Sunday, March 05, 2006
Sunday is for Fritz Sermons
Prelude: I've been receiving these emails from people about "God backing out" of the Katrina storm because we haven't been praying enough in schools and government. I know they are sent with good intentions. But what chaps me up is the bottom of these emails, suggesting things like "If you don't forward this on, don't complain about the state of the world" or "If you don't agree with this, delete it and join the ranks of Hell."

I DO delete these without any problem. The last one I received, however, was from my lovely and beautiful Mother. So, I had to ponder it. Think about it. And my response to her email, I believe, articulates what is so terribly wrong about these messages.

I shall not copy the entire forward I received. That said, it was from 'Ben Stein', a Jew who has no problems with Christians (surely an attempt to 'win' over people of different faiths). He states he does not know who 'Nick and Jessica' are. He states that he was touched by the profundity of Anne Graham's response when asked "Why would God let something [Katrina] happen?" Anne supposedly said, "We have asked God to back out of our schools and lives. I believe God 'backed out', like a gentleman, when we asked him to." Ben Stein, people, the man who hosts that pop culture TV show, has suddenly become a Republican and Christian Jew. And has begun to write emails.

Here is my response:
Firstly, I love you bunches.
Secondly, I received this very same email from someone else who I work with...however, it was not from Ben Stein. It was from Anne Graham.
Thirdly, Ben Stein DOES know who those people are based on his television show "Win Ben Stein's Money"...the premise of the show is pop culture trivia.
Fourthly, I think it is a rather sad way to explain God's 'behavior' regarding Katrina. God didn't 'back out'. God didn't 'punish'. We don't know why GOD does or doesn't do lots of things--but I tend to think we like to look for God to explain these things because we can't understand them. God loves us. Why would God 'back out' but only allow the poor, the sick, and the berated suffer the most of Katrina's wrath? That's not what God said in the Bible, is it?

God said the weakest, the poorest, the most challenged, the biggest sinners, were his special crowd. If we proclaim God 'backed out' on them, then we have lost our faith in God.

God did not ask us to proclaim His name loudly on the street. God did not demand we worship him in places of business. In fact, His son said "No business in the temple!" Logic tells me: "No religion in the business of government!" A government building is not a shrine to God. God does not demand that of us.

God DOES demand other, more basic things. God demands us to revolt peacefully for the good of all. God asks us to love and be good to one another. God asks us to spread his message with support for our brethren. Gandhi did this. Buddha did this. St. Theresa did this. God asks us not to abandon our brethren in a time of need--but that is exactly what the Christian Right administration did during Katrina. These are the same people who loudly yell for prayer in school and government. Do you think God made them ignore the pleas of the abandoned? No. I don't think so, either.

I do not mean to be lecturing you, Mom. I am lecturing the Right that publishes these emails. I know it is with good intention. However, life is not as simple as "If we start praying in schools, God will 'come back' to us."
God never leaves us. God does not forsake us. We may forsake God in lieu of power or glory, or money. Or greed (like the President). But God, in His almighty Love, does not forget the meekest among His flock.

And His flock does NOT just include Christians. His flock is US--the entirety of the human race.

Interestingly enough, at the bottom of the email I received, it said something like "Forward this on if you believe in God. If not, delete it and join the ranks of Hell."

This is no way to spread any message. This is a farce, and a cruel one at that. The perpetrators of such writing have truly forgotten the Spirit which lives and breathes through all of us. I would urge you and anyone else who read this to appeal the decision to forward it on, because in the end, there is far more love and understanding in this country than the Christian Right would have you believe. We are a nation of mixed blood and mixed ideas. We are all the Flock of God's. We don't need to yell it on the street corners.

We need to ponder that in our hearts, silently, and with great solace.

I love you.
Elizabeth Anne
Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten

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    We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one. -T.S. Eliot "Little Gidding"

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