Tuesday, January 23, 2007

God Doesn't Give a Damn What You Think

Check this out: Pat Robertson recently said that God told him that terrorists will attack the U.S. in late 2007. What a remarkable fiction. If it doesn't happen, he can claim that through his and his organization's prayers, and your generous donations to the 700 Club, the catastrophe was averted. And if heaven forbid it does come to pass, he can solemnly demonstrate evidence of his Red Phone access to the Big Guy. The only possible motivation for this kind of base pandering is money.

It is hard for me to accept that there are millions of people in the U.S. who place their faith in this kind of charlatan. It disturbs me greatly. We used to have a word for people who talk to the voices in their heads that they call "God." It was called "crazy." Now the word is "president."

I find simple comfort in the idea that ultimately, God doesn't answer to these fools. They will have to answer to God.


John Gustav-Wrathall said...

There have always been two types of religion: the religion of power and the religion of peace. It's usually pretty (though not always!) pretty easy to tell the two apart. As Jesus said, "By their fruit shall you know them." The religion of power aligns itself with power, is all about amassing power. The religion peace is all about the opposite, and as a result usually finds itself under siege by the former. Since the religion of power usually manages to ensconce itself in the corridors of same, adherents of the religion of peace usually find themselves branded as "heretics."

The greatest leaders in history have recognized that the exercise of worldly political authority is inherently at odds with the higher authority of God. Some American political leaders, like Abraham Lincoln, have been wise enough to acknowledge that their acts seldom if ever represent God, and are more likely to come under the judgment of God.

As for the other leaders... Well, the Bible actually has a word for them. Antichrist. Read the Book of Revelation carefully, and forget everything you've ever heard televangelists say about it. You will see an allegory of state power out of control, a state power so full of itself that it makes itself God and wages war on the true faithful, on the lovers of peace, love, and justice. And it issues a warning to such "powers": your power is illegal and your hubris is leading you straight into the pit.

I don't believe that believing God can speak to you makes you crazy. I actually believe that God is desperately trying to speak to us all, if we will listen. I believe it is that still, small voice in each of us that may be the ultimate safeguard against the evil and hubris of the powers the rule this present age.

Knight of Nothing said...

Great comments, John, thank you. But the shrill voices of Pat Robertson and George Bush most definitely belong to what you call the "religion of power." I will continue to scoff at people who loudly proclaim to speak for God.

If as you say, God speaks to people, I can only believe that the messages sent are intended for their recipients alone, marked private and confidential, and to be shared quietly and delicately, if at all.

John Gustav-Wrathall said...

As a general rule, I agree that is precisely how God speaks to us, in privacy and confidence. I don't in principle deny the possibility that God can use a mouthpiece to send a more general message or warning. But somehow, I don't think Pat Robertson (or George Bush) is that mouthpiece.