Scripture Teaches- Spare Me!

Two phrases that set the hairs on my neck on edge are: The Bible says and the corollary, Scripture teaches. Yet millions of our fellow citizens model their lives around these beliefs. Furthermore, their minds are locked tight to any interpretations or deviations from the literal words of the Bible.

Scripture teaches began a paragraph posted on CNN’s Religion Blogs this morning, a post titled, My Take: This is where God was in Aurora by pastor Rob Brendle, Denver United Church. Hmm. So “God” was there at the massacre? Brendle writes, “Scripture teaches that God made people in his image.”  Later he says, “But Scripture also teaches that God is totally in control.”

I could spend some time debating those two statements, but here’s the answer to the title of Reverend Brendle’s piece:

Where was God in Aurora? He was on the lawn in front of the Civic Building as thousands gathered in solidarity, hope, and love at a packed prayer vigil last Sunday. He was in University Hospital as neurosurgeons groped for synonyms for miraculous.

Please stop it! Utter nonsense. If as the preacher stated earlier- that God made people in His image- then what made the killer open fire on innocent movie-goers? Is God a homicidal maniac, too?  And what about that second statement- that God is totally in control? Then God was in control of the actions of James Holmes? Is your brain throbbing?

Earlier in the article, Brendle admitted, “We pastors face the unenviable task of being asked to answer for God. Most people ask the big questions in times of irresolution, times when satisfying answers are scarce. Let’s be clear: there are no easy answers to the deepest questions of suffering.”

No easy answers, indeed. Even more complicated by attempting to fit in some supernatural deity into the drama of human activity. I think back to my grandchildren playing with Little People® play set pieces on the carpet in our living room. Often the younger children would arrange the people in a particular setting, following some imagined scenario. Then, an older one would ‘bomb’ the setting with a large dinosaur, ruining the entire scene. Supernatural Deity. 

Imagine [as in the imagination of the child] how terribly intrusive that dinosaur became in the mind of the child. Tears and screams followed the intrusion.  It was a totally unnatural and unexpected and unwelcome violation of the ‘natural law.’  

Too simplistic?  I don’t think so.  Rather, what is even more simpleminded is an imagined, human-like creator of the universe with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. A Deity who creates and destroys, who loves and smites who rewards and punishes.

Seems to me like the play scenario of a 5-year-old.

Yet, multitudes of our fellow citizens base their entire life upon this imagined plot and set of play pieces, hoping that the sky-monster won’t suddenly descend upon them to wreak havoc, destruction and death.

Pastor Brendle concludes:  Where is God in Aurora? He is shining brightly from the hearts of his people.

Really?

Worse yet, they vote!

 

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33 thoughts on “Scripture Teaches- Spare Me!

  1. I’ve been struggling with what type of comment to leave here. To me, the Bible is a great moral’s book if not taken literally; otherwise, it is the most evil book ever re-written (and re-written, and re-written, and so on….). The comment I wanted to write might have gotten me into so much trouble.

    But, the timing of this post was very convenient. Since Sunday morning seems to be the time when people do their religion thing, in my household we watch movies regarding religion (many recommended through this very blog). This past Sunday was THE FINGER OF GOD movie morning. All I can say is “OMG!”.

    First off, I just loved the part where they say you can’t understand the “truths” of the Bible if you’re too educated. So I guess that part is where Rick Santorum comes from. And the production quality was so poor and there were so many contradictions. These people really need to get a better production team, but I suppose that isn’t possible since you can’t be educated. At first I really thought it was a collection of movies by the narrator. Then I noticed he was never in any of the shots, and even though it was his voice, the presentation styles were all different.

    Now about the content. Gold teeth, really? And the gold flecks on the man’s crotch meant God was highlighting the man’s reproduction. Does God understand ” The Birds & The Bees”; I mean the man was in his 70’s. And then you got that guy* healing homeless people, but before he’ll give them money he must heal them first. In case you never dealt with street people, they’ll agree with anything you say if there’s a buck to be had. Finally you got that lady that gives the gift of hearing to the deaf. I about lost it when “she CALLED out to the crowd for the deaf lady, but the deaf lady never came forward”. Just imagine the miracles this healer could do down at the Columbus School For The Deaf!

