This post is a riff on an article by Osita Nwanevu entitled “Today in Conservative Media: The Texas Shooting Victims Were Praying to Be Killed,“ published earlier this week on slate.com (http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/11/06/today_in_conservative_media_the_texas_shooting_victims_were_praying_to_be.html).
All the quotations are taken from that article.
In my previous post (“God Damned”) I tried to offer a way for God to retire from the scene so as to avoid being blamed for the ills of the world. I’m afraid that the responses of the right-wing (actually we all know it’s the wrong-wing) media and their assorted pundits (as reported by Osita Nwanevu) have forced me back to the keyboard.*
Here, for instance, is David French’s call to prayer in the supposedly thoughtful (as distinct from the rabble-rousing Trumpmaniacs) Conservative rag The National Review:
It’s as simple as this: God is sovereign, and every good and perfect gift comes from Him. . . .If there’s one thing that’s clear from the spate of mass killings in the United States, it’s that we need God to move.
Let’s parse this:
Everything good comes from God. But there’s a hell of a lot of bad going on, witness this church mass slaughter that French’s response is all about. Now, the way to make things right is to pray to God “to move.” Which means, it seems, that the deity is sitting on his haunches letting all this bad stuff go down and needs a prayerful poke in the ribs to eliminate this killing madness from the world.
That he has not done so up to now suggests to my mind, if French is correct, either an indifference to man’s suffering or an actual maleficent delight in the misery of his creatures.
Poor God! As I wrote in my previous post, here he is getting the blame again from a supposed believer in him. (An atheist wouldn’t have written what French did.)
Let’s turn to Hans Fiene at the Federalist and his piece entitled “When The Saints of First Baptist Church Were Murdered, God Was Answering Their Prayers.” (We will leave aside the shaky usage here of the term “Saints.”)
“It may seem,“ wrote Fiene,
on the surface, that God was refusing to give . . . protection [from worldly evil] to his Texan children. But we are also praying that God would deliver us from evil eternally. Through these same words, we are asking God to deliver us out of this evil world and into his heavenly glory, where no violence, persecution, cruelty, or hatred will ever afflict us again.
OK, let’s parse this one:
So when the gunman opened fire and killed the Texas worshippers, he was the instrument by which God was answering the prayers of the faithful, who desired, above all else, to be heaven-bound and free from the very evil that was sending them there. Thus God works in mysterious ways to perform his good deeds, such as contracting with a mass murderer to riddle the “Saints” with rifle fire, sending, at random, some to their heavenly sanctuary, leaving others maimed in hospital, awaiting a new weapon-wielding deliverer.
There’s more in Nwanevu’s article, but that’s enough comment from me. My head hurts, and my heart goes out to God. What did he do to deserve such believers?
*Remember the unofficial motto of this website:
“Fools rush into my head, and so I write. (Alexander Pope)