Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scavenging the Dead

As I read more news about the horrible tornadoes that ravaged eleven different states last week, I decided to try to visualize what it must be like to be a religious leader reading the same news.  I suppose that my first pastoral thoughts would be the same as the common man.  I would, of course, mourn the tragic and indiscriminate loss of life, then weep for the hordes of unfortunate victims that have lost everything.  I then realized that I would likely begin to pray, though I must admit that I giggled a bit to myself as I realized that I simply do not have the creativity nor the training to concoct the proper prayer that one would extend to the almighty after a natural disaster.  Be that as it may, I'm quite sure I would tidy up my heartfelt prayer by following modern devotional etiquette: offering my thanks in Jesus' name and whatnot, finish with a righteous amen, and then get myself back to doing the Lord's work.  I suppose I might even wonder to myself how God could allow such a terrible event; and maybe even ask myself, why didn't God step in and protect those that could not protect themselves?

I mean, surely Pastors and Priests consider these kinds of questions...

But then it stung me like a stiff, pitiless riding crop.  Religious leaders don't think like the rest of humanity.  They believe that they must shoulder the extraordinary burden of being ever mindful of the enormity of eternity, and likewise the possibility of eternal damnation.  Remember, if we're projecting ourselves into the mind of a religious leader, we have to be mindful of the call.  As sick and as twisted as this thought process is, you'l have to convince yourself that you are working for the greater good and more importantly, there are souls to be saved!  Think about it.  What better way to save all these lost souls than to point at the recently deceased as a reminder that the rest of humanity faces certain doom as the almighty passes his judgment upon us?  And as luck would have it, the Lord frequently provides plenty of his divine judgment, just so long as you're resourceful enough to wait for it, and then pounce.

Take John Piper, for example.  He knows EXACTLY why his God decided it was time to flex his muscle a bit and exert some divine influence on his sinful creation by killing at least 39 human beings:

"This is a word to those of us who sit safely in Minneapolis or Hollywood and survey the desolation of Maryville and Henryville. 'Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.' 
Every deadly wind in any town is a divine warning to every town."

Surprising?  No.

Piper is just the first, relatively high profile minister to further his religious agenda by exploiting the 2012 March tornado outbreak.  Granted, Pat Robertson weighed in on the tornado outbreak, but his pronouncement was strangely at odds with Piper's.  As it turns out, Robertson  is on record as saying that his God does not create or send tornadoes.  Nope.  You see, while creating the atmosphere of the Earth, his God had to devise a way to distribute warm and cold air.  That's right folks, he (God) does not create tornadoes, since he (God) is just distributing the Earth's atmospheric temperature...  Is your head spinning yet?

Anyway, Robertson then goes on to explain that one of the consequences of his (God's) Earthly atmospheric creation is that when warm air mixes with cold air, it sometimes causes vortexes.  In turn, these vortexes sometimes manifest themselves as tornadoes.  Thus, tornadoes are not the problem;  people are the problem.  While he (God) is busy maintaining the Earth's atmospheric temperature for all of his divine creation, he (God) cannot be held responsible for the idiotic human beings that chose to build houses in areas that tornadoes form.  Duh.

Okay, so my point in all of this is simple.  If religion is supposed to give you wings and set you free, then it follows that religious leaders are the almighty's vultures.  Let's be honest:  in the current religious culture of the United States, this is the social niche that just about every religious leader has ultimately decided to place himself.  They even spend years of their lives being instructed at the university level on the subtle nuances of effectively and profitably exploiting the deaths of other, unfortunate human beings.  I would argue that most religious leaders are so perverse in their craft, that they wait patiently for the next natural disaster just so they can exploit the tragic deaths of more mothers, more fathers, more daughters, and more sons.

Any rational human being would recognize the Earth as the perfect killer; but it takes the mind of a scavenger to thrive on it.

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