Political Animal


December 24, 2012 4:33 PM Christe Eleison

By Ed Kilgore

I hesitate to throw stones at fellow-Christians on the Eve of the Feast of the Nativity, so instead I will just ask for a bit of reflection over the following reactions to the Newtown massacre via Brother Benen:

Why are we shocked? We shouldn’t be shocked. This is what happens when a society turns its back on God. [Rev. Franklin Graham]
Millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. Believe me, that is going to have consequences too.
And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on.
[James Dobson, Founder, Focus on the Family]

So it’s not just the professional provocateur Brian Fischer who has risked hell-fire by attributing the killings in Newtown to an angry God’s reaction to liberalism. Graham and Dobson are big-time Christian Right leaders, courted by presidential candidates and commanding audiences of many millions.

I hope these perpetually self-righteous gents reconsider these attitudes in the Light from the Manger.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • LeftWingCracker on December 24, 2012 4:51 PM:

    Ed, first, have a wonderful Christmas. Second, I seriously doubt any of these Religious Right folks would recognize Jesus if they met him face to face. They would probably mistake him for a terrorist.

  • Cosmiciguana on December 24, 2012 4:56 PM:

    They don't believe in hippie Jesus. They believe in military corporate Jesus. You know, the one who machine gunned the money changers in the Temple. It's really not same religion at all.

  • Celui on December 24, 2012 5:16 PM:

    These self-righteous types deal in fear, fear-mongering, and a self-proclaimed man-centered theology that vaunts 'their' interpretation of God, as found in their selected proof texts and semi-passages lifted for today's use and then set aside. People are drawn to dynamic speakers, especially to those whose speech is loaded with smatterings of theology, personal stories, witness, and the ever-popular fear-raising hellfire. LeftWingCracker says that s/he doubts "these Religious Right folks would recognize Jesus if they met him face to face", and--curiously--they have met him in the faces of their neighbors, the passersby on the street (yes, even the ones asking for a handout) and in the faces of those who have faces and languages different from their own. LWC is right: they haven't recognized Jesus at all, and don't seem to be making much of an effort to do so. The Jesus of Nazareth is a man in whom we can see ourselves, whose life was lived through obedience even in the face of sheer horror, and by whom we enjoy God's Grace. And, that Grace isn't for just a few with well-coiffed hairdos, with self-proclaimed 'righteous messages' laced with dire warnings of impending destruction. For whom did God give Jesus, anyway? Us. Pretty simple, really, and the Grahams and Dobsons do so much more harm than we can imagine because of their theological exclusivity. Again--where is God in this life? At the end of our arms. Reach out, guys. It's exhilarating.

  • c u n d gulag on December 24, 2012 5:32 PM:

    There are so many religious lunatics up on that cross with him, that Jesus can't even see his house anymore.

    It's a bad joke. One of two Christian jokes I remember.
    Christ calls to Peter from the cross, and Peter tried to get to him, but the Roman soldiers beat him back.
    Christ, now more emphatic, calls out to Peter, who, again, tries to get to him, but is beaten back by the Romans.
    Now, Christ is motioning as much as he can, and Peter says to himself, "These are probably the last works I'll ever hear from the Messiah. I must get to him!"
    So, this time, he performs a Tebow bull-rush, gets past the Legionnires, crawls up the cross, and asks Jesus, "What, Oh Lord, Oh Messiah, what have you to tell me, as your last words?"
    Jesus says, "Look, Peter. I can see my house from here!"

    Ok, the other one:
    Jesus spots a rock-wielding crowd, sorrounding what he suspects is a "fallen woman."
    A man is about to heave a large rock at her, when Christ say, "Let those among you who have never committed a sin, cast the first stone!"
    And the crowd looks dejected. No fun today. Just like that Jesus to take away everyone's fun.
    They put down their rocks in disgust.
    Suddenly, this old white-haired woman rushes up, picks up a rock, and beans the "fallen woman," right in the head - killing her instantly.
    Jesus looks at the old woman, and says, "You know, Mom, sometimes you really piss me off."

    What's that smell?
    I'm baking a ham with cloves.
    Why do I smell sulfer?

  • Stetson Kennedy on December 24, 2012 6:20 PM:

    So we're to believe that God is so upset with liberalism, he would be willing to sit by while 20 6&7 year olds are slaughtered? If so, God is a monster.

  • mudwall jackson on December 24, 2012 6:22 PM:

    perhaps we can all pitch in and send these clowns a copy of the new testament.

  • LJL on December 24, 2012 6:50 PM:

    According to his paid minions, Graham and Dobson, god is a mean minded SOB.

  • stevio on December 25, 2012 9:58 AM:

    Turned our backs on God? Is that even possible? Marrage to be redefined? That cretin who slaughtered those children came from a broken "real" marriage. Perhaps an overhaul is long overdue.

    Two firefighters were killed by an x-felon who somehow got a hold of a semi-auto rifle. Go figure...

    Oh, and by the way Merry Christmas...such that it is...

  • Steve on December 25, 2012 10:58 AM:

    The nice thing about God is that he seems to do whatever we want Him to do. . . retrospectively.

    Hey, Big G. . . if you want to make me believe, do us a favor and smite one of these gun-toting clowns down BEFORE they open fire some time.

    Do that and I'm a believer, right then and there.

    Oh, that's right, You don't do "signs" anymore.

  • Cosmiciguana on December 25, 2012 12:34 PM:

    It's clear to me that if Jesus returned, he would be persecuted again by the "faith based community", he would be preaching to stoners, and really not much has changed. No doubt he would meet his end in a hail of semi-automatic fire, and his followers could adopt the bloody AR15 for the symbol of their new religion.

    It's enough to make a fellow a Taoist!

  • Hunter on December 25, 2012 12:39 PM:

    Why aren't people like Dobson and Graham out there preaching against violence before a bunch of first graders get slaughtered?

  • Daddy Love on December 25, 2012 4:27 PM:

    "So we're to believe that God is so upset with liberalism, he would be willing to sit by while 20 6&7 year olds are slaughtered?"

    Nope. Dobson is saying, effectively, that GOD SENT THE SLAUGHTERER. And he will again if those awful liberals keep it up.

  • bluestatedon on December 25, 2012 6:40 PM:

    "I hope these perpetually self-righteous gents reconsider these attitudes"

    You might as well hope that dung beetles cease frolicking in bovine poop.