I have, I feel I must confess, an unsavory fascination with watching Christians arguing amongst themselves about matters of morality and ethics.
I do try to stay away from these debates.
And mostly I am successful.
But occasionally I’ll find myself caught up in the tawdry spectacle.
I usually feel dirty, and a little disappointed with myself. The same sort of feeling I remember coming away with after watching an episode of Jerry Springer, when it first started to get popular and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Most recently, I found myself reading an article, the link to which had been posted by an old high school friend, in which a Christian minister was trying to convince his extended flock that they ought to stop criticizing Donald Trump. Because ‘the Donald’ is our president, which means he was put there, by God, as all leaders are, for a purpose, and all the philandering, the tax evasion and lying, the caging of children and constant stream of reprehensible comments, is all completely beside the point. It is the moral duty of every good Christian, he suggests, to fully support the President and his agenda.
Obviously, it was not an article written for me or mine.
No, it was a missive from Christians, to Christians, extolling the current President as an instrument of God for whom any moral qualms should be set aside.
And after I’d made sure that it wasn’t something published by The Onion, I read it again…,
…and double checked for signs of satire.
The President of the United States was placed in office by the Christian god.
They, the Christians, at least some of them, really believe this.
It seems unlikely, but it does bring up some interesting questions, like…,
How does that work with free will?
I mean, did God work his will upon just enough voters, in the right states, to sway the Electoral College? Should a vote even count if some random deity (who is not even an American citizen, by the way) has his way with your freedom of choice? Or did he work his dark miracle through the nimble fingers of Russian hackers and fake news accounts?
And what was the deal with Obama?
Did the Most High’s omnipotence come up short during those two elections?
Or did the Christian god decide to put the black guy in the Oval Office for those eight years. You know, the secret Muslim who wanted to destroy America, start a race war, throw all the republicans into FEMA Camps, cripple the economy, steal your money to pay for someone else’s healthcare…, THAT guy!
And if he DID put Obama into office, where was all that “He’s the instrument of God who’s failings you should ignore because it’s all part of God’s plan” bullshit that they trot out when it’s convenient for their agenda.
You’d have thought they wouldn’t have cared so much about a birth certificate, if he had a Biblical stamp of approval.
Sometimes I wonder how it would be different if we treated leadership as we did with the Celtic kings during pagan times.
The king was chosen not by any particular god, but by the elders of the tribe.
And in assuming kingship over the land, he ceremonially took the goddess of that domain as his wife. And if he pleased her, if he treated her well, with all the proper respect and worship that was due a woman and goddess, the soil would be bountiful, his wars successful, and his people, prosperous.
It’s an interesting line of thought.
But when I begin to consider how those among our present leadership actually treat women, the things they say, the decisions they make…,
No, it’s probably best we leave the true gods out of modern politics. We’re obviously not sophisticated enough for them. Not just yet.
The time may come, however.
A time for gods and country.