    I also watch Creation Magazine once a week. It basically makes Mr. Mud’s point: The say something must be true because of the number of times it’s mentioned in the Bible. Really? The trueness of a fact is based upon the number of times it’s mentioned in the Bible. Isn’t that kind of like saying the Pope is infallible because he says so and he’s infallible?

    * The guy starts off his healing segment appearing to be an instructor at Yale University. After a while you notice that the University is not is session and there is another public event taking place, hence all the people in the background. I guess if you’re not educated and/or have never been to a university, you wouldn’t notice it was out of session (middle aged couples with small children during the summer, but nary a college age kid to be seen).

  2. Chris Hayes of MSNBC and the Nation magazine has a new book
    out, M_R, entitled “Twilight of the Elites”. Although I have just
    started to read it, Hayes is hitting on what has been discussed
    here, and, in my opinion, has brought it all together.

    You remember when we tlked about having to leave the country back under Bush, was a revolution at hand, the General of the North and the General of the South, or stopping our cars in an
    intersection all across the country?. We were on the verge of “revolution.” Now, the country has muddled on through all of Bush until now we have 3.5 years of Obama. What do we have?
    Still failure. All our institutions are failing the vast majority of
    the people. Your Post demonstrates the failure of the institution of religion. However, it is just not the failure of this one institution.
    There is government failure, the failure of our economic and
    financial institutions, our political failure, failure of our
    educational institutions on all levels, including universities. The one institution in government that weathered failure had been the
    Presidency. Now, however, under Bush and Obama the Presidency
    is under 50% approval. I am reminded, I believe, of that song lyric, “we are on the eve of destruction.”

    Hayes is breaking the struggle of the majority with the elites into a new way of looking at this struggle. It is the insurrectionists versus the institutionalists. The insurrectionist are the Occupy Wall Street. Hayes says the Paul Krugman is a leader of this group . The thought of this group is that the elites have to give up their political and social positions.
    they believe that our current institutions are broken beyond repair . On the otherhand, the institutionalists want to preserve
    authority They defend government, hold up religion, the Supreme Court, the military, the tax system, etc. All our institutions must be saved, just a bad person here and there that is the problem. The example of this thought that Hayes gives is David Brooks.

    It seems to be M_R, is that this is where we have been. You have been the insurrectionist with your comments on ending the Constitution and the many posts on rejecting religion. I have been focused on the institutions, of reforming the Constitution

  3. (above continued, M_R. Sorry but wordpress continues to screw it up for me)

    ….along the lines of the amendment process or term limits. What I find interesting is that we have had one foot in each camp, lol…
    You seeing the need of something more than institutional reform yet supporting the chief institutionalist of them all, the President. I have been calling for reform of the political institution as the cure all, but seeing Obama as a failure.. Yet, it seems to me that following Chris Hayes writting we are both insurrectionalists. We just have to admit it. You know, on christmas day my wife and I
    were in NYC and spent a couple of hours with an Occupy Wall
    Street group at a McDonald’s just up the block from their Park.
    We bought the coffee and they answered or questions and talked
    about their philosophies. They even asked us to come and have
    christmas buffet with them, but we couldnt as we had already made
    dinner reservations. The one point that they continued to make
    was that they were not a reform group as the reformers gave the system that they were demonstrating against. They were not interested in laying out a program. They were not a horizontal
    groups, but rather a vertical group. This is why the midia and the
    media attacked them. The elite view them as a threat to their authority and social dominance. We saw how they were beat and sprayed in the streets, being evicted from the Park, and them negative terms attached to them as traitors, not willing to work, socialist, communists, ingrats, etc.

    So, M_R, it seems Hayes brings us full circle. You are the original insurrectionists and i am the institutionalist. I have to give up my belief on reform, and you have to recognize Obama for what he is, an institutionalist. We are both at heart, insurrectionists. This is what we must vace: are our institutions so compromised to benefit the elites that we need to end them and make something new?

