Believing in a Cruel God

My email Inbox and my Facebook page have been overflowing with hate ever since the publication of my article — If Republicans Won Their Wants — and the comments stream for that article have to be cleansed daily because people can’t abide our comments policy and disagree without cursing or calling names.

A friend of mine read that article and we had an interesting discussion about why the GOP has become a magnet for hatred and punishment.

My friend suggested the need to punish and condemn in the Republican party is because of their religion.  Conservatives, in general, believe in the Old Testament God of punishment for sins — both perceived and real — and they think they are being “Godly” by meting out His punishment here on earth.  They see themselves as the moral watchdogs for God and they will call out, and punish, everyone in their line of sight who isn’t fitting into God’s mandate.  Everyone’s a sinner.  Nobody and nothing is above suspicion.

I thought God was all about love and forgiveness and compassion.

My friend told me I was thinking of the New Testament God.  The “old book” God is one who seeks out sinners and publicly punishes them as an example to others.

I wondered about the immoral and deceptive Conservative undercover stings — that are meant to punish and intimidate — and how that worked into God’s plan:

Ever since ACORN was taken down by a bad pimp costume and a hidden camera, right-wing media mogul Andrew Breitbart and provocateur James O’Keefe have discovered that by the time their work is exposed as disingenuously edited hit jobs, the damage is done, and their brand has been boosted. As Breitbart told the AP, “I’m committed to the destruction of the old media guard. And it’s a very good business model.”

Pimps and hookers aren’t Godly, are they?

My friend laughed and told me, in the Conservative view, God isn’t funny.  God isn’t fair.  God is cruel.  God wants things his way and there’s no notion of immorality when it comes to taking down the evildoers.

It was then I realized that the USA is fighting three wars in the Middle East based on this theory that we’re doing God’s work by punishing the non-believers.

8 comments

  • David,

    Our rabbis teach us that our G-d is not a cruel one but rather one that has a balance of Justice and Mercy. For example, when G-d recommends the death sentence to a man who is found to be gathering bundles of sticks on the holy Sabbath after he has been told twice that it is forbidden to do so, it is strict Justice.

    However, we believe that G-d is more Merciful than Just — to quote from our Talmud,

    Rabbi Yochanan taught: “If it would not be expressly stated in the Torah, it would be sacrilegious for us to think it. God wrapped Himself in a prayer shawl like a cantor, and showed Moses how to pray. He told him, ‘Whenever Israel sins, they should pray before me in this fashion and I will forgive them.’” (Talmud, Rosh Hashana, 17b)

    In other words, G-d is not about Cruelty in “our book” so to speak. G-d would much rather forgive if the person or people are sincerely interested in seeking forgiveness and actively interested in not repeating the sin.

    It’s rather unfortunate how twisted the Conservative party has made matters — turning Justice and Mercy into Cruelty.

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  • Elliot Figueroa

    David,
    Was Acorn doing illegal things with money that obtain through political corruption? I am all for transparency in government and I would like to stop corruption at all levels of government form either party. Doing what is right should be a value that both democrats/liberal and republicans/conservatives would want. Why is that when a liberal is caught doing something illegal – it is label as witch hunt or as you called it “Believing in a cruel God”. Its seems to me that for you the end justified the means. So if I do not agree with your view “or give you what you want” then I am out to punish the world. Its looks like you are being as judgmental as you are accusing conservative of being. It is not just about not wanting to help people, I do the best I can now, is about how you are going to pay for it. It is great for those that receive a lot of the benefits and it does not matter how or who pays for them.

    I do believe in the God of the Bible and I do believe that we are all sinners. You are right God is all about forgiveness and compassion. Both of which require repentance. I am not better that you or anyone else. I have paid the consequences of things I have done in my live and I also found forgiveness in God. The consequences and punishment that I received from society not God ort conservatives come with the territory. I accepted responsibility for my actions. That is all. The guilt was taken away through the forgiveness I found in Christ. God alone is the moral compass not a political party or movement. Your list in your previous article is obviously bias by your own view and political agenda. What you accused the republicans and conservatives is also been done by democrats/liberals. You are not better that we are…we are not better that you. Both sides want what they want without taking into account the other side. Both are side are just playing to their own interest- their selfish ways, in other words human nature.

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    • Thank you for your insightful comment, Elliot.

      I do think the liberal rhetoric is less punishing and more transparent than the conservative agenda. I don’t find the Limbaughs or the McConnells or the Breitbarts or the O’Keefes or the Palins and their ilk serve our country’s best interests. You don’t reveal the truth by creating purposeful deception.

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