Friday, April 22, 2011

God control


I've said quite a bit about gun control; pretty much all I'm going to say, actually. There is something far more pernicious, more dangerous and more in need of control however and that's God. It's hard to deny, although that doesn't prevent most people from denying it, God has been on the wrong side of things as often as the right side: slavery, conquest, persecutions, genocide. You name it, God has been the universal justification as often as the universal opponent.

So it isn't surprising that God now seems to be against Net Neutrality. Sure he is -- and our founding fathers who don't seem to have believed in the kind of god who gets involved in such matters as free markets thought so too. That's the thing about God's likes and dislikes and mysterious plans: people just make them up as they go along.

Take David Barton, for instance, allegedly one of the country's most influential Evangelicals. He thinks that government should stay out of the lives of selected people and should, in the name of freedom and less intrusive government, regulate the most private and personal consensual sexual behavior. That's nothing new, of course, but it may surprise you that according to the Gospel as invented by Barton, God hates net neutrality and wants the internet dominated by the powerful and rich. God and the Puritans brought us prosperity because we're not socialists. The rest of the world got their prosperity from the Devil apparently and Jesus was just joking about rich men and heaven. How can we question that?

God wills it -- just like God willed the Crusades and the extermination of European Jews: just like he willed the divine right of kings and the right of the Church to approve their power. He demanded a secular Democracy in the Colonies, some of them, while simultaneously mandating the power of George III, Rex Dei Gratia.

Face it, it's long since been far out of hand and the will of god has become indistinguishable from the background noise of commerce. Did God have an interest in boosting tobacco sales. He obviously, if we're to believe this radio troll, has an interest in the rights of corporations which exceeds his concern for the poor. Does God like free markets, or does he like kings? Does the Bible speak against Net Neutrality or call it Socialism. Does God hate Socialism or does he like you to share everything you have with the poor and sick? Depends on whom you ask and of course I won't be asking the Religious Right, which I can't tell from the Religious Wrong of late.

One thing our constitution does uphold, is the free exercise of religion, so lunatics and tyrants and even evil men like Barton get to rave on unmolested. The government can't really exercise God control and more than God can control the evil spewed out by Barton's forked tongue. It's up to me and you to be aware that whether or not it was God, Guns and Guts that made America "great" those things will serve any master with equal ferocity. Mention God and nobody can shut you up, nobody can really contradict you and millions will follow you through the gates of hell, raging and bellowing, cheering and jeering like the lost souls we are.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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