God Replies to A Christian From 2012

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Even in an election as vituperative as any in American history, one piece of campaign literature stood out as especially slimy. That was "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America," first published by Focus on the Family Action. The letter, written retrospectively, depicts an America dominated by a liberal Supreme Court. Gay marriage is legal, the FCC has been stripped of its power to regulate content, and pornography is openly broadcast on television. Health care is universal but so inefficient there are long waits for services and virtually no care for the elderly. Al-Qaeda has overrun Iraq, Iran has nuked Tel Aviv (interestingly, Israel didn't retaliate with its far larger nuclear arsenal) and Israel has been reduced to a rump state. Russia has reoccupied much of Eastern Europe, and there have been major terrorist attacks on American soil. The letter was signed "A Christian From 2012."

Now of course there's no way really to know what God would say in reply, but I think it's more than passing possible it might be something like the following. (Historical references are to events depicted in the letter. Looking up the Biblical references is left as an exercise to the reader.)

God Replies to A Christian From 2012

I am aware of the anguished letter you addressed to your predecessors in 2008. In fact, since I exist outside of time, I am aware of it when the Big Bang occurred and the dinosaurs walked the Earth, just as I am seeing those events even now. ("Now" doesn't mean the same thing to Me that it does to you.) Although you end your letter paying lip service to the idea that I am sovereign in history, you never bother to explore the real implications of what that means. You merely think being sovereign means I will eventually make things come out the way you want them to turn out. You and many of your fellows are like the Jews of Jeremiah's day, blaming their problems on other people's sins. They concocted a saying that their fathers had eaten sour grapes and they had toothaches as a result. Some of you say I allowed the events of the last four years to happen to test your fortitude, to strengthen the Church, or to punish America, and you are merely the victims of collateral damage. The reality is I allowed Barack Obama to win in 2008 because I wanted him to win. Your prayers are not being answered because I am not listening to them. I have spat you out of my mouth. You are being punished for your sins and nobody else's. I am not punishing America, I am punishing you. This is personal.

Recall the state of affairs leading up to the election. Gasoline rose to $4 a gallon and the stock market crashed. It was a perfect storm, if I do say so myself. Then after the election, gasoline prices fell by more than half. Has it even remotely occurred to you that I might have had something to do with all that? If a similar combination of events had swung the election the other way, you would have proclaimed My involvement from the rooftops. Why do you refuse to see My involvement the way things actually happened? (Just as a reminder, all My questions are rhetorical. I already know the answers.)

You live in tumultuous times. Your nation has experienced attacks on its own soil. The first nuclear attack in over half a century has taken place. Russia has reasserted its dominion over Eastern Europe. Yet over half of your letter is about sex and particularly your frustration over not being allowed to police the sexual conduct of others. One would think there are no other more pressing issues facing your world. You lament with particular bitterness the new rights given to homosexuals. Their personal morality is Mine to deal with, not yours. What specifically have any of them ever done to you to justify your hatred of them? You speak as if you have a right to dictate morality to others, like a six year old child who thinks he has the right to discipline his younger sister. You have no right whatsoever, and not even any authority except what I give you, which I haven't. You certainly have no right to complain if I take it away because you abuse or misuse it.

There are only two links in My chain of command: Me, and you. It is not Me, you, and gays, or non-Christians, or people you disapprove of. You are at the bottom of the chain. There is nobody below you.

Pornography on television is bad, but you have no real need to own a television. You have no inherent right to a television. The vast majority of people who ever lived never saw a television. Living in a time when such things as television are even possible is a privilege, not a right. For all you know, at this very instant an electromagnetic pulse from a neutron star may be on its way to Earth to destroy all the electronics on Earth and send you back to the days of the steam engine. Be grateful you have technology at all. I could just as easily have caused you to be born a peasant in the Middle Ages, and you would work ten times harder for far less than all the luxuries you think you have "earned." I may be offended by pornography on the Internet, but I am far more offended at the way Christians have used the Internet to spread lies and slander. There is no rumor so absurd or so vile that Christians will not hit the "Forward" button to send it onward. Do you remember the rumor about Procter and Gamble's logo being Satanic? Or the one about Barack Obama"s birth certificate being a forgery? Have you forgotten that I said "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor?" Do you see any exceptions in there for passing along lies received in e-mails?

Many of the actions of your Supreme Court are indeed appalling, but who is responsible for them? If your allegedly Christian great-grandparents had abolished segregation, or better yet, never instituted it to begin with, there would have been no Brown vs. Board of Education, and none of the intrusive judicial and legislative measures that built upon it. Not only did their inaction bring about Brown vs. Board of Education, but their petulant refusal to obey My command to submit to those in lawful authority brought about even more stringent laws. If your grandparents had provided a humane way for women to deal with unwanted pregnancies, there would have been no Roe vs. Wade. Homes for unwed mothers, medical care and adoption would have been nice, but the single most important thing Christians could have done was for Christians to shut their yapping mouths. Because Christians love to gossip. Would the stigma of unwed motherhood have been anywhere near as hard to bear if Christians had simply shut up? And just like with segregation, instead of obeying My clear command to submit to lawful authority, you made fools of yourselves trying to resist.

Incidentally, where exactly did I ever say anything about abortion? Psalm 139, verses 13 and 14, about knowing you in your womb? Why don't you ever cite verse 15, where it mentions being formed in the bowels of the earth? Why is knowing you in the womb to be taken literally, but being formed in the bowels of the earth isn't?

