That’s not a very good thing for a writer to say. Even if we don’t know where to start, we usually write until we know where to begin.
But finding where to begin takes time. It takes lots of typing and retyping. Rearranging. Starting over. And finding our way again. I don’t have time to do that. There’s a book to write. There’s freelance work that’s due. And I’m constantly distracted.
Last night and today I was distracted by Facebook. Specifically, I was distracted by a “prayer” that many of my Christian friends were posting on Facebook and other Christian friends were clicking that they “liked.”
“DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE [sic]. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH [sic] FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN”
For nearly 24 hours I’ve been raging against this “joke” because, as a Christian, I felt I had to. As a Christian, I’m shamed by such hate. My Jesus isn’t about hate. My Jesus – as you’ll read in my sex book – is about love, grace, and mercy.
I have no issue with people expressing their disagreement with our President. I don’t even have a problem with people expressing their dislike for him. What I do have a problem with is Christians praying for a person’s death. As a Christian, I don’t feel like we have the right to decide when another dies. That’s up to God.
I’ve heard people compare this “joke” to the cruelties spoken about former President George W. Bush. They say that those on the left – specifically Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks – wished President Bush dead, so those on the right are justified in doing the same regarding President Barack Obama.
If I recall correctly, Ms. Maines didn’t wish any sort of thing on our President. She simply said she was ashamed he was from Texas.
“Just so you know, we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” — Natalie Maines, 2003
I have no objection to people saying they’re ashamed President Obama is from Hawaii … or that he’s an embarrassment … or, even as I heard tonight, that he’s an idiot.* Again, my problem is Christians praying for his death.
In fact, that seems to go against the essence of Christianity, especially since there are many Christians who believe our President is a Muslim. That very belief – inaccurate as it is – is all the more reason they should be praying for our President, rather than praying for his death. In other words, they should be praying for his salvation rather than praying that he dies before he’s saved. Isn’t that what evangelical Christianity is all about?
But there’s another reason I’m upset that Christians are “joking” and praying for our President’s death, and that reason is personal. He has two little girls. I cannot imagine what it’d be like for those children to hear that others – specifically Christians – are praying for their father’s death. How cruel is that? And, oh, how it would turn them away from Christianity. At least it would me.
Still, that doesn’t explain why it’s personal. My father died when I was five years old leaving my mother to rear two girls by herself. I look at those children and I see my sister and me. I think about what it’s like to grow up with a dead daddy, and I don’t want that for them.
This is what I mean about not knowing where to start and not having time to find out where to begin. This blog is nothing like what I wanted or intended. It’s not even covering the topics I thought I’d discuss. But it’s what has come out of my fingertips, so I guess it’s where I’ll end.
By the way, for those who have forgotten, Natalie Maines later apologized to President Bush. I wonder if there are any Christians out there who will apologize to President Obama.
“As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect.” — Natalie Maines, 2003
* Okay, truth — I’d prefer he not be called an idiot, but calling him an idiot is an improvement over praying for his death.