Regardless of the election results tomorrow, someone is going to predict that God is likely to strike down a) this country, b) people who voted for the “wrong person” or c) everyone who doesn’t believe God will actually act.
No one will say that God will reward anyone. After all, in the view of the truly faithful, God only attacks and takes His vengeance. That’s why He has hurricanes and earthquakes in His arsenal. No bouquets, no compliments, just a wrathful deity.
Just a fun-loving kind of guy. Apparently, the only reason to pray to God is to avoid getting lit up by a lightning bolt.
Such views are naturally the providence of fanatical American Christians. Muslims seemed to have missed out on the idea that God simply plans to annihilate everyone. So have Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and everyone else.
Fortunately, this country is blessed with stalwarts of wisdom to set the world straight. For example, there’s Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) who agreed slavery was terrible – nice of him – but insisted that the current situation is “far worse.”
This country, he said in a phone call to media, may be on the verge of vanishing because the government is following biblical teachings. “We have never as an entire nation overall been so far away from God’s teaching and so openly rebelling, even from the top, against God’s teachings in the Bible."
Of course, Gohmert has made claims like this before. He announced that the mass murders in a Colorado theater this summer were evidence of God’s displeasure. Does that mean the survivors have survived God’s wrath? Should they be wary in the future? Or did He fail to properly train the shooter, James Holmes.
Or maybe the whole thing was a conspiracy as a lawsuit filed in July by an unidentified shooting victim – and tossed out of court soon after – that billionaire Philip Anschutz, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, Arapaho County Dist. Atty. Carol Chambers conspired with Holmes to commit the crimes.
God, of course, would have had nothing to do with that cabal.
Such claims raise one question: How does Gohmert know what God is thinking? Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt raised that’s same question in regards Indiana Republican senatorial candidate Richard Mourdoch, who said that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Flynt’s repose was to offer $1 million for "letters, e-mail, text messages or videos from God, or messages addressed to you from God transmitted by any third party, including the Republican National Committee or the Romney/Ryan campaign" that would to substantiate the claim.
"I assume that you would not have made this statement unless you had been authorized by God," the ad states. "No one who believes in God would ever use the Almighty's name in vain. That would be blasphemy."
Mourdoch didn’t answer. Rep. Louie Gohmert wouldn’t either if the offer was made to him.
They just ”know” what God is thinking.
Prophets of old could get away with such claims because no one knew better.
We do today. The election doesn’t reflect God’s voice. It reflects the collective wisdom of the voters. Sometimes, they make a wise choice. Then, we enjoy reasonably prosperous times. Sometimes, they don’t. Then, we suffer.
No divine assistance is required.
Long-time religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious history. He also speaks at various religious organizations throughout Florida. You can reach him at www.williamplazarus.net. He is the author of the famed Unauthorized Biography of Nostradamus; The Last Testament of Simon Peter; The Gospel Truth: Where Did the Gospel Writers Get Their Information; Noel: The Lore and Tradition of Christmas Carols; and Dummies Guide to Comparative Religion. His books are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers. He can also be followed on Twitter.
You can enroll in his on-line class, Comparative Religion for Dummies, at http://www.udemy.com/comparative-religion-for-dummies/?promote=1