Isn’t it grand that some people have all truth, and have the inside track into the mind of God. All we have to do is, stop thinking and let them guide us. What if, just what if they were wrong? Like Pat Robertson? Well, Pat ole buddy, I have been blessed and cursed with a brain and I’m not willing to give it up to you or, for that matter, tea-baggers who only listen to themselves. (I just threw that in because it popped into my mind.)
I want to expand on what I see as the logical fact that I can neither please nor displease God. My rationale is based on a belief that “God is love” (I John 4:8 and 16) and since God is perfection, then God’s love is perfect. His love for me is not dependent on whether I do good or do evil, it simply is. The common term for describing something that has strings attached is quid pro quo. If you scratch my back I will scratch yours. So what am I to do as a human? How can I please God? How can I anger God? The simple answer is I cannot, because to do so would limit God, and therefore God could not be God, he would be a god.
Now there are some religious types that have a need to say that God punishes evildoers who may be individuals or cities or entire nations. From a fundamentalist-literalist view of scripture this is the case, from Noah to the Egyptians and beyond. However I reason then that God is not pure love. God seems to be a manipulator who demands constant attention, like a spoiled child. If this attention is not paid, God throws a tantrum, sending floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and drought on people (the righteous and wicked together by the way) for their evilness. Is this the God I am commanded by the self-righteous voices to love? In response let me get this straight, since God is all-powerful and pathologically punitive I should love him out of fear. Is this really a choice? Even a punished dog licks the hand of its abusive owner. Is this love or survival? I like to think that I am better than a poodle.
As an aside, I am amused by the ultimate statements made by so-called pastors Robertson and Hegge who blamed the destruction of New Orleans by hurricane Katrina as the arm of God’s wrath on the city’s lifestyle and moral decadence. As any simp knows, the French Quarter is ground zero for New Orleans’s depravity. But the hurricane spared that part of the city in favor of the lower 9th ward’s poor and marginalized. God with what I can only guess is bad eyesight missed punishing the sinful and got the poor, yet again. Keeping with the theme of nature has the manifestation of the wrath of an angry God, the mid-west floods present a confusing image of a vengeful God on the heartland of America. There must have been some really bad people in Cedar Rapids that got on God’s bad side. From the results of the flooding, the whole town must have been evil. I think you can see the silliness of the argument. Shit happens, as simple as that. For some, the rhyme and reason of a natural disaster begs for a simplistic answer and all I can say is that Robertson and Hegee as well as other pompous religious types provide silly simplistic answers.
Some Highlights of the Ramblings of an Idiot
- The people of Haiti had “swor[n] a pact to the devil” to get “free from the French” and that “ever since, they have been cursed.”
- Robertson “totally concur[red]” with Falwell that the 9-11 attacks could be attributed in part to “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians.”
- Robertson linked Hurricane Katrina and terrorist attacks to legalized abortion.
- Robertson blamed Sharon’s stroke on policy of “dividing God’s land.”
- Robertson says sweat lodge victims sought “enlightenment” in “new-age religion” instead of Bible and death was “the penalty” and the “severe price.”
- Of Disney’s Gay Days, Robertson predicts “it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”
From these examples, one can see that some people’s view of God is myopic and even dangerous. Robertson and Hegge’s god is very very tiny. I can understand that taking the word from the Bible verbatim (which I think some feel was originally written in Old English) can lead one to come to a view of a judgmental and unforgiving God. I call this lazy exegesis and a theology of convenience for the purpose of controlling minds with fear. (8 years with Dick Cheney as an example) Quite frankly arguing with them is a hopeless task and a waste of energy better spent on other worthwhile endeavors like helping the poor and learning how to love. I know this is not very nice, but if the rapture is true and the “Left Behind” books actually explain what will happen when Jesus makes his brief appearance, then I can look forward to the day when all the self-righteous fundamentalist evangelical pastors disappear At that time we can all breathe a sigh of well-deserved relief. The evil people will be left behind, and they are really a lot more fun anyway, aren’t they?
And so it goes…see you Monday