    1. “Romney brings in $1 million at Israel fundraiser”

      Before starting a revolution, let’s start making them follow existing laws.
      1. Isn’t against U.S. election law to accept money from foreign sources?
      2. Even if many Israelis have dual citizenship with the United States, don’t residency laws come into play?
      3. Just because they have a lot of money, are we going to let Israel dictate our foreign policy?
      4. If they have so much money, including offering universal health care, why are they still the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid?
      5. Last I heard you could buy media, but votes were still not for sale. The ONLY person I know of working the ground with knowledge not money is Mr. Mud. And I thank him for that.
      6. I know the Israelis hope Romney is the next president, but I hope to hell the Arabs realize he’s NOT the president currently.

      And if anybody wants to call me anti-semitic, have at it. I still am a free American and so old that I don’t give a sh** about what some consider political correctness.

  4. ” …let’s start making them follow existing laws.”

    That’s the point that is being made…You can’t have them obey the
    law, becuase the are the authority…The elites make the laws and are free from being penalized by the institutions. A couple of examples, Dodd-Frank, and the refusal of AG Holder to go after Wasll Street with any meaningful law suit.

    1. Agreed. BUT, just recently I was in a bar talking about this and guess what? I was accused of being anti-semitic. Although, I did refer to the United States Congress as Israeli occupied territory.

      Every time I hear “But they’re our only friends in the Middle East” or “They’re the only democracy in the Middle East”, I cringe. They pimp their neighbors, we fly in and back them up; I would be pissed at us too. And Israel a democracy? Not in the way we think of democracy. And then you got the way they treat the Palestinians; Ya, a real model of Western hospitality.

  5. I was asked to relay this message:God here. I thought I would take the time to personally explain my absence in the Aurora shootings. While I was at it, I thought I would also explain my absence during every murder, massacre and crime that has ever taken place in World history, and in every war, in every famine, drought and flood.

    You see, I do not exist. I never have. Did it really make sense to you that I would create an entire Universe with billions of billions of planets and wait about 13,700,000,000 years just so I could focus on a few Jews from Palestine about 2,000 years ago while ignoring the rest of the 200,000,000 people on the planet at the time?

    1. God, are you telling us you’re not the sharpest tool in the box? Have you told the Pope?

      1. God cannot reply at this time, he is engaged in a multi level parcheesi tournament, something beyond your mere mortal comprehension with our fellow deities and a large celestial elephant has just upset the board. Please turn and shake your magic 8 ball again ask at a later time….

  6. UptheFlag: institutionalist v. insurrectionist is a swell bifurcation of ideals, but not altogether distinctive. I would like to reform the institution, with the institution as the greater of the two movements.

    It is clear that what the Founding Fathers created in the 18th century does not fit the 21st century nation into which we have evolved. Does anyone disagree with this premise? Two senators/state and the Electoral college are idiotic governance concepts in 2012. Equally poor are 2-year terms for House members; equally moronic is gerrymandering districts as well as the filibuster. Of course, so is the recent SCOTUS decision regarding political contributions.

    Why do we expect our government to function for The People with all of these stupid pieces of crap clogging the wheels of governance? In my opinion, it is time for a 2nd Constitutional Convention or, a more radical change in our system of government.

    1. My friend, face it, we are insurrectionists, lol! A radical change
      is revolutionary change. Xing religion out of the system is
      a revolutionary change.You have been “preaching” that for a few
      years now. What institution is worth saving? They are all broken, i.e., controlled by the 1%. You and I both know that
      the politicians will not reform the Constitution. I am sure that we would prefer something like the British system of government with a unicameral legilature whose laws are automatically
      constitutinal and no need of a supreme court, with a prime minister. But, what are the chances of that being enacted into
      law? I mean, even today we learn that one of our longest running institutions is broken, out of money too, the United
      States Postal Service. One institution after the other has failed or is in the process of failing.

      Calling for a constitutional convention to throw out the governing
      document is insurrectionist; it is not reformist. Its akin to the
      French Revolution against the Old Order and the beheading of
      Louis and Marie. It’s the beheading of King Charles I of
      England…

          1. I “talk” with you here, lol. As to “abandon”, that seems to be
            the wrong word that I’m suggesting. We have to play right now
            with the cards that we have been dealt, is it Obama or is it
            Romney. So, it has to be Obama. But that doesn’t stop the
            failure of all our institutions. You know, M_R, Obama has
            “abondoned” his major legislative accomplishments, namely,
            the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank. We have a sitting
            President running from his legislative record. Interesting!
            We have a President who has made us less free with the Patriot Act and the National Defense Appropriation Act. He has abondoned
            liberal principles with these two acts. He has used drones to kill American citizens against the Constitutional guarantee of a trail and to be able to confront witnesses. He is flying drones over
            American cities to spy on Americans.

