At the end of every election cycle comes that special moment when you can sit back and relax, satisfied in the knowledge that you have watched your last campaign ad. This time around it feels as if we have been bombarded with more than ever before and however the election itself plays out, I will be very glad of the reprieve. However, in these final hours, I ask that you indulge me by watching just one more, an ad narrated by Mike Huckabee titled “Test of Fire”.
“Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?”
If you are a Christian, Mike Huckabee is telling you not only what you should believe but who you should be voting for. The arguments being used in this ad are not based upon a political or economic ideology but on singularly religious grounds.
Poorly hidden within all that imagery of a pretend blacksmith haphazardly pounding on forged words, is the threat of damnation for those who choose to vote the wrong way.
While most Christians seem to believe that their god created mankind with the power of free will, Mr. Huckabee and his ilk suggest that a vote for the wrong candidate could land you in hell. These men and women would have you believe that you should vote not for the candidate of your choice, but of Gods.
What good upstanding Christian would want to defy their almighty God and risk an eternity of suffering on the off chance that someone with a low paying job my need access to inexpensive contraceptives, or that their gay friends may someday want to marry? This despite the fact that, last I checked, their god had failed to officially endorse any candidate on the ballot.
Well, I have this to say to Mr. Huckabee and all those who believe as he does:
If your god is so small minded and petty as to condemn you to an eternity of suffering because you voted for the candidate who best represented your personal values in this, or any election, maybe you need a better god.
Some of you might suggest, at this point, that it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of election season and lots of people will say some pretty crazy things to make their respective partisan points. Political contests do tend to polarize us to a greater than normal extent. I concede that point.
It is at times like this that we really need something to pull us together as a singular people. If there is any silver lining to be found in the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy, it must be that a natural disaster of this magnitude can force us to put aside the insanity and join together in common purpose.
“Hurricane Sandy is hitting 21 years to the day of the Perfect Storm of October 30, 1991. This was the day that President George Bush Sr. initiated the Madrid Peace Process to divide the land of Israel, including Jerusalem. America has been under God’s judgment since this event.”
—Pastor John McTernan
Or perhaps not…,
“The Great Flood in the time of Noah was triggered by the recognition of same-gender marriages. The Lord will not bring another flood to destroy the entire world, but he could punish particular areas with a flood.”
—Rabbi Noson Leiter, discussing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
Think I’m just singling out few token crazies to make my point? I truly wish that these folks were alone in their hysteria, but they are not. Among all the prayers and outpouring of support I have seen on Facebook and Twitter over the last week have been similar accusations from otherwise ordinary citizens who honestly believe that Hurricane Sandy was a punishment sent by their god against our nation.
And then, there was this:
“Destroying everything by the command of Allah, these punishing winds serve as a just recompense for their disbelief and crimes against Islam. It is the answer to the prayers of the oppressed Muslims across the globe and a response to the silent whispers of the Muslim prisoners. So we call upon the Kuffar in the U.S. to reject their falsehood before it’s too late, embrace Islam and enter to the fold of the faithful.”
—Statement from the Al Shabaab cell of al-Qaeda
You shall know them by the company they keep.
So we have a sampling of Christians, Jews and extremists from a radical Islamic terror group who all see Hurricane Sandy as a judgement upon the decadent citizens of the United States for our collective sins against the Most High.
I suppose it’s nice to know that Christians, Jews and Muslims can still manage to find some common ground.
Allow me to say this one more time because I think it bears repeating:
If your god has aim so poor that he has to smite an entire area of the country with hardship instead of just the people he is angry with; if he is so feeble that he is unable to strike his enemies on his own or properly defend his chosen people without American military involvement; if he demands that adulterers and witches be stoned in the streets, that homosexuals do not receive the same rights and freedoms as everyone else and that rape victims carry the seed of their attackers to term; if he requires you to pass a “test of fire” when you enter the voting booth and vote for the candidate he chooses…,
Maybe you need a better god!