Is God that much of an S.O.B.?

For at least the last dozen years, there have been a handful of religious “leaders” who, after some tragic and horrific event, will proclaim that it happened for some reason related to that place somehow offended God. We heard it after 9/11, and Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, among others, and now after the murders of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee blamed the school shooting on failure to have compulsory prayer at school; damned that inconvenient separation of church and state! Others have blamed disasters on the acceptance of abortion and gay marriage. Some Tennessee pastor specifically said the mass shootings take place because schools teach evolution and “how to be a homo;” I shan’t link to it.

For sake of the argument, let’s assume that God is the spiteful, vindictive entity that some religious leaders say God is. Still, how do they KNOW it’s THESE particular activities that’s ticking off the Deity? How do they have such an accurate Pipeline to the sky?

Might not God be annoyed by our lack of compassion for those who are impoverished? Or our greed that allows people to work at sweatshops so that we can have our modern conveniences? Jesus talked a LOT about the poor, not so much about people’s sex lives. As Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw write in Jesus for President: “If we applied Sabbath law today, the bank owner would be as much of a criminal as the bank robber. And a lot of credit card companies…would be in really big trouble.”

Maybe THEIR God cares more about who is loving who; MY God cares more that we love one another. Their God is a bit of a jerk; my God is a God of love.

On the bus the other day, I spontaneously wrote a poem in my head. It’s a tad vulgar, but so is the behavior it address:

When there is a disaster
And you are a pastor,
There is one of two things you can do.
You should show great compassion.
But, if that’s not your fashion,
I’m pleading, please STFU.

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4 thoughts on “Is God that much of an S.O.B.?”

  1. Roger asked: “how do they KNOW it’s THESE particular activities that’s ticking off the Deity?”

    Simple: It’s what raises the most money for them. Most of the people who are saying such things are concerned only with making themselves richer—they are nothing more than modern-day Pharisees. If there really is a god, I’m pretty sure it would be far more concerned with fostering love than condemning it (for a very handsome profit).

    What we know for certain is that the Judeo-Christian god is not the same god invoked by US Protestant fundamentalists who have no idea what their religion is even based on. Yes, I’m angry at the charlatans who have stolen the name “Christian” to serve their own greedy, selfish ends, and sad for the real Christians who are automatically tainted and assumed to be as ignorant and bigoted as their rightwing cousins.

    For all those reasons, I love your poem!

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  2. Along with what you said, what makes these pastors believe they know the thoughts of God? Seems presumptuous and arrogant. I’ve always interpreted, “Thou shalt not use the Lord’s name in vain,” as manipulating the teachings and philosophies to one’s own gain or agenda, not actual cursing.

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  3. The ‘Problem of Evil’ is one of two things that really roadblocks me from committing to Christianity. I have yet to hear any kind of satisfactory answer to the question of how there can be an omnipotent and perfectly benevolent God overseeing a world that has ANY evil in it at all, much less THIS MUCH of it.

    (My other personal roadblock is the standard interpretation of John 14:6. A God who excludes, say, Gandhi from Heaven because he wasn’t Christian does not seem to me a God who has his priorities right.)

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  4. Jaquandor:

    God didnt exclude anyone, much less Gandhi from heaven. Gandhi excluded himself. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. It is a free gift, all mr Gandhi had to do is reach out and accept. So one chooses by free will to accept or reject the love and salvation of God.
    As for the rest of the story, some may feel God is speaking to them about “their issues” ie..abortion, homosexuality, but as I recall from my MA in History at SUNY, the abolitionists also believed God was moving on their behalf to end slavery, that his hand was in the process. Abe Lincoln believed it, as did the founding fathers with the creation of the US. Native peoples in America also believe that God is in everything, including the wind, the trees, animals and the acts of life. Finally, we know that other religions, excluding the 3 monotheistic religions believe that God is in the process of life and his workings are do to the actions of men. Go to Asia sometimes and see how many believe in a god which controls the forces and fate of life.

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