MSNBC's Keith Olbermann gave an insightful special commentary
concerning the Rotten Rhetoric that has engulfed politics. I think
everyone should view it. Olbermann 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 cross-haired 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.
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, well, He's...God.
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. As
"representative," "anointed," even "beloved" shepherds of God, they and
their chosen feel they are exempt from guilt; hence, without
consciences and are 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.
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+). 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 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, whose members 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."
the 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."
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 apologize for their
Rotten Rhetoric now or in the future. They arrogantly indulge themselves in
vicious platitudes of the worst kind while thinking themselves totally
After all, righteous arrogance has its privileges. Just ask God.