I can’t count how many times in my life I have heard of someone praying for a specific outcome for some event and this outcome failing to materialize. It happens daily—all around me. This failure extends beyond prayer at times. In some cases, Churches will tell their members—and the rest of society, exactly what god wants to happen. This is often done as a means to motivate the flocks to act in a specific manner. Like prayer, these outcomes often fail to materialize. This should be problematic for Christians. Often it is not. In my unscientific study of the reasons Christians rationalize these failures, two surge to the front. They are, “god works in mysterious ways” and “it is/was god’s will”. Both of these are cop-outs which answer nothing.
I bring this up today because there is quite a bit of both going around these days. For the better part of the last year the Christian Right has been quite vocal in telling us exactly what god wants for America. God does not want Obama to win. God does not want same-sex marriage and equality to pass in any election anywhere. God wants the HHS Mandate repealed, and wants abstinence supported. God wants abortion to end. The list goes on, but these four will suffice for my purposes.
For the better part of a year, it was impossible to turn on the television, pick up a newspaper, drive down the highway (billboards), turn on talk radio and not hear Pastor after Pastor, Priest after Priest, Pundit after Pundit tell us not only that these things would be against the will of god; that these things are sins (yes even voting for Obama). They told us that, if we support the above agenda, we will be ushering in a period of darkness. That we would as a society be turning away from god and most importantly—GOD’S WILL. This type of speech was occurring nonstop from pulpit to the op-ed page in my local paper.
These same people will often be the first to inform an atheist such as myself, that god is responsible for all. That he is the Creator, that he knows our deepest thoughts and that he cares for us. They will inform us (unaware of the impossibility) that god is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent. Tornado hits the Midwest—god is mad about something. Something good happens, god is rewarding. They will freely admit that they put all of their trust into god’s hands. They will deliver their entire lives to him—knowing he will care for them.
These same people prayed—and prayed hard to see their (and their god’s) political agenda realized. They went to the polls in larger numbers than in 2004 and 2008—and they lost. They lost big.
Americans, or some American locations, rejected their ideas. Americans rejected the ideas of these Pastors, Priests, and Pundits. In short, America rejected what their god wanted to happen.
However, this feeling only lasts a few moments. A week has passed and already Pundits, Pastors, and Priests are telling us that what occurred is “god’s will” and that we cannot question it. What transpired last Tuesday is being excused as “god works in mysterious ways”, and we can’t question it. These same people have turned a complete 180 degrees and now fully accept that last Tuesday’s election results were orchestrated and approved by god—that his “will” was done. Wait—what about all the preaching, praying, and advertising that has assaulted me for the last year. It was pretty clear, from your own words, that these things were NOT god’s will. This is nothing more than back pedaling and making excuses for the failure of your supposed god, once again, to answer your desires.
These people are failing to ask some key questions. First, why didn’t god deliver to these devout and faithful people what they (and he) wanted? Second, they should be asking if they should really be trusting their Pastor, Priest, and Pundit. Those people may have been wrong. In fact, they MUST have been wrong. If god’s will was carried out, then he must support same-sex marriage, abortion, the HHS mandate, and President Obama. There is no other way to look at this if you believe that what occurred really is “god’s will”.
If I were a devout Christian, I would certainly have a heck of a lot of questions and soul searching to do. I would need to question everything my Pastor, Priest, and Pundit has told me. If you believe that god’s “will” was carried out…let me be the first to welcome you to the liberal side of the aisle, as that must be where your supposed god is hanging out. Any other view or a failure to ask some hard questions is only Christian dishonesty.
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