Friday, September 02, 2005

American Family Association Is A Hate Organization & There Is A Better Way

Agape Press is an arm of the American Family Association and this is what they say are the benefits of Hurricane Katrina:
The pastor explains that for years he has warned people that unless Christians in New Orleans took a strong stand against such things as local abortion clinics, the yearly Mardi Gras celebrations, and the annual event known as "Southern Decadence" -- an annual six-day "gay pride" event scheduled to be hosted by the city this week -- God's judgment would be felt.

“New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion -- it's free of all of those things now," Shanks says. "God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there -- and now we're going to start over again."
Well, I used to like the drinking that took place in New Orleans, I love the bare breasts on display in New Orleans (actually I am partial to them in any location), the sodomites are my friends and I'm a Witch so he pretty much attacked everything and everybody I like.

How can you believe in a god that vicious and destructive? Why would you want to believe in a god of hate? Isn't this really the devil he worships? These people are evil; celebrating the misery of others. And do they think that all those people at the convention center and superdome are wicked? What about the babies-are they wicked and deserve punishment as well?

Consider this angry god and contrast this concept with the God that Rabbi Harold Kushner believes in:
All the responses to tragedy which we have considered have at least one thing in common. They all assume that God is the cause of our suffering, and they try to understand why God would want us to suffer. Is it for our own good, or is it a punishment we deserve, or could it be that God does not care what happens to us? Many of the answers were sensitive and imaginative, but none was totally satisfying. Some led us to blame ourselves in order to spare God’s reputation. Others asked us to deny reality or to repress our true feelings. We were left either hating ourselves for deserving such a fate, or hating God for sending it to us when we did not deserve it.

There may be another approach. Maybe God does not cause our suffering. Maybe it happens for some reason other than the will of God. The psalmist writes, “I lift mine eyes to the hills; from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, maker of Heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1–2) He does not say, “My pain comes from the Lord,” or “my tragedy comes from the Lord.” He says “my help comes from the Lord.”

Could it be that God does not cause the bad things that happen to us? Could it be that He doesn’t decide which families shall give birth to a handicapped child, that He did not single out Ron to be crippled by a bullet or Helen by a degenerative disease, but rather that He stands ready to help them and us cope with our tragedies if we could only get beyond the feelings of guilt and anger that separate us from Him? Could it be that “How could God do this to me?” is really the wrong question for us to ask?

From When Bad Things Happen To Good People
Rabbi Kushner then takes the reader through an analysis of the Book of Job that is both insighful and useful. He ends by challenging us, all of us with this: In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.

Let the haters hate. There are people who need our help. Give what you can and take time to let your family know you love them. Have a good weekend.