September 23, 2004

The Presence of God

It is time I write these things down. It is time for those of us who believe in a creative God of love and compassion to be very present in this world.

I am no longer part of the Amish community, haven’t been since I was 19 years old. I am, however, Christian. I am not the fundamentalist brand of Christian. I haven't been born again. God doesn’t grace me with personal conversation.

God does not exist as I would have him exist. Rather God IS with me, He is especially with me when I work hard to be a good and moral person. He is least present when I am prescribing what is necessary for others in order to have God in their lives.

At those times that I am at my best, and God is with me, I am able to recognize his / her / its presence in the world around me. I am also able to know when and where God is not present.

For instance, God is not present in this war in Iraq. We have not liberated a people from a horrible dictator. Instead, we have given them hell on Earth. Over Twenty-two thousand Iraqis have died since our invasion of their country. Over half of those were women and children. Countless thousands of others have been wounded and maimed for life. God does not shed his grace on this evil that we do.

If an Arab terrorist beheads a citizen of the world, American or other, it is evil incarnate. However, I/we placed the knife in his hand by allowing this war to happen. God did not!

Those fundamentalist Christians who thought to impose their ideal of democracy on an Arab nation have presented the disenfranchised Arab a knife and the permission to use it. Do not blame the Arab! Do not blame his religious beliefs. Do not blame your God. Blame the Godlessness of your own behavior.

And if, by some miracle we are able to fix this disastrous invasion, it will not be because of our misbegotten 21st century crusade, it will be because others for whom God is truly present were granted the opportunity to step in and work to end the nightmare of evil and death that has been created.

It is time for the people of our country to wake from this nightmare of misbegotten fundamental patriotism, and become true American patriots of democracy. It is time to stand with God and say to the world...

"This war is immoral and terribly wrong!"

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