The Inherent problem with Religious Endorsements
There’s been much said about Religious Endorsements in American Politics. I see one vital flaw in seeking or receiving such endorsements. Politicians here should take note.
Clergy must explain the reality of the world under the assumption that God exists. Most of these people believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnivirtuous. Thus they must explain tragic events as they occurred with the blessing of their God. Here in lies the rub. You’re guaranteed to say something that will offend people as soon as you start equating reality with God’s hand.
Whether it be Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tsunami’s, or Terrorist attacks, a Clergy member is stuck in an uncomfortable position of validating God’s existence in-spite of these tragedies. So when Hagee says that “Hitler was doing God’s work”, in his mind, this is the only way he can coalesce his belief with reality. It’s a distasteful and horrendous statement to the vast majority who hear it, but in his mind, it makes sense with his world view.
This is the danger, is a religious endorsement worth the risk?
Here's my reply:
Hmmm… I’m Catholic. I’m pretty open to dialogue, as long as a person isn’t outright anti-catholic and going to try to put me in a corner just to try to poke fun at me. (...) That said, you are right. Trying to explain that tragic events happen with the blessing of God makes no sense. No more to me than it does to you. Belief in an all-loving God does not exactly logically go hand-in-hand with the belief that tragedy happens with God’s blessing.
I don’t believe it does.
I believe that God created us. I believe that when he created us, He wanted us to choose to love Him back. True love, true faith is not imposed. It is a gift. Free will. God doesn’t want drones doing everything He wants because they have no choice. He doesn’t want machines. Machines don’t love. I believe in a God who wants to share the gift of love. In order to love, we must be free to choose that love. We are free to believe or not believe.
Anyway, my point is, I don’t believe God gives his blessing to tragedy. I don’t think he desires it. Bad things happen. Sometimes it is nature, and has nothing to do with us. But that’s life. Everyone dies eventually. Atheist or believer, we all die eventually. Death is a part of life. My faith tells me that we were not made to live here forever. We were made to be with God eventually. So death is a necessary part of life.
But most tragedy is human doing. Humans are free to chose good or evil. When they choose what is wrong, bad things happen. That’s our fault. God doesn’t endorse that. I don’t believe in something like Hitler “doing God’s work”. That is, as you say, illogical. That’s not God. God does not force himself on people. If people want Him out of their lives, God stays out of their lives. If their lives “go to Hell” after that, or they make other people’s lives a living Hell, that’s not “God punishing them”, that’s them punishing themselves. (I don’t mean by that, that all atheists are bad or have bad things happen to them, I think you can have good atheists. I think you can also have unchrist-like “christians”.) I personally believe in a God who suffers along with us in this imperfect world.
I think people who believe in things like “Hitler was doing God’s work” have just not thought things through very carefully.
Or perhaps I could just have said that they are blundering idiots. But that would be mean. And if the guy who said this (and I listened to more of what he said afterwards, which just confirms the blundering idiot theory) were Canadian, and let's say... muslim... he could take me to the CHRC and sue me for thousands of dollars for hurt feelings. Thankfully, he's American, and thankfully, so far, the CHRC hasn't been into protecting Christians' hurt feelings. It's waaaaaaay too much fun and soooo politically correct to be anti-christian.
Ooops. Did I just mention the CHRC? Perhaps I should not have, because you know... they've been known to sue people for thousands just for slight criticism of their very hypersensitive and overly emotional selves. Oh the anguish! Can I get sued for linking to the story? Can I sue everyone who has ever hurt my feelings in a very uncharitably anti-catholic way? Because gosh,... I'd be a millionaire now. It's tempting... I'd like a convertible PT cruiser... in dark chocolate brown please... and a trip to Scotland... that'd be nice.
I read an article in LaPresse a few months ago, about how apparently faith in a higher being or higher beings is actually genetical. It's written in our genes. The person writing the article was apparently trying to use this as an argument implying that faith is therefore silly, it's just a genetical tendancy.
Blundering idiots (again). If they are going to come out and say something like humans have a genetical tendancy to believe, then one would think that it would be much more logical to believe that some God CREATED US SPECIFICALLY THAT WAY so that we would naturally be drawn towards Him, and be able to enter into a relationship with Him, than to believe that somehow, by some freak of nature and purely by chance humans just happen to have this GENETICAL tendancy to believe in God.
The way the author of the article went on about it, this was supposed to be some new discovery/theory that totally discredits belief in a higher power. This not new. It is old news. The Catholic church has recognized for millenium that humans have a void, a spiritual thirst that only God can truly fill or satisfy. Jesus himself said it. "The water I give you is living water, he who drinks of it will thirst no more." (Jesus is such a cool, metaphorical guy - Juana la Cubana can really appreciate this...)
Oops. Did I just call that author a blundering idiot? Oh no! And he/she was canadian and NOT christian! I could quite possibly be sued! On the one hand, I didn't mention the person's name, because I don't remember it. So they'll probably never know better. On the other hand, the CHRC doesn't need said person's endorsement to sue me do they? They could just sue me in the name of all atheists.
Perhaps I need to stop writing CHRC before they google me and find me.
If you ask me, aliens have invaded earth and made deals with people in high places. I suggest we put agents Mulder and Scully to work on a real file. Forget Area 51, the real x-file is at the C-you-know-what-RC.