirty word. That does not mean I believe in Communism or Socialism or am a utopian as people who preach hate such as Rush Limbaugh say. Those people just lie to promote their own agendas. I believe in the conservative values of balancing a budget and paying as we go not deferring to the next generation what we spend today. I believe that God will judge us some day for our actions and I believe that he probably has a place in Hell ready for these charlatans.
 
Thanks Karen.

It's funny because my knowledge of God's grace, as domonstrated on earth through Jesus, was that he kind of took the side of those not in power and at the margins of society. If he came back today, he certainly wouldn't be hanging with Robertson, Dobson, etc.

Again, thanks for your sincere feedback.
 
D'uh! I mean 'demonstrated" :)
 
Well said. You are my hero. Hehe...
 
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