And while we are on the subject of selective use of the Bible, why do we see so much Christian commentary about sex and so little on My commands about welcoming foreigners into your midst? And you have the sheer, unmitigated effrontery to accuse others of reading the Bible selectively?

I am tired of self-described Christians calling Me a liar and flagrantly disobeying Me. I placed abundant evidence in nature to reveal the way it works, and I gave certain humans the skill and  insight to interpret that evidence. I gave others the insight to study My sayings and interpret them as well. I expressed Myself in language so obviously figurative that no honest, rational human could fail to see I was speaking in imagery. You chose to ignore the evidence before you, and to disrespect the authorities to whom I gave understanding. I told you explicitly to submit to those in lawful authority, but instead you conjured up false prophets and created cults worshiping a literal seven day creation and intricate End Time scenarios, and you listen to people who lie and distort their professional credentials, raising crackpots and charlatans to the status of "experts" to justify your refusal to accept reality. You will not listen to Me and the people to whom I gave lawful authority, why should I listen to you?

Your letter laments the restrictions on home schooling. I once said liars have no part in My Kingdom. How do you think I feel about people lying to children, and claiming to do it in My name? Is there an asterisk by that verse leading to a footnote saying it doesn't apply to Christians? Did you think I was merely being figurative when I said it was better to tie a millstone around your neck and jump into the sea than lead children astray? Of course you did. I have noticed that you take literally any verses that tell you things you want to believe, and you take figuratively any that tell you what you do not want to hear, when you are not simply ignoring them altogether.

I once said "subdue the earth." Where did I tell you to desecrate it? Where are my great auks, my passenger pigeons, my pretty little Carolina parakeets? Show Me where I gave you authorization to drive a single species to extinction. Do you think you will escape accountability? What gives you the right to injure My harmless, innocent manatees just because you want to race around in pleasure boats? Why is it that, for many of you, a "day" in Genesis must mean a literal 24 hour day, and being caught up in the clouds in Thessalonians must mean literally being caught up into the clouds, but the earth becoming unbearably hot in Revelation, for some strange reason, does not literally mean the earth will become unbearably hot? What about the parable of the wise virgins, who planned for their oil running out, and the foolish ones, who didn't? Could I have described your present situation any more clearly? Who, except you yourselves, is to blame for gasoline costing $7 a gallon? Do you remember the joke about the old lady in a flood who declared she would trust in Me instead of accepting rescue? Finally she drowned, came before Me and asked: "Why didn't you rescue me?" I told her I had sent three boats and a helicopter. I sent you 35 years" warning that it was dangerous to take cheap petroleum supplies for granted. Whose fault is it that you didn't act on it?

Many believers have claimed to take great pride in following My word, until My word is "no." You would think seventy years of exile would have taught the Jews a lesson, but by the time of Jesus they had fallen back into a smug, pompous, arrogant, stagnant, self-righteous form of religion more corrupt than it had been in the days of the Prophets. Islam prospered for centuries before turning its back on reason and learning, and retreating into superstition, and eight centuries later, they are still in denial that they did it all to themselves. In your fantasies, the 1950's were a golden age of morality. In fact they were a cesspool. It was a wonderful time for white males, with women relegated to the role of servants and blacks still subject to lynching, discrimination, and exclusion from decent jobs and housing. I happen to like seeing women and blacks flying the Space Shuttle. So I turned that generation over to its enemies. Do you really think the Sexual Revolution would have been so sweeping if American society really had been as moral as it claimed to be? Instead, it was a whitewashed tomb. I simply allowed it to collapse. But it was not long before the Sixties degenerated from idealism to narcissism, so I sent that generation into exile as well. Each time, a few people understood, but most of the people who took power were merely interested in using it to satisfy their own ambitions.

Christians dominated your country for most of its history. You had every opportunity to build good roads and establish free public schools for all. You failed, so the state stepped in and did it for Me. You could have established Christian programs to provide jobs and end poverty in your society. You did not. Food pantries are laudable, but they are far from sufficient. Your letter laments the long waits for medical care in 2012. You had every opportunity to establish Christian programs to provide medical care for all. You did not. A long wait for treatment is a burden to people who once enjoyed better, but it is a huge improvement for those who never had medical care at all before. Even now, what is to stop you from establishing Christian medical programs that surpass state plans in quality and availability? Lack of money? It will not hurt your televangelists to buy suits off the rack, or put off church expansions, or sell their planes. Do you think I have not noticed that in the world some of you envision without taxes, you would tithe the amount you save on taxes, and pocket the other ninety per cent?

You could have won in 2008. Instead, you chose to make Christians a laughingstock among thinking people by denying evolution, climate change, and peak oil, using fake evidence and phony experts to justify your anti-intellectualism to yourselves. Now it is your turn in the wilderness. The sooner you start blaming the people who were really at fault - yourselves - the sooner you can come in from the heat.

Update

The above was written around Election Day, 2008. Well, it's 2012. Of the predictions in the "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America," the only one that even came approximately true is lifting the ban on gays in the military. Worth bearing in mind next time these people predict how some policy will devastate the economy, or unleash their next Bible prophecy blather.


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Created 06 November 2008;  Last Update 03 October, 2012

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