LETTER TO THE EDITOR: God on your side? I just want to be on His side
“My prayer for the New Year” (Dec. 30) was not the lofty prayer Jim Arnold premised in his mixture of earthly politics, inferring God’s Will, thus making his earthly politics the politics of heaven.
In a world where nearly every political conflict has a religious underpinning, and in spite of the fact that more than 90% of Americans say they believe in God, only a tiny portion of them knows a thing about religion. It would be absurd to apply the definition of “Christian society” to the USA today. No consensus on Christianity as the national religion — much less on any specific interpretation of Christianity — is possible. This pluralistic society thrives on diversity and freedom for and from religion, not on enforced uniformity.
It would certainly be possible to derive a legal code from Scripture and impose it upon the population — but such legislation as Arnold is praying for would not make America Christian. As I was taught and believe in seminary when I elected to take Bible and church history, Christian faith is a gift of grace, not a method of coercion. Arnold’s aim is to use Republican political power to coerce the majority of Americans to accept that which is unconstitutional. It is not necessary for a government to be specifically Christian in order for it to serve the role for which God ordained it.
Maybe one would like to believe that God is on the side of those who oppose abortion, because they are right and those who want abortion as a choice are wrong, and any deity worth his salt would be able to discern that fact. But this is simply good-hearted arrogance cloaked in morality — the same kind of thinking that makes some people decide that God created humans in His own image — and He did so without a nudge in our DNA for a preference for a deity as the human default position.
It might be quite upsetting to learn God’s opinion on such hot-button political issues as “abortion” that Arnold lifted up his political prayer for because we do not know God’s devices. To assume such is netting to most Americans. Do you believe God controls your golf game? Not me! I know better.
Finally, the only way we can directly imitate Jesus is to act as if we were gods ourselves — yet that is the very thing Jesus forbids. Yet, some Christians claim God is on their side in their theocratic Christian moral clarity reasoning. I just want to be on his side.
— B.J. Paschal, Muncie