Which is the ‘right’ god?
To the Editor:
Eric Thorp and Richard Walsh have both written letters espousing different views on God’s plan for our country and they’ve left me a bit confused. According to Mr. Thorp, we need not be concerned about what we do on Earth since God will make everything right, will rectify our depredations. Government, stay out of God’s business. But then Mr. Walsh proclaims God is upset because we’ve ignored him and is making us suffer for not installing the proper government – God’s administration – in this case a Republican one. Which, if either is right, is the correct view? Or are they both dead wrong? I think the problem is they aren’t specific about which god they want us to pay heed to.
Both gentlemen claim to know God’s mind, even though gods are unknowable. Each man seems to be listening to a god that is at odds with the other’s. Is their god Zeus, Thor, or Osiris? Probably not, since they’ve been in a steady decline for years. Still, that leaves many more possibilities, such as Buddha, Vishnu, Allah and Ra. However, given the current religious setting, it’s safe to assume they mean the Judeo-Christian god. From the tone of their letters, we can dismiss the Jewish deity and pay full attention to the Christian one.
Unfortunately, “one” doesn’t work, since each denomination of the Christian church worships a different variation of the same deity. You’d think one god would ensure that his followers would unite into one cohesive assemblage, but no. There are Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, and assorted cults (David Koresh, Jim Jones, Charles Manson) pledging devotion to a god that finds each of the others sometimes abhorrent, but always less perfect than their own. Protestants are split into more sects and denominations than can be counted on both hands and feet. Some baptize totally; others just sprinkle. Some handle venomous snakes; others reject that practice. Some build big cathedrals while others avoid ostentation. Some embrace modern technology, while others don’t abide using electricity. Still, it should be simple to determine which one is “correct” by examining their sacred texts.
But once again, the question is which one is right? Catholics have one version (the Douay), while Protestants can’t agree on one particular tome and have several variations (such as the King James, et al). In addition, Latterday Saints consider the Book of Mormon to be a sacred book, too, since they say it is derived from the Bible. So, take your pick.
The strange thing is, nowhere in any of these works does it mention the most basic problems in the world today, except in vague, nebulous prophecies that have been structured to fit any time and place, like an astrology forecast. Nowhere, either, is “Republican” or “Democrat,” or even “Communist” mentioned. So, how can Misters Thorp and Walsh judge which party or government is God’s favored unit today, based on works written many centuries ago? How can they know what God wants in situations the sacred texts are ignorant of, such as global pollution, or atomic war? In fact, the Bible is even bereft of any mention of the democratic process these men claim their god wants established.
In the Bible, God didn’t elect presidents; he appointed kings. There was no voting; it was “do as I command.” And if God wanted a neighbor’s land, he declared a holy war, destroyed their city and forced them into slavery. Is that a system either of these men would be comfortable with today?
This is one reason the Constitution forbids the establishment of a religion for the entire country. Everyone has his or her own idea about spiritual values. Deciding which should prevail is a fruitless and often bitter task. No one wants another’s beliefs thrust upon them, just as I’m sure Misters Thorp and Walsh don’t want an opposing view forced down their throats. So, gentlemen, why try to impose your values on everyone else?