Normally, I don’t spend a great deal of time sitting around, jowls in hand, trying to figure out what’s going on in the minds of some of our more devout Christian citizens. It’s just not worth the effort. It’s like trying to find evidence of intelligent design in a boiling pot of chicken noodle soup or recognizable patterns in a dust devil. As soon as you think you see something coherent, it disappears in a flurry of chaos. Yet when whatever it is that’s on their minds comes spilling out of their mouths—particularly when they’re attempting to use their faith to justify the murder of their own children—I feel compelled to look for some sense in it.
Not that it matters much whether anyone finds any sense of it. Sense is not something to which these people are overly committed. So even were I or anyone else to discover a heretofore hidden logical weave or rational structure to the theological principles that guide them, it would be of little interest to them, as they already know the truth when they see it, regardless of what anyone but themselves think.
Such was the case a few days ago when a Trump spokesperson from Missouri told a CNN interviewer, in response to an inquiry into how Evangelicals (the greater share of them, at any rate) can continue to support a man so obviously lacking in the very piety and sanctity they profess to admire. Her answer: “God can use anybody. He used the harlots (in the Bible). It’s all about what God can do. … God can use this man.”
Okay then, if I have this right, we are left to understand that God is rather like Vito Corleone. Pay no regard to the scoundrels and scurrilous methods He employs to carry out His Will. Just keep the faith that it’s all for a good cause.
Then, just yesterday, I read of a woman in Indiana who smothered to death two of her children (ages six and seven) in order to give them a leg-up to the Pearly Gates. “My kids are in a better place,” explained Amber Pasztor from her jail cell. “They’re in Heaven now. They don’t have no worries no more.”
Suddenly, I realized I’d stumbled into a solution to that tangled knot members of the Idaho Legislature has been trying to untangle of late. You know the knot I mean: the question as to whether a local sect … cult … whatever … should be allowed to continue letting their children expire in slow, often agonizing ways due to their conviction that modern medical procedures are unGodly, in that they interfere with God’s prerogative to get whichever young ‘uns He wants up there atis His His Feet in Heaven, whenever and in whatever cruel ways He so desires.
So it’s obvious, isn’t it? If, as Idaho law currently dictates, it’s perfectly legal for a parent to deny medical attention to a child dying of whatever manner of torture God chooses to inflict upon him or her … And whoever He uses to carry out His dictates is divinely motivated, no matter how ignorant, stupid, vicious, misbegotten, dishonest and/or deviant … then those parents in the Followers of Christ aren’t going nearly far enough in their dedication to God’s Will being done! Verily I say unto you, if God wants that kid of yours dead, then it is the Christian’s duty to pitch in and make it so!
Am I wrong about this? If—as this string of revelations indicates irrefutably, in my mind, if nowhere else—God would support a sexually predatory, vindictive and emotionally unstable grifter to become the leader of what few evangelicals would doubt is that nation most favored in Heaven, surely He can abide with having a few Canyon County filicidal murderers in his flock.
And hey, what’s a minute or two with your little head under a soft pillow, or maybe a bathtub full of warm water, compared to the lingering demise of untreated pneumonia or appendicitis?
So, you state legislators who would meddle in the holy covenant that a capricious God would make with His most primitive worshippers, back off! As long as an Idaho statute gives Idaho parents unconditional control over the fates of their children—provided that they exalt it under the banner of religious freedom—and as long as children are denied a right we adults would assume as a matter of course—the opportunity to speak out on our own behalf—this is none of your damn business!
And if you continue to pressure those poor, pious parents—so keen on giving little Jimmy and Janey up to a God who has decided His need to have them there with Him is far greater than any childish dreams they might have of growing up—you just might force them into an even more intense expression of faith. Keep in mind: By surviving witness’ accounts, the concerned parents of Jonestown made sure the children were the first to go.