I am a Christian.
I am a pastor.
I am a father.
As all three of these things, I apologize to the world (and to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting), for Mike Huckabee and James Dobson.
This week, these “representatives” of Christianity in the American media have done what they seem bent on doing and content to do in times of tragedy; they have stood on top of someone else’s pain and grief while preaching a message of dreadfully misplaced, fear-infused hatred and horribly dangerous theology.
During a time when most people, (both religious and non-religious), have rallied around hurting people to express heartfelt condolences and great anguish, seeking ways to somehow bring hope and healing to a devastated nation, Huckabee and Dobson have chosen instead to blame the victims.
It’s your fault.
God is ticked-off at you.
Apparently, having a mentally unstable young man, whose childhood seems filled with dysfunction and oddness; having that young man brutally murder his mother, grab an arsenal of her own weapons, break his way into an elementary school and mindlessly butcher classrooms full of first-graders and those caring for them; this is God’s way of complaining about abortion and gay marriage and lack of prayer in schools.
God, according to Huckabee and Dobson, has been excluded by America, is deeply offended, and so He allowed the carnage of last Friday to unfold, (as God likes to do).
So let’s try and wrap our minds around this. According to these supposed religious experts:
God, (the all-knowing and all-powerful, Creator of all things and Savior of the World), is…
… one, able to be “kept out of schools” by rules about verbal prayer and Nativity scenes. He is that neutered of power, that insecure and benign that He needs our consent to enter a building, like a magazine salesman or a visiting aunt.
… two, so upset by gay marriage and abortion, that instead of perpetrating acts against those entities (surely the easier and more direct way of Him expressing this fact to a nation), creates instead, random deadly hurricanes and kills rooms of school kids, expecting His people to somehow connect the dots between such completely disparate things. (Not only is God peeved, but he wants to confuse us to as He tells us).
… three, so thin-skinned, that He’s willing to destroy entire”nations”, because some people in those nations, disobey Him or do things that He doesn’t approve of. He’s a grudge-holder of, “Biblical” proportions.
The thoughts seemingly never occurred to them…
… that God gives people free will, and that free will, enables some to make catastrophic choices, such as the one a young man-made last Friday. Some things (as incomprehensible as they are), are what they are; not veiled signs of something else.
… that God is not in the “nation” business, but the people business; that Jesus came to create a People; a new community, who are defined not by a border, or government, or continent, but by faith in Him. There is only one nation in the eyes of God, and He builds and disciplines it one person at a time.
… that God is made of Grace, and that Jesus tells us that because of this, He comes with a relentless, pursuing, extravagant love, and a heart for the lost and wayward. His mission is redemption.
It would take me months and months, and millions of words to adequately illustrate the lack of sensitivity, the perverting of Scripture, and the overall ignorance Huckabee and Dobson and others like them exhibit, when using something like the senseless disaster in Newtown to somehow give ammo to their agenda and credence to their cause.
For now, let me just say; to every victim, every grieving family member, every frightened classmate, every terrified parent, every scarred first-responder, and every questioning, hurting, hopeless person across this nation seeking from religious leaders; healing, and finding only contempt…