Thursday, January 4, 2007

Oh, Cal...

My fascination with conservative nutjobs continues! Today I feature our dear friend, Cal Thomas.

Dear Mr. Thomas wrote on January 2 about the execution of Saddam Hussein. Now I rarely agree with Mr. Thomas who makes brilliant statements, like suggesting that CSI should be censored because women scientist in a scientic context use the word "semen" when referring to semen. (He did not appear to have a problem with male scientists using the word "semen.") But, while I disagree with Mr. Thomas's politics, this is about bad theology.

In the first paragraph, our friend claims to have a better understanding of justice than God.
In a final blasphemy, Saddam Hussein, who spent most of his life as a murdering secularist, went to his justified death holding a Koran and offering his soul to God, if God would accept it. If God does, He will have to commute the sentences of Saddam's mass murdering predecessors, including Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.
To me, this seems to be telling God what to do. Mr. Thomas, tell me, what happened to the prayer "Lord, let thy will be done?" It seems rather presumptuous to pretend that a human knows the mind of God and God's exact will for a situation. Thomas turns himself into the judge of Saddam Hussein's eternal fate, a role which (I'm to lazy to look up the citation) is forbidden Christians by their own Bible.

It's dangerous for anyone to pretend to have the judgment of God. Humans do have an ability to recognize good and to recognize evil, but out discernment is imperfect. This isn't an argument that there is no objective standard of justice. That standard is Divine, and I firmly believe beyond human comprehension. Further, I believe that the human journey is attempting to further refine our standard of justice to more closely resemble the Divine standard. While we are required at times to act according to our imperfect standard, we should never presume to know how the Divine standard would rule in a given situation. Thus, while we can say that Saddam Hussein deserved to die for his crimes, it is blasphemous to claim or imply that God will make the same judgment in Hussein's eternal fate. When we do so, we cease to view ourselves as an image of God and view God as an image of ourselves.

The scary portion of Cal Thomas's bad theology is that he is acting in the same manner as Al Kaida and other religious terrorists. He presumes to know the ultimate, eternal definitions of right and wrong and of just and injust. He presumes to know how God would act in a situations and flatters himself with the role of judge over the eternal fate of human being. This is the mindset that allows people to kill other humans without regret.

Unforntunately, Thomas isn't the bull goose looney of the Conservative camp. Just to remind us that there is infinite variety amongst nutters we have Ann Coulter, insisting that democrats didn't lower flags for Gerald Ford but for Saddam Hussein.

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