I grew up believing that God wanted order and peace. Even though bad things were going on in the world, I was assured by Sunday School teachers, my parents and relatives, that God didn’t make bad things happen. That was comforting.
But I struggle, still, with a God that allows bad things to happen, who allows peace to be supplanted by utter confusion.
The whole world, it seems, is upside down, swimming in chaos, much of which has been and continues to be caused by this president and by a slew of accusations of sexual impropriety by rich and powerful men.
The relationship of this country with its allies is certainly shaky; it feels like America is becoming more and more estranged from her allies and that she is losing her moral authority and respect. The call of British lawmakers this week for the invitation to this president for a state visit to England to be rescinded because he retweeted fascist, racist images of Muslims. While foreign lawmakers come down on America’s leader, however, the US Congress is strangely silent and pliant.
While America, though flawed, has always been the leader of the free world, it feels like that status is slipping away, slowly yet steadily, while Germany is taking the lead, with China and Russia following closely behind.
The Congress of this country has worked as hard as it could, it seems, to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which would cause literally millions of people to lose cherished health care, and is even now working to pass a tax bill which promises to help the wealthy while raising the taxes on everyone who makes under $75,000 a year and raising the federal deficit to over a a trillion dollars.
The traditional guardians of the economy, the GOP, are so desperate for a “win” that they are abandoning what many thought was their base of all they did; heretofore, they railed against anything that would raise the federal deficit, but now they do not care. They do not care if this tax bill throws the majority of Americans into chaos as they struggle even harder to make ends meet and have a decent life. It has been said that in order to pay for the tax cuts for the very wealthy, funds from programs which help the masses will be targeted to be slashed.
America’s sexist and patriarchal system is rising up against it. Male after male after male is being exposed for illicit sexual behavior and many are losing their jobs ..except for politicians, those erstwhile beings who are charged with watching over us, the American people. It makes no sense. If one male is to be fired for this kind of behavior, all men should be, including the president of the United States and lawmakers.
We are watching men protect each other – powerful white men – protecting each other at, it seems, the expense of “the American people.” The GOP is choosing to be largely silent about an accused pedophile – Roy Moore – who is running to be a US Senator. Conservative clergy have been quick to castigate Sen. Al Franken, calling him a “sinner,” while at the same time, giving room for “the truth” to come out as concerns the charges levied against Roy Moore.
This president and the president of North Korea, Kim Jung Un, are circling each other, challenging each other to make the first step toward war. It is like watching a playground fight; it is as immature as those fights tend to be, but the stake here is not just one person getting a bloody nose or bruised ego. Millions of people could lose their lives, and it feels like we are on the brink of such a horrific war becoming a reality.
And just today, the “fake news” defense that the president has offered for a year as concerns anything Russian was blown out of the water as former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russians.
Everywhere, there is chaos, and God is allowing it to happen.
I have read that similar occurrences happened in Germany as the Nazis moved into power. The people watched it happen; the people voted Hitler into office; the people were stunned when their decisions resulted in the worst chaos anyone might have imagined.
But God allowed it to happen. God did not cause it to happen, but God allowed it to happen, just as God allowed and always allows the worst storms to impact the people who can least withstand their winds and rain.
Some of us are taught that we, the children of God, are co-creators with God, meaning God needs us to help God keep the world in order. That is why the work of organizers and activists is so important, because they keep the thumb of righteousness and fairness on the chest of injustice which fights to have its way.
But we, the co-creators, seem remarkably impotent to stop or even slow down the descent into chaos we are experiencing now. This is a scary time, and God, who I was taught could do everything and anything, seems not to be interested in changing the course that we are on.
It remains to be seen how all that is going on will shake out, but it feels like God is allowing chaos to triumph over community, and that is very, very troubling.