Wednesday, May 16, 2007

God Only Knows

Don't you just love the TeleTubbies? I do. They're so sweet. They send important messages to our toddlers and preschoolers. Messages of love and cooperation and friendship.

Not to mention the message that Gay is Good and you really ought to try it sometime!

Well, at least that's what some people think.

I overheard some people talking this morning about the fires in the pine barrens in south Jersey, which sounded important.

They also mentioned the death of some televangelist, which isn't important. At least not to me.

I should be charitable and add that I then prayed, sincerely, that said televangelist would be delivered into exactly the sort of Heaven he always dreamed about and that he will get to spend eternity in the company of people exactly the way HE likes 'em. White. Male. Conservative. Heterosexist. And exactly just like himself.

And I meant it. Eternity. Forever and ever. Without hope of change.

Dave Barry, the columnist, once wrote that he was pretty certain that when God chose to speak to him that it "wouldn't be through some guy in a cheap suit with a bad haircut on cable tv at 6 o'clock on a Sunday morning." I'd add to that that God doesn't need cash, or tithing or anything else of a material nature, including buildings, limos or airplanes.

Men (or mostly men) need tithing, cash and buildings and so on. They need cars and big-assed universities and all kinds of things "for the greater glory of God" not to mention the greater glory of themselves. For no matter how much they gussy up their so-called good intentions, the fact of the matter is, God does not need a place to live. Not an Ark. Not a Temple. Not a Church. Not a Cathedral. Not a Basilica. "God" doesn't need anything from US. And it is insane vanity to think that we have anything at all to offer God, except our obedience and gratitude and love. All the rest is gold-plated, 100%, bullshit.

The United States of America has a long-standing tradition of producing snake oil salesmen, charlatans, humbugs and Elmer Gantry's who come along in a nearly endless procession and brandish new and innovative ways to bullshit us into believing their "pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by" brand of Salvation, for just one thin dime, a measly one-tenth of a dollar, yessir Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up and SEE what God has in store for YOU! Say Hallelujah!!!

And many of us do it. Not for the love of God. But because of some craving bordering on a character defect deep inside of us to belong to something. To anything. Not trusting at all in our own inate bond with the Almighty. Thinking that we "need" some middleman with the Creator in order to guarantee that we'll be forgiven for all the shit we've done and that we'll pass through the Pearly Gates unscathed and unscarred.

Was the decedent one of those sorts of men? I don't know. It's not for me to judge.

But I do know this. His personal beliefs cost a lot of people a lot of personal grief. He may even be responsible for the deaths of many people. A lot of people think so. I don't know for sure.

But God does.


Bev Sykes said...

Amen, brother.

Anonymous said...

An excellent post. When you state your case in this way, which you often do, it defies argument. We need more opinions stated in this rational way instead of what we usually get, those pandering to the lowest common denominator.

JoyZeeBoy said...

Thank you, both.

I thought that his death was a good opportunity to talk about some of the broader issues that his life and ministry raised.

He may not have been evil personified, but he certainly was a good example of what happens when you mix good old-timey religion with the intellectual whorehouse known as politics.

It's a mess.