Sunday, July 22, 2012

God's Blessings? Or His Anger?

If you are on Facebook, you know about the "Notes" section where we each have something akin to our own personal 'blog. With something that Ahab posted about the right wing swearing that the shootings in Colorado being a sign of God's wrath, I was reminded of a note I wrote almost a year ago and thought it was pertinent to what is happening now.

Several months ago, I turned on the news briefly before going to bed and saw that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed. I felt no joy; I felt no sadness; I just felt that it was one more step in bringing home our men and women overseas. I told my son and went to sleep (on the couch because DSD was going through a horrible snoring phase). I was awakened sometime later (maybe 2 hours, but I don’t think so) by BabyBoy leaving the house and returning and he obviously was not happy so I got up to talk to him. We ended up having a very long conversation about the celebrations that were taking place across the United States but specifically in New York City and Washington, D.C. since the death of bin Laden. I do love it that my son is such a thoughtful, caring person and I am very proud of a lot of the things he said that night and how much I learned from him. I am not going into any details, but he made me think. A lot.
            Less than a week later I was talking to my cousin in Texas about this issue and she recommended that I read a book, “Unconditional: The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness” that she had just finished. She said it made her see the current events in a different light. Lucky for me, I tend to download any and all free books for my Kindle and I already had that one on there. I had to wait until after finals but I did start the book. It was very interesting, very informative and a lot more than I wanted to shove into my brain in the very short week I had between terms, so I only read about half of it. I will finish it though, because the little I read made me realize some of the things that I was doing wrong with my life. That while I have tried for years to live my life in a manner that Jesus would approve, I realized that I had some seriously deep-seated anger, and even hatred festering in my heart. It wasn't healthy. And some of it is still there, but I work hard to forgive those who have wronged me, because that is what I am called to do.
             The next break I had from school, I was looking through my Kindle for something to read and found, “The Divided States of America: What Liberals and Conservatives Get Wrong about Faith and Politics in America.” I thought it may help me understand the points of view of others and maybe to see what I was misunderstanding about the current culture clashes. I started it. I wasn’t terribly impressed to be honest, and I wanted to read something that didn’t cause me to use my brain quite so much. I think I read about 25% of it, but the message I received from the author was that Conservatives shouldn’t be quite so strident and unforgiving and Liberals are anti-God, anti-religion, anti-love, fairly stupid and driving God out of America because we support marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose. The main theme though, was that God has blessed America because America has always followed God’s teachings and that if America continued to disrespect God by allowing abortions and marriage equality, God will probably remove His Blessings.
            About a week ago a friend posted this as her status on Facebook:
             “Ok, been reading in the OT book of Ezekiel which talks about the destruction of nations
that do not fear God. One of the notes said this: “There is no permanence apart from God, even for a great society with magnificent culture and military power". Does that not sound like the United States?”
             I asked, “Are you saying that the United States is apart from God and that this will cause our destruction?” She said yes and there was more discussion and the combination of all four of these incidences has been weighing on my mind. I cannot speak for my friend, but I truly believe that if I asked her she would name abortion and marriage equality as two of the things that are keeping us apart from God.
             So this is the message that I have received. #1. Retribution is acceptable and it is even acceptable to celebrate loud and long after killing someone who has caused harm. #2. Liberals hate God and God hates Liberals. #3. If we allow marriage equality and defend a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions, even if that means she may have an abortion, the U.S. is headed down the path to Sodom and Gomorrah.  (And in
case anyone cares, I spelled that correctly on the first try!) So with these thoughts in mind, let’s take a look over the past almost 520 years since dear ol’ Chris arrived on the hallowed shores of this great continent and see what
was done to receive God’s blessings, shall we?
             First we have almost the complete and total annihilation of all of those living in what is today Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. No, it wasn’t all on purpose, some were killed by airborne pathogens that they had no immunities to, but it may have been the lack of food, clean clothes, and overwork on top of the chicken pox, measles, mumps and whatever else was unknowingly carried on the Nina, the Pinto and the Santa Maria. Then there is the move into what is today the United States of America and Canada. The French actually weren't horrible to the Native Americans in Canada, much, because they needed them and it was damned cold up there. But in the Carolinas? Georgia? Florida? Anyone remember that really great trip the Cherokee were taken on? The Trail of Tears!
             During all of this, of course, there was the slave trade. Yes, I know that many who were brought to the States were already slaves of other tribes in Africa. Did that make those who were brought here feel better? Did that make it right? Murder, rape, beatings, and selling family members away from each other were a Godly thing to do?      What about the complete and total subjugation of women? “Well now we have a complete and total breakdown of the American family where there are no fathers and women choose to have babies on their own and some of the time HOMOSEXUALS adopt/have children.” Well THEN women were brood mares with no freedoms, no choices, no options who could be forced to marry by her parents. Children were not taught to think for themselves (I know some still aren’t) and beatings were fairly regular, for both of them. And would you rather have a lovely same sex couple
raise your child or have them grow up in an orphanage as was the norm for a very long time? Because a loving family is all a child in the system will ask for and I am ok if that family is comprised of two moms or two dads.
              And even after slavery was finally stopped, the Native Americans were pushed and shoved off lands they had been given by the U.S. government, because gold, or oil, or something was found on it. Black people were still treated as second class citizens and paid less for doing the same job as the white man (if the black man could find work) and women were still chattel.
             Since the end of the Revolutionary War the cry to “go West, young man” was loud and
proud and YEA! MANIFEST DESTINY. It is God’s will.
             And there were more Indians murdered for their lands and then the Spanish in Texas and California and Cuba. As we “helped” those “savages” who had no idea how to live, how to govern, how to rule, how to sow and reap the “correct” way. Not to mention that many of the Spanish were “PAPISTS” and they didn’t worship God and Jesus in the correct way. As American boys murdered 250,000 Filipino men, women, and children in our bid to “help” those Islands because they were not bright enough to help themselves. (Those were the lucky ones, by the way, the dead. The non-dead women? Let’s not talk about them.) 
Some of the atrocities committed throughout the last 5 centuries make Abu Ghraib look like a family vacation.
             So for the last five centuries America has been close to God, blessed by Him, and NOW we are apart? Now abortion, and marriage equality, and women having brains and lives, and the removal of state sanctioned prayer from the schools and football games are going to cause our destruction?

Then so be it.


Ahab said...

A much-needed reality check for the fundies! I too am sick of fundamentalists lamenting how the nation has allegedly turned away from God and morality -- ignoring the moral horrors of our history, and how things have drastically improved. They're whining because they don't have power over everyone now.

LeftLeaningLady said...

This entire thing received less comments than my quick status update on the fact that the Affordable Care Act was declared Constitutional. And none of them made a damned bit of sense!