"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Monday, April 06, 2020

Palm Sunday In Time of Coronavirus

And if Franklin Graham falls ill, does that mean God is angry with Franklin Graham?  And what does Franklin Graham think Jesus meant by "Don't judge, and you won't be judged"?  That it doesn't apply to someone as righteous as Franklin Graham?

In other religious news, this guy is only interested in preserving his business model: 

“How many people did you have last Sunday?” host Blackwell asked. “How many people are you expecting this Sunday?”

“Last Sunday we had 1,800 in attendance. This Sunday with the fear that’s been propagated into the hearts of my people, it may have had an adverse effect with more people than last week,” the pastor replied.

“The governor has barred gatherings of 50 or more and the scientists who advise him say the gatherings put the people coming to your church, 1,800 last week and whomever will show up this woke in danger. Do you believe them?” he was asked.

“We believe the science of this, Victor,” Spell replied. “However, we do have a command from God, and there are no governing bodies that can tell us we cannot worship and gather freely.”

“Do you believe the science that people who are in these large gatherings close together are at a greater risk of contracting this deadly — this deadly disease, this virus? Do you believe the science?” Blackwell pressed.

“Yes, we believe the science,” Spell shot back. “We also believe that 99.3, which the science says of the people that contract it, a lot of them don’t even know they have it and recover and then, with that also, we’re more interested. People have been locked up in their homes for 22 days now, suicide, domestic violence, starvation and desperation is the last stronghold in their lives.”

“Let me ask you this,” the CNN host proposed. “If you believe the science and I assume you’re pro-life, is that correct?”

“I am pro-life,” the pastor replied.

“How is this a pro-life stance to put people in jeopardy of contracting a disease, getting a virus that has no treatment, no cure, often has no symptoms and has killed more than 8,400 people, 1500 people this morning in our country in five weeks,’ Blackwell exclaimed.

“My response to that is people’s hope is in the house of God,” Spell countered. “If they do contract the virus, if they have fears of the virus, the church is more essential now than ever to pray with people, to let them know there is a physician in Jesus Christ. He is the healer; come under you all that are weary and heavy-laden, let me give you rest. We were supposed to be at a million and a half body bags and we’re at 4,800 so the narrative is false, Victor.”

This is a man on a Trump-sized ego trip.  This is a man speaking Trump's language (braggadocio, bravado, empty words, insane and contradictory lies, and absolutely no concern for his congregation, only for himself and how many people he can draw to hear him).  This is a man trying to keep his business open.  I am old, I am cranky, I am fed up.  I have no time or compassion for these people (the pastor, not the congregation).  This is a man interested in himself and his self-aggrandizement.  He has no interest in God, except as an idea to get people to pay attention to him.
”Religion is responsibility, or it is nothing at all.”


Blogger rustypickup said...

In contrast, here is the bishop of the ELCA telling her members to stay home. If we weren't so broken as a country she would be on the news as the leader of one of the large mainline denominations, not some freak show of faith. The bishop takes her responsibilities to her flock seriously. (And grounds her message in biblical language)

There is a regionalism to this too. I started my new job last week (thank you for all your kind thoughts as I looked for a job, beginning in the middle of a pandemic is near madness. One half day at work and working remotely for perhaps months). Driving across upstate NY, VT and NH has been eerie. Friday night I pulled into a large rest area outside Albany. I used the bathroom, ate the dinner I packed in the car, and filled up with gas. In the 20+ minutes I was there, one car came through. Overall, most people are taking this seriously. The South really is different.

If I may ask, if you could extend prayers to my mother-in-law Susan, I would be appreciative. She is in a nursing home and a patient on her ward has contracted coronavirus. We are very worried.

Stay safe.

11:46 AM  

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