Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Letter from John to the Rowan County Clerk

Dear Ms. Davis,
Been a tough couple weeks, I bet. It sure is hard to do the Lord's work. And, I'm making an assumption here, but I suppose the thought of two Kentucky dudes gettin' it on in a carnal way makes you uneasy. Keep those Broke Back Mountain shenanigans out west where they belong, am I right? I don't know if this will help but personally, I imagine two ladies, not dudes. But that's for another essay.

Anywho, I was going back over my scripture and noticed this quaint little passage in 1 Timothy 2 11-12: Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 

Ouch! Gosh-darn scripture, being all inconvenient! Okay, sure, I cherry-picked that verse. And well, Paul, the presumed author of this letter to Timothy, was talking more about church roles than secular or civil roles, I think. At least that's what I got from the Wikipedia page I skimmed.

Now, we've never met, but it's probably fair for me to let you know I don't believe in God. Or maybe a better way would be for me to say, I don't think I believe in god the way you believe in God. The best label for me is probably "Agnostic" but I don't want to be pinned down with labels!

God. Looking pissed.
But let's say there is a God and He is the Judeo-Christian God, Y-hw-h, the God of the Old and New Testaments, the one who impregnated a virgin who birthed his only son, Jesus of Nazareth. Jump ahead 30 or so years and Jesus, through the only sanctioned act of child sacrifice since before Abraham, dies for all our sins. Other stuff happens too: Miracles, parables, sermons, and the like.

All during these events, and after, (mostly after), those who were witness to it and those who heard of the stories of this amazing god-human, wrote down the stories. Lots of stories and at some point someone said, "Enough! You writers are driving me crazy constantly re-working your draft. Adding. Subtracting. We've got plenty of the narrative down, we need to wrap it up, get it to the editors, then to the publisher! Let's go! Chop, chop, chop!"

And that is how The New Testament was created.

Now at that time in history, God stopped inspiring new scripture qualified to count as additions to the New Testament. How do I know? Because no humans have added anything new! That was it!

God gives Adam the finger
But even though God isn't creating newly inspired words for the Bible, we still talk about God-ly inspired work, right? The work of St. Augustine, or Martin Luther. Our U.S. Constitution comes to mind. We know our great Founding Fathers were divinely led to create the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. How do we know? Because Glenn Beck says so: "God's finger . . . wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. This is God's Country."

Manifest Destiny! American Exceptionalism! The spread of freedom and democracy! Of course the Finger of God is behind this! And he hasn't stopped, he continues!  How else were we able to defeat Fascism and Communism? We are a city on the hill with a thousand points of light!

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.

We are a blessed nation, aren't we? Though imperfect, for sure, we must be guided by a divine force - God's Finger of Glenn Beck. So how does God's Finger work today? Through our citizens and legal residents, like Donald Trump. Through our churches and non-profits, through the divinely inspired institutions and systems we have created, like talk shows and reality TV. We may despise the man who is president, but we respect the God-Finger-created Presidency, right? Same for Congress, and, well, maybe even the Supreme Court. Hmmm. The Supreme Court. Of course!

I know I sure felt the Finger of God pointing towards love and compassion when I read the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges:

Holding: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.

Love. The sword God wields to destroy bigotry, ignorance, fear, and hatred. Right there, documented for all times, on SCOTUSBlog. How ingenious of you, Oh Lord, to use the Supreme Court to carry out Thy will! You created the Supreme Court, after all, with Your Finger and the Constitution.

So, Ms. Davis, I wonder. What if God IS behind all this? What if God, who divinely inspired our Founding Fathers to create the U.S. Constitution, and with it, the Supreme Court, wanted to make it so all people could marry whomever they wanted to? What if THAT is God's will? Wouldn't it be a shame if it turned out you were standing in His way?

Don't stand in His way, Ms. Davis. Let God give you his Finger to guide you to do His will.