Monday, July 23, 2012

More Religious Hooey from Glenn Beck

It seems that Glenn Beck and a Messianic "Rabbi," Jonathan Cahn from Wayne, New Jersey are now into reading Isaiah as a "harbinger" of things to come.

Here's my response:

Bad Bible reading ... but, then, from the far right, there's plenty of it. Isaiah would be the first to protest the use of his material in this way. 

What makes anyone think that all of the Bible is devoted to the United States? The Puritans and many others since then, and now David Barton and his "history" hooey, have tried to prove a divine status for the US, what with this being the Promised Land, "a new Israel" with a "manifest destiny." If an individual thought like this, they'd be labeled a hopeless narcissist. 

Folks on the religious right have often the read the Bible as a "road map" for the future. They're in good company, so to speak. At the turn of the Millenium, (no silly, not the recent one, but the first - 1000), all kinds of foolish predictions about this and that and the end of the world, as well. 

Throughout the 19th Century, English Millenarianism reached new highs, or lows, with predictions, all of which failed. The most recent and embarrassing example of this cockeyed thinking is Harold Camping. 

Within all of this, bits and pieces worth considering: US arrogance, for sure, with our constant military adventures (we are the Empire), our mistreatment of Native Americans, our reliance upon slavery, the Jim Crow laws, our abuse of women and their rights, environmental abuse, our violence and our love of guns, our love and worship of wealth and the wealthy, our mistreat of the American Worker, our vast economic inequity, continuing racism and a host of other social ills. These are the sorts of things Isaiah highlights for Israel; these are the sorts of things highlighted by The Prophets in general, and by Jesus in the Gospels. 

While all of this has some bearing on the US, none of it is intended for the US alone, as if we were special. "For God so loved the world" and the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE brought that chapter to a close. 

God is no longer in the land business, either in Palestine or in the Northern Hemisphere. God is judging America, not because we're special, just because we are, as God judges the nations of the world, all of them, large or small. For the world belongs to God, and there is no Promised Land, there is no "new Israel," there is no "manifest destiny," except, "love one another as I have loved you."

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