Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response (regarding the attacks on Sept. 11) . She said:This enraged me. The more I thought about the ludicrous nature of the email the more angry I became. So instead of hitting "reply to all" and embarrassing the sender with angry ranting, I'm using my blog to vent some steam (what else, after all, is it for?).
"I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"
In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school... the Bible says
thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as
yourself. And we said OK.
Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave
because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their
self-esteem (Dr.. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should
know what he's talking about. And we said OK.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world
is going to hell. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire
but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
I'm not laughing, are you?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
I don't know what Anne Graham meant by her comment, but here's what I think:
Tragedy on the scale of the September 11 attacks or the recent Tsunami disaster is disconcerting for many reasons. All is not well with God's world and we naturally want someone or something to blame. Could these tragedies be Divine punishment for a people who
refuse to love Him? Do they signify the lifting of a protective hand (assuming it was there in the first place) from the United States of America? I'm sure I don't know. But, in the absence of proof, why would I want to believe or even suggest such an idea?
Could tragedy be the outcome of a broken world filled with nature gone awry, evil ideas and hateful passions? Certainly, it is. That is all we know. Speculating about the mind of God is not only fruitless, it gives the speculator a ticket to ride the "Smugness Express", standing around pointing fingers instead of digging them into to dirt.
This email purports to take the blame for the state of the world upon "ourselves" (ie. "we said ok"), but the tone is the angry, frightened one of judgementalism; not the wise, saddened one of compassion.
Internet spam almost always comes with an agenda tag, hurling insults and half-truths (or outright lies) at the perceived enemy, whatever group or individual that may be. In this case it's hard to tell who's the enemy (secularists? Christians? God?) but we know it isn't Anne Graham, and it doesn't appear to be the terrorists, and I'm guessing it isn't the author.
The first enemy identified is Madeleine Murray O'Hare, who was apparently murdered for taking prayer out of public schools (does the author realize who this implicates?).
Then "someone" took the Bible out of schools, which apparently led directly to moral decay, because nowhere outside the Bible are we taught that murder or theft are wrong or that loving others is important (the Israelites must have been running around stabbing eachother for stylish sandals until God wrote in stone "Do not kill" and "Do not steal").
Next we get to blame Dr. Spock, who dared to suggest that fathers stop dragging their sons out to the woodshed and that we should hug our children. I smelled something fishy here and found this dispelling the myth of Dr. Spock's son's suicide. In addition to this juicy tidbit being false, the attitude behind the telling of it is an insensitive, almost cruel gloating over a sobering and horrible thing, and strikes me as antithetical to Christian charity. Not to mention the fact that it uses faulty logic; a good man's son may despair of life for reasons which have nothing to do with the man or his parenting philosophy.
We get the invitation to blame ourselves somewhere in there, but by this time we are so angry at the Atheists and Liberals that we're ready to take them out to the woodshed. And to top it all off like a cherry on an ice cream sundae, the author slaps on some guilt, for good measure. "If you don't pass this on then you're as bad as they are."
I'm not sure an Atheist could compose email spam more contrary to the spirit of Christianity. As a Christian myself, I object to this representation of me. I object to this representation of Christ. I'm still angry. And I think I should be.