While waiting to get my oil changed today, I was flipping through a "news" magazine called The Trumpet. Apparently, it's a magazine that offers free subscriptions, and I'm hoping that somebody signed up my mechanic for it rather than it being his subscription. (Actually, I don't really care so long as he keeps doing a good job on my car.) See, the deal with this magazine is that it offers a look at the news from a Biblical perspective. Oh boy. Personally, I'd like to see a news magazine that offers an Iliadical perspective, but that's just me.
A few things struck me! One was that the editors apparently encourage a lot of exclamation points! This is how you know that they're serious about what they're talking about! Other than that, content-wise it had such absurdities like how the Hubbel Telescope helps to prove that DA JEEBUS created the Universe rather than evolution. (Interesting, I always thought that evolution had nothing to do with the cosmos in the first place. Well, it's not like Christians ever fail to do their research.) Another amusing bit was how apparently what's going on with China, Russia, and Japan is all foretold by Biblical prophecy, which is interesting since the Bible writers probably knew very little, if anything, about any of those places.
The one that really got my head spinning was the one about all the wildfires and whatnot that are happening in Australia. The writer went on to quote Ann Graham, daughter of Billy Graham, from something that she said shortly after the attacks on 9/11. She was asked how God could possibly let things like this happen, and her response was as follows:
"I believe that God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman that He is, I believe that He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand that He leave us alone?"
The thing is, I remember getting an email with her quote shortly after 9/11. It described her thoughts as being "profound" and "insightful". I guess that the definitions of those words have changed, as I prefer to think of her thoughts as "ignorant" and "asinine". I mean, I guess it makes a lot of sense if you were in a coma before 9/11 (or the wildfires, if you're Australian) and never bothered to read about anything that's ever happened before then.
I seem to be unaware of a time when God offered his blessing and protection. I'm assuming that Graham was talking about DA JEEBUS and not Chronus, who ruled The Earth during The Golden Age. Perhaps she meant that day or two before Adam and Eve were convinced by a talking snake to eat some fruit. Because other than that, I've got nothing.
I mean, to when is she referring? The Great Depression? World War I? The Black Plague? Has there ever been a generation that hasn't seen its fair share of suffering and strife? I mean, for Pete's sake, 9/11 pales in comparison to the loss of lives that came as a result of the Civil War. Were we not Godly enough back then too?
Another article went into the usual mental backflips that one needs to go through in order to justify why a loving God watches little children starve. Apparently, God is allowing all of these things to happen so we can learn that we can't live withouth his divine guidance. I honestly don't know why this makes believers feel better. It kind of makes God look like a petulant child. "Oh yeah? If you're not gonna play my way, then I'm going to take my omnipotence and omnibenevolence and go home!" Furthermore, how much more does he need to let happen until we finally get the point? I don't know about you, but if God came down tomorrow and said, "See? See how bad you guys suck at taking care of this world without me?" I'd immediately cry "uncle" and say that He's right. I mean, weren't the decades of the Holocaust, The Purges, and the Cultural Revolution enough to get the point across? God needs to see a few more genocides before he finally decides, "Well, I guess I've made my point."
Of course, he can't do anything until all of the vague prophecies are fulfilled, and we get Armageddon laser light show complete with a dragon and giant roaches with scorpion tails. I mean, if you believe in all of this stuff, then that's pretty much what you have to accept.
It's amazing how much easier (and freeing) it is to just accept the fact that we're responsible for our own lives and no magic sky-fairy is ever going to make things better.