Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Problem of Invoking God's Will

Well, politicians acting like theologians has turned bad. Again!

Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is the latest to stray into dangerous waters in order to support a political position. As usual it is about abortion. Unlike the candidate earlier in the campaign who said the female body doesn't allow a pregnancy in the case of rape, now we hear that if there is a pregnancy in a rape, it is God's will.

Malarkey and baloney.

Unless you are truly a radical monotheist who believes everything, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING is God's will. Even the awful and horrific. If everything that happens is the will of God then you are in safe territory.

But like so many people, the politician simply invokes a simplistic answer to support a point of view. Obviously, he seems to be saying, if it happens it is the will of God.

My parents both died when I was a teenager. Fortunately no one ever said to me that their deaths were God's will. Otherwise they wouldn't have happened. If I had been told that I might not have been so willing to follow such a God. Yet over the years I have heard variations on that in just as ridiculous a situation.

Sometimes it is couched in such blarney as "God needed them in heaven" or "God needed another angel." Sometimes it is filled with such balderdash as "God never gives you more than you can handle." Then there is the poppycock of...

Well, you get my point. Such absurdity leads naturally to a statement like Richard Mourdock's about rape and pregnancy.

Sure, we all invoke the Name of God to support our causes. Yes, we are all bad theologians. It is easy to make such trash talk because we think we know God's will. We think it usually coincides with ours, whether it is about finding a parking place in a crowded mall parking lot or the desire to wipe out enemies in our God's name.

So, while I feel badly (sort of) for Richard Mourdock and his foot-in-mouth episode, I also find it incredibly sad that faith can be invoked so cheaply and with such little regard for the nature of God. After all, I believe a famous Book says something about God being love and not a particularly partisan political tool.

No comments: