Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On God and Politics (and Professional Sports)

Michele Bachmann.  Ever hear of her?  If not, you will.  She is running for president of the United States of America in 2012.  That's fine; she meets the qualifications.  Running for the nation's highest office is a decision not to be made lightly, of course. 

Except Ms. Bachmann didn't make that decision.  God did.  According to her, God wants her to run

Pardon me, but that's [expletive] scary. 

What Ms. Bachmann (and anyone else who's ever done something because an invisible exterior force advised them to) essentially did in making that statement was remove any sense of accountability on her part.  Sink or swim, it's not her fault.  It was God's. 

If she somehow first wins the Republican primary and then, through America's likely misplaced resentment of President Obama, manages to gain the White House, we are in for dark times.  Why, you ask? 

Someone who lays personal accountability on a sacrificial altar can do whatever he -- or she -- chooses.  Here are a few statements someone in Ms. Bachmann's mindset could conceivably utter upon being handed the keys to the Oval Office:

1) Those pesky Ruskies keep slandering us; let's invade!  Oh, and why not toss a few ICBMs at North Korea for their Godless insolence on the way. 

2) Rights for homosexual Americans?  Ha!  All you have to do is pray the gay away

3) Drill, baby, drill!  God told me that off-shore drilling is the way to go and damn all the critters we might kill along the way. 

4) The economy is still shaky.  If it recovers, it's because God has taken pity on America and set us again on the path of glory.  If it crumbles, it's to show us the error of our ways. 

5) The long-term unemployed?  If God wants them to eat, He'll send them food.  If He wants them to drink, He'll send rain.  If He wants them to work, He'll send jobs. 

These are just a few of the thousands of issues Ms. Bachmann could potentially use to alleviate her presidential responsibility.  The words "God wanted me to" could be her ultimate legacy.  Is this the kind of person we want leading our country -- someone who could move to append or repeal legislature based on whimsy? 

It is also completely unreasonable, in any profession, to suggest God has taken a special hankering to you.  Pro sports, for example.  How many times do you see baseball players cross themselves before stepping up to home plate?  Most likely they are asking the powers that be to not let them get hit anyplace too painful by a 92-mph fastball, but I suspect more than one slip in this little addendum: "Bases loaded, God.  If you could pluck this one out of the park, I'll be your BFF."

And then, as happens all too often, the player who has just demonstrated fealty to his higher power gets hit.  Or strikes out.  Maybe he didn't pray hard enough? 

My favorite athlete who believes God is his number one fan is former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, who thanked his lord and savior first after winning Super Bowl XXXIV.  God is a Rams fan?  No no no, that can't possibly be true.  Because the next year, God apparently switched His allegiance to the Baltimore Ravens.  He had forsaken Kurt.  Or He is just a fairweather fan. 

Either way, there is little logic behind assuming God upholds little ol' you above any other.  What appears as humility is actually hubris of the highest degree; therein lies the deception.  When people happily relinquish control of their lives to an invisible puppetmaster, that's when I stop listening. 

Like I said, that's [expletive] scary.


  1. I still fail to comprehend the christian right (not deserving of capital letters), which is its own contradiction: Belief in righteous, unregulated self-determinism combined with a faith that evangelizes compassion and charity (not in the rich-giving-money-to-cryogenic-freezing-research way). Something doesn't add up to me, but, when in doubt, they point to the Fire and Brimstone.

    I frequently wonder where these people originate. My current theory is that they're actually the demon spawn of Barry Goldwater and Anita Bryant, but it's a theory in need of revisions.

  2. Exactly. After even minute scrutiny, the entire foundation of the christian right (I concur with the lower-case designation) disintegrates. Of course, if you point this out, they will tell you that logic doesn't matter as long as you have faith.

  3. People like her make me want to scream, "God gave you a brain, PLEASE do Him the courtesy of using it!"

  4. Consider me a convert: