Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stonestreet: "This Election Shows God Is Judging America"

John Stonestreet
John Stonestreet, a theologian and fellow at the far right Colson Center (along with Eric Metaxas), is of the opinion that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both suck as potential leaders of the free world. Personally I think that Clinton is tough, smart, knowledgeable and focused. I know; Benghazi, email, Beghazi, etc. Stonestreet states what is spectacularly stupid and then seems to admit it. Yet that is a mechanism for essentially saying “if anyone else said this they would look foolish but not me.”
Folks, I might as well just say it: I am convinced that this election is an indication that God is judging America.

Now claiming to know God's mind both for what and with what He is bringing judgment is theologically indefensible and only makes us look silly. (You may recall a few notable Christians who stuck their foot in their mouths after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina). …
It gets worse. Some selective quotes:
The most common way God judges is with the natural consequences of our choices and behavior. This is especially true in politics, which is mostly downstream from — and a reflection of — the broader culture. In other words, especially in our country, we tend to get the leaders we deserve. …
What he really said is that we get the leaders that his god thinks we deserve. In this case God is punishing us. Why and to what end? That remains unexplained.
Whenever I think of stepping into the voting booth on November 8, I somewhat melodramatically think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christmas letter: "One may ask," he wrote, "whether there have ever before in human history been people . . . to whom every available alternative seemed equally intolerable, repugnant, and futile …"
His buddy Metaxas wrote an awful, historically inaccurate, biography of Bonhoeffer who seems to be the Christian hero du jour.
… but most important, we pray for God's mercy. He judges the wicked by leaving them to their own devices. The sooner we abandon those devices and turn back to God, the better. And, I am not speaking here about “them,” those outside the Church. No way. As Peter wrote in his first epistle, “it's time for judgment to begin in the house of God.” May God have mercy, but if He brings judgment, so be it.
Their own devices? I know lots of wicked people who are prosperous and happy. For over 2,000 years, I suspect, priests and preachers have been claiming that their god is pissed off about something and the woes of the populace are just punishment from a merciful deity (he could have made things much worse). It is the way of explaining why the devout Christian farmer's crops are ruined by drought. So they invent collective guilt. One person fucks up and they all pay. Private Pyle eats the pilfered doughnut while the rest of the recruits do push-ups as remittance. If that doesn't hold up then their god is testing them or testing their faith. And, of course, our hardships in life are rewarded by God in paradise after death—if we follow the rules.

LGBT people have been the cause of much misery for decades because we do not follow the rules expressed in ancient chronicles. We sin—they pay. At least that is how religious conservatives understand things. Our founding fathers were smart enough to leave all of this superstition out of the Constitution. Too bad we have gone astray.

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