Friday, March 21, 2008

Christianity and Politics

A few days after the 9/11 attacks, obese pastor Jerry Falwell waddled onto the set of Pat Robertson's fundraising tee-vee show and laid out the Biblical understanding of history:

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen' ... I do believe, as a theologian, based upon many Scriptures and particularly Proverbs 14:23, which says 'living by God's principles promotes a nation to greatness, violating those principles brings a nation to shame' ... I therefore believe that that created an environment which possibly has caused God to lift the veil of protection which has allowed no one to attack America on our soil since 1812 ...
The idea is that god is watching and judging at all times, and won't hesitate to "lift his protection" to allow bad things to happen. McCain paramour Pastor Hagee applied the same Biblical understanding to hurricane Katrina:
I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment. And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.
Falwell, Robertson, and Hagee have the Bible right -- this is indeed how the god of the Bible rolls in terms of effecting social, political, and historical change.

Is anyone genuinely surprised that a few left-leaning pastors have arrived at the same theology? Here's Pastor Wright explaining that god will do very bad things to America if it doesn't change its ways:
The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.
This is Christianity. The Bible teaches that god will indeed "damn America" if it doesn't do the right thing.

I think this is patent nonsense from the word go -- there isn't a god, and he's not sending storms or highjackers. But when Christians object to this theology, I can't help but hear them say something very different: how dare you suggest god doesn't agree with my politics! (Note the humility.)

So long as Americans insist that presidential candidates be Christians, we can expect this special pleading to continue.


Sis B said...

Do you think Jerry Falwell doesn't count Pearl Harbor as part of American soil, or do you think he believes that happened in 1812, because the calendar has been somehow thrown off by the intelligent design 5000 year old earth theory?

Dale said...

Good question, Sis B!