Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Sunday anti-sermon

The National Religious Broadcasters sponsored a debate between a group of evangelicals, two of whom are Trump supporters and two who oppose him.

I don't want to be disrespectful of anyone else's religious beliefs, and perhaps one should never apply logic and reason to religious discussion.  But as an escapee myself from an extended family that includes many deeply involved, biblical literalists, I cannot help noticing some of the contortions they put themselves through in trying to say two things that are completely antithetical at the same time.  So I took a look at the lengthy summary provided by Right Wing Watch.

The big question that plagued me in college, as I grappled with finding a more liberal approach to the deep existential questions, was:   How can God be all powerful and also allow such evil to exist in the world?   Either God is not all powerful, or he's not good.

Saying that God gave man the freedom to choose, and it's up to us to solve the problems that God created?   No, that does not satisfy me.  What a cosmic cruelty to create a world with evil that affects people who have no possibility of overcoming that evil?   I decided I just couldn't go along with such a sadistic supreme being.   So I gave it up.   I'm not a militant atheist;  just an agnostic humanist who no longer feels the need to find an answer to the ultimate question about a supreme being.

Well, that's all a little beside the point of what I wanted to write here.   But I guess I'm trying to explain my sensitivity to a kind of thinking that still gets me riled up, 65 years later.  Here's what caught my eye in an excerpt from this debate.   It stood out, in the lengthy summary of the debate, like a breath of fresh air -- a bit of reason in a swamp of mush.

Bill Wichterman, who once served as a special adviser to President George W. Bush, is one of the Never Trump evangelicals.  He challenged the others who say they won’t vote for Clinton because they believe she’s a liar, but will vote for Trump hoping that he’s been lying and doesn’t really mean what he says.  

It seems to me a special problem that only people practiced in lying to themselves about reality -- like literally believing that all the incompatibilities in the Bible are true -- can make this leap.  Sometimes, it's a marvel to behold.   Some of them even say that God has sent Donald Trump to be our president at this time.  Ah, the power of the human mind to rationalize.  Anyone who wants to read some of their contortions, here's the link: 

Yes.   The man lies, people.   Stop saying God sent him to save us.   If you want to say you agree with him, then vote for him.   But don't blame God.  It's time to start using the L word.


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