I have come to the conclusion that those who try to bring heaven to earth, tend to do the precise opposite, they tend to unleash the greatest of all hellish horrors upon the earth. That is not dependent on theology or religion either. I am also thinking of all the dystopian nightmares inflicted on us by communism and assorted other godless tyrants.
Evil is a creepy thing, most of us justify it so well, we tend to think what we are doing is actually good. Was Hitler full of doubt, insecurity, and self loathing? I think not. Was Jim Jones planning to create a dystopian nightmare of mass suicide when he set out? Was it premeditated or just the inevitable consequence of a man thinking he was qualified to bring heaven to earth?
It’s a rather gloomy subject so let me stop with the mass murderers and get right to the heart of the matter. So many of us like the part in the Lord’s prayer about heaven and earth, so that we just gloss over the first part, thy will be done. I continue to be really frustrated by those, mostly those of a conservative bent, who wish to preserve Western civilization and return America to her former glory. It’s like they all have this utopian vision of what America used to look like before everyone started dying their hair blue and wearing yoga pants.
You know, that time everyone was middle class, believed in equality, and embraced moral values? There was no crime, we were all going to church, and life was good. I absolutely do not know of that time! It has never been a part of my reality. It’s also really painful listening to it, reading it in people’s words, because it renders me, and others like me, even more invisible then we ever were before. I want to whisper ever so gently, is it possible your imaginary heaven on earth was actually quite hellish for a great many people?? Indentured servants, slaves, the Irish, Chinese laborers, women, children, minorities, abuse victims, the poor?
That is what keeps me separate from the church at large, separate from a great many conservatives. That is what makes me recoil in horror when people start talking about “restoring moral values” in America. I’ve seen what we often hide behind our alleged “moral values,” and I want no part of it.
The Bible says, “all your righteousness are but filthy rags.” Nothing drives this point home better then reading about what has been going on within the Southern Baptist Convention, the protection offered to sexual abusers, the cover up, the silencing of victims. Worse yet, the arrogant responses from so many. There were at least 44 convicted sex offenders, that means convicted in a court of law, and hundreds of people are busy talking about protecting the ministry from false allegations! Then there are the situations where you have 32 victims speaking up and the first priority is just shutting them up and protecting the ministry?!
I don’t mean to single out the SBC either, I mean we’ve already seen this precise same thing in the Catholic church, Mars Hill, Hillsong, and Ravi Zacharias. Heck, you want the secular version, look at former Seattle mayor Ed Murray, protected and sheltered by “the woke,” by the egalitarians, for decades. He finally resigned but he’ll never be charged and some of his victims have now taken their own lives.
That gang of secularists had “moral values” too, they also thought they were going to create their version of heaven on earth, a liberal utopia, an egalitarian paradise. They also thought they were doing “god’s” will, “god” simply becoming a reflection of yourself, your own values, your own darkness.
This is the first Memorial Day where I am not really thinking of all those who gave their lives in war, but rather all those who have lost their lives in the civilian world, in our unseen war here at home, the casualties of domestic violence, child abuse, addiction, suicide, the collateral damage of so many of our policies born of our alleged “moral values.”
Barack Obama once said, “Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom.” Yeah, well if you aren’t deeply sorrowful and fighting a daily battle against cynicism, there’s not much truth in your “wisdom” and you’re probably just selling something.