            Yes, we have to abandon such policies and the people who espouse them. Maybe the question is, when? What is the time line for
            becoming committed? Is it now or after the election? As I have
            indicated above, it will probably be after the election as there
            is no alternative. Eventually, we will have to decide whether we
            are institutionalists or insurrectionists. And, let me say this,
            insurrectionists does not have to mean a bloody revolution and
            fighting in the streets, or “to the barricades”. It seems to me
            it can be getting people to understand that our institutions have
            failed, and they become the 51%. That is not impossible; FDR
            could have done that in 1933. And, I dare say, Carter could have
            done that in 1977. The Dems had total control of the country in
            1977. And, with no bloody revolution. Nixon still had his head.

            So, would “relinquish” be a better word?

    2. “Two senators/state and…”

      Jeez, it sounds really bad when you hear all those things all at the same time.

  7. It is “really bad”, NON. Everything is broke and beyond repair. The best that can be said, perhaps, is that the country is drifting.
    The previous years have provided a momentum, and we are just
    drifting on that as when we take the foot off the gas pedal and our
    car gradually loses forward mementum. We can’t goose it along
    much longer.

      1. Aren’t you funny!

        However, don’t you think that we talked about it above? Insurrectionistism!

        Would you say that “the tea party” movement is an insurrectionist
        movement? I think it is. And, what is happening? They continue
        to whittle away, one representative or senator at a time…

  8. Listening to Bob Latta’s “Town Hall Meeting” right now.

    What a disappointment. I can deal with him dancing around facts, but he has been outright lying about some things. He has even gone as far as repeating some urban myths.

      1. “…the people in the audience don’t know…”

        Not so sure about that…They know that government is broken.
        They know government is failing them. Their children and
        grandchildren have gone to BGSU and TU or OSU, and they
        are back home leaving in their old bedroom because there
        are no jobs for them. Maybe some one should talk in that farming
        district about the GOP new agriculture Bill? All the money going to the big farmers, not the little farmers….

        1. What’they’ know is what they are fed by the professional propagandists on the airwaves. That’s the extent of their ‘knowledge’ about the governance problem we are facing in the U.S. Latta spews it out and they absorb it into their spongeon brains. He sells them fear, and they kowtow.

          1. So, whats the solution? Oops, lol!

            How about professional propagandists on the other side? You’re
            a propagandist, and it’s your district. What are you waiting on?
            My friend, I’ve been there, and have done it. Well, not in BG, but
            in Missississippi. Went to many chruches to debate the issues when I ran for the legislature. People will come, and they will
            listen. But, you have to be gentle…Not to be adversary…Tell them “i know how you feel; I felt the same way; let me tell you
            what I found out.” That disarms them almost immediately or
            at least sorts out who will listen to you. Use, “I understnad what
            your saying; t hought that too; but let me show you what I found
            out.” If you can answer their question with a question and keep dowing that..You know the old Socratic method. But, if you make it controversial and in their face, you lose. No venting, allowed, lol

        2. “…the GOP new agriculture Bill?”

          That was mentioned. Some lady called in and complained that the bill included food stamps. Isn’t Federal Farm Insurance a form of food stamps?

            1. “…it goes to white people, not the coloreds.”

              Very sad, but so true.

  9. R.I.P. Gore Vidal
    The great Unmentionable Evil
    “The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze age tezxt known as the old testament, three anti human religions have evolved_Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal-god ids the omnipotent father-hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is a jealous god, of course. He requires total obedience from everyone on earth, as he is place not for just one tribe but for all creation. Those who would reject him must be converted or killed for their own good. Ultimately totalitarianism is the only politics that can serve the sky-god’s purpose.”

    1. By the way, whatever happened to the Supreme Goddess? Or doesn’t our 6,000-year-old Mr. God need a mate? Perhaps he’s hermaphroditic? Or he does’t do sex?

      Would Michele Bachmann make a good substitute Goddess?

      So many unanswered questions. So little time to devote to this theological crap game.

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