God-fearing man promotes fear

June 04, 2006 by barbara

by barbara

Just read in the NY Times that folks in Utah tend to stand in solidarity with George W. Bush. They voted him in, and they're willing to ride his poll numbers with him down to ground zero.

A woman in Provo says this about W: "I like (him) because he is God fearing, and that's how a lot of people in this area feel."

Okey dokey. God fearing. Well, that's where we have yet another parting of the ways.

George Bush and his pals play the Old Testament card over and over again. George has embraced (situationally, anyway) the model of the strict father who knows what's best for us, and if we stray, we're toast. Well, apparently someone forgot to tell him he only got half-way through the book. Which in George's case is not surprising, it being especially difficult to read the Bible upside down.

I'm not a theologian. Not even a very good student of The Book. But what I do know is that it is written that Jesus Christ (ergo, Christian) came to the planet to model something different from tops-down, raging divinity. He spent his short life teaching about a God of justice, tolerance, compassion, forgiveness and other liberal stuff. And while only some liberals would trace their core beliefs back to Jesus, there is at the very least a parallel path.

It just doesn't work to plop rigid Old Testament men (and yes, most of them are men) into leadership positions in New Testament times. We've seen growing evidence of that for the past five-and-a-half (oh, God, is that all??) years. Well, that coupled with their right-tilted inclination toward secrets, lies, deception and actions that result in the equivalent of murder. Near as I can tell, none of that fits with either Testament very well.

I would submit that some folks who position themselves as God-fearing truth-tellers do so only in their attempt to frighten and control the people. Think Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Think Taliban.

Back to Bush. Another Provo resident said, "I tend to judge a person (note: judging is verboten, sir!) by their character. And President Bush reminds me of President Reagan. He's a man of principle."

Well, there you have it. (sigh)

Amen.

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