Keith Olbermann gave an insightful special commentary
concerning the Rotten Rhetoric that has engulfed politics. I think
everyone should view it: he raises some good points and he even
apologizes to viewers for using the same kind of militaristic,
gun-related rhetoric. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that Olbermann included both Left and Right in his speech and transcended the image of crosshaired
gun sights by condemning all violent political rhetoric. It seemed
quite inclusive. However, it did not include a vital component of
today's American society.
It did not include God.
No, I'm not going all batsh *t-crazy,
at least not in a theological sense: with a God who has been the
instigator of all things good and bad, apologies are not on the table.
Explanations aren't even considered. "He works in mysterious ways" has
been the ubiquitous reason why bad things happen to good people. It's
lame, but God gets away with doing things simply because He's ...God.
And He's done some pretty horrendous things: drowned innocent animals in the Great Flood, commanded genocide (slaying of the Moabites ),
condoned slavery, toyed sadistically with Jonah on a bet with Satan,
and created the Texas Board of Education. But perhaps the worst thing
God has ever done to humanity is to create hypocritical and corrupt
apostles, prophets and preachers who will never apologize either: as
"representative" "anointed" even "beloved" shepherds of God, they and
their chosen feel they are exempt from guilt, hence, without
consciences and are to able to do most anything as long as they
rationalize it as "God's will."
sins that have been committed against humanity and in the name of God
are, like Satan's followers, Legion. History looks a lot like the
infinite expanse of dead and dying soldiers in Gone With The Wind:
religious strife litters humanity's past and "Peace On Earth, Good Will
Towards Men" seems like a bad joke. And it will stay that way as long
as there are "men of God" campaigning for the sake of righteousness.
The instance of Jared Lee Laughner's horrendous assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has prompted the MSM
to analyze just how much politicians and pundits exacerbate violence
with their speech and actions. Notice, however, that not one
commentator mentioned anyone within the Religious Right communities: Giffords has weighed in as a pro-choice, pro- ENDA and pro-Health Care Reform. There are over 500 churches in
the Tucson metropolitan area, with Baptist (approx. 80), Mormon (90+) and Catholic (100+) churches. What are the chances that none of them
campaigned vitriolically against Giffords ? Have any of those churches apologized?
Hardly. Not a peep out of any of them. Religious demonizers , like God, never apologize.
And how many of those churches supported Giffords opponent Jesse Kelly who, BTW, sponsored a campaign fundraiser* wherein people could shoot an M-16 for sport? Those churches and the rest of the Religious Right, if called on the carpet, will probably refocus the debate by pointing to entities like Westboro Baptist Church (who have announced that they will picket the funerals of those killed in the shooting). They will use stark contrast to deflect criticism or they will simply take an how-DARE-you stance, like when Tony Perkins ludicrously told the nation that the Religious Right had absolutely no culpability in the suicides of gay teens:
There is an abundance of evidence that homosexuals experience higher rates of mental health problems in general, including depression. However, there is no empirical evidence to link this with society's general disapproval of homosexual conduct.
most insipid lack of remorse for extremely violent message content lies
in everything done by a group named Repent Amarillo. I've written about
it before, but its last publicity-grabbing escapade deserves to be
reiterated: the execution of Santa Claus. "Santa" was really a pinata
(to placate critics, of course), but the guns and ammo used were
real...in front of a group of children ...who will probably develop
psychoses larger than that of Jared Lee Laughner . No one rushed forward to accuse them of emotional child abuse because they were, of course, acting in the "name of the Lord."
Rampages like Laughner's help develop a serious time of reflection as to their causes. Violent rhetoric, militaristic terms,
virulent attack modes can come from pulpits as well as politicians. We
live amidst a slew of God's self-appointed emissaries who have never
apologized for their organized religion's crimes and never expect to
apologizefor their Rotten Rhetoric now or in the future. They may indulge themselves in vicious platitudes of the worst kind while thinking themselves totally unaccountable.
After all, righteous arrogance has its privileges. Just ask God.
* Flier blurb: "Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."