I cried for my country on a recent morning.
I am alarmed at our heartlessness.Â Personal responsibility can never be abandoned and itâ€™s illogical to expect help from people who donâ€™t like you, but change must be made at the policy level, and I know politicians and others with the power of influence need a change of heart.
Thereâ€™s a line in Khaled Hosseiniâ€™s novel, The Kite Runner, that says, â€œGod help us if these [religious tyrants] ever take power in Afghanistan.â€Â I may be paraphrasing that line slightly now, but I remember the circumstances.Â Amir, the main character, has reminded his father, who is enjoying his scotch, that the teachers and clerics in school say that drinking alcohol is a sin.Â They have a litany of other â€œdo nots,â€ but Amirâ€™s father thinks there is only one: theft.Â And he is clear about where his soul stands otherwise.
God help us if the Tea Party gets its way.Â God help is if that is Godâ€™s way.
That is possible.Â I thought about some of Godâ€™s more mysterious and frustrating ways through my tears.Â Is he allowing callous hearts to harden further, preparing the way for total destruction, similar to the way he waited patiently for the Amoritesâ€™ sin to reach its full measure before he commanded Israelâ€™s army to commit genocide against them and drive them out of the Promised Land hundreds of years later?
Or is he getting his will when these heartless, possibly racist religious tyrants succeedâ€”not because God wants ample reason to punish our selfishness and poor judgment, but because they are in fact doing what he asks?Â Whether or not we agree with whatever Godâ€™s will is, the success of a movement has been used as a litmus test for the power behind it.Â When the apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin for going right back to teaching about Jesus after having been jailed for doing the same thing, a Pharisee said to the crowd, â€œLeave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.Â But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.â€
And if what theyâ€™re doing is from God, for his planned route to punishment or for a victory of principles that would be contrary to an Almighty that I want to worship, my ultimate destruction is imminent.
And if it is not?Â Well, I think America is a much better place and Christianity is a much easier sell when those who care more about billionaires getting tax cuts so they can hire more workers at minimum wage and continue not investing in their communities than they do about helping the unemployed to re-establish themselves at the income level they had before losing their jobs, lose elections.