March 30, 2015

Conservative ministers hypocritically fuse church, state, military

A friend of a friend on Facebook recently posted one of these memes with attacking Clinton and Obama for lack of military service.

First, there's three big things militarily "wrong" with the picture.

One is that Shrub Bush, of course, used Air National Guard service, quite sporadically, to avoid Vietnam. Two is that the draft had ended before Obama graduated high school and thus he was not subject to Selective Service call-up.

And three is that Reagan, while in the Reserves even before World War II started abroad, let alone Pearl Harbor, was blind as a bat, never saw actual military work, and spent most of his active duty time making war movies, to be followed 25-50 years later by ongoing massive self-deception that he had in fact fought in World War II.

There's three things wrong with the attitude of the person who posted it, too. This gentleman, a Rev. Kevin Wenker is a pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the main denomination of the conservative, even fundamentalist, wing of Lutheranism. (This, and his Facebook posts in general, are posted as "public," therefore, per my standards about social media and blogging or resharing, I'm not violating any privacy.)

The first thing wrong is a selective lack of respect, which is addressed in this gentleman's scriptures by Romans 13:
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

I highlighted that last line on purpose. Because that's obviously not being done by this gentleman, nor by thousands of other conservative Christian ministers, of whom he is a type.

Clearly, above cheap spoofing at both Obama and Clinton, the Obama picture bears either the insinuation that he is a Muslim, or was born in Africa. Both are, of course, lies, which is far below respect and honor.

The second thing wrong is somewhat related. It's the assumption that because the politics of one president, or one president's party, more than another, align with certain mores and doctrine of a denomination, that president should be run up the flagpole and saluted.

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is "pro-life," and hence, part of the love for GOP presidents. But it, and most Protestant churches, who have quasi-officially, or at the individual pastor level, supported a man deliberately waging a war that was stupid, whether or not Augstinianly unjust, aren't so pro-life; that's even more true if they support the death penalty. 

Catholics, at least popes, get this right, with opposing the death penalty, and John Paul II questioning the Iraq invasion.

Heck, my own LCMS minister daddy got this right, in his last congregation, when some of his members got too gung-ho about running the Iraq War up the flagpole and saluting it.

Of course, the LCMS, like most conservative Protestant churches, has many members close to, or in Tea Party country, opposing Obamacare as "socialism" and more.

To that, and to Southern Baptists — per Jefferson's Danbury letter to Baptists — I note the fusion of church and state.

As for "supporting the troops"? This gets back to more and more veterans who say to wingnut types that your "thanks for your sacrifice" words are empty bullshit. I "support the troops" by not wanting them sent to stupid wars in the first place.

And, per Romans 13, and per additional blogging of friends like Dan Fincke, this is just another example of how fundamentalists can be selective about their fundamentalism.

No comments: