A favorite Fundagelical narrative is that America has become more and more corrupt and as a result, God is judging us. Pat Robertson claimed that HIV and AIDS was God’s judgment on the LGBT community. John Hagee claimed hurricane Katrina was God’s judgment on New Orleans because they were planning a sinful homosexual parade. Currently, Rick Joyner claims all the recent natural disasters are God’s judgment on America because we have kicked him out of our country.
He claims that “you could measure the meltdown of morality, integrity, the increasing dysfunction of our governments and just about so many other things that are going on now to the time when we basically started saying, ‘God, get out of our life. We don’t want you mentioned in our books, in our histories, we don’t want anyone to use your name or pray in your name, we just want you out of here.’” He further states, “It’s amazing, hurricanes strike us, earthquakes, everything else, and everyone’s first response is, ‘where is God when this happens?’ Well, we told him to leave. That’s where he is.”
As I often say, Fundagelicals never let facts get in the way of their narrative. The first error is an appeal to the good old days. You remember those days- – – right? That’s when everyone was a Christian, and the American government functioned perfectly. Forget about McCarthyism; forget about the Teapot Dome scandal, the Burr conspiracy, the Credit Mobilier fiasco. It’s only since 1960 that things went bad according to Fundagelical reasoning.
The facts are that the list of political scandals and misdeeds is long and stretches all the way back before the United States even had a constitution. Our government has always attracted people who will abuse power.
Joyner says that we have asked God to leave our country. Fundagelicals are upset that there is a separation of Church and State. They are upset that Christianity, and in particular their brand of Christianity, isn’t given favored status. First off, God isn’t a vampire; he doesn’t need to be asked in before he is allowed to go somewhere. Second, God is omnipresent, so when Joyner claims he has left, this is just bad theology that violates the very nature of God. It also violates his promise to never leave us or forsake us.
Has God been asked to leave? Is Christianity being systematically removed from our country? In a recent post, I mentioned there were twenty-one churches in a one-mile radius from my home. Does this sound like God has left the country? The Bible is online; millions of websites are dedicated to Christian teaching, evangelism, and propaganda. Students can voluntarily pray in schools. Thousands of new Christian books are published every year and are easily available online or in specialized bookshops. If God has been asked to leave the country, he sure is taking his time about it. Apparently, God is the crazy ex-boyfriend who leaves all his stuff at your apartment and refuses to pick it up.
I think what bothers me most is claiming that natural phenomenon proves God is angry at us. Earthquakes happen because of plate tectonics. Living in Southern California, I am keenly aware of the San Andreas Fault. Sometimes it shifts. It has nothing to do with God’s mood or his judgment. Hurricanes and floods happen. When a hurricane hits a city like New Orleans, built below sea level, floods follow. That’s more about bad urban planning than God’s wrath. California wildfires are about a chaparral ecosystem that requires fire to germinate new plant growth. God isn’t burning California because he’s mad at Hollywood.
Joyner presents us with a psychopathic God who destroys and kills because he isn’t getting enough recognition. Americans are rejecting this twisted image of God and Joyner along with other Fundagelicals are throwing hissy fits about it. They project their anger onto their twisted view of God and threaten everyone who doesn’t want to worship their angry-psycho-god-idol.
As for me, I much prefer the God who is willing to die to save beloved humanity. Unfortunately,
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