According to the Associated Press (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2006116/ap_on_re_us/katrina_nagin), New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin told listeners of his MLK Day address that he knows how God feels and thinks:
“Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it’s destroyed and put stress on this country.”
“Surely he doesn’t approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses.”
“But surely he is upset at black Americans also. We’re not taking care of ourselves."
“This city will be a majority African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be.”
AWK. GACK. SCHPLAT. SCHPOOEY. BLECH.
One would expect something like this from Pat Robertson, but from a former businessman (general manager of Cox Communications) and Republican-turned-Democrat elected on a reform platform? Naaah…say it ain’t so.
Has God truly conveyed his thoughts to Nagin? Of course not – this is a rhetorical device on Nagin’s part. How can we possibly take the idea that Nagin knows God’s mind seriously? Nagin’s conception of God allows him to infer and create what God might think, what God might feel. God according to Nagin. All fine and well I suppose. But I take exception.
I don’t conceive of God as an entity that concerns him, her, or itself with the particulars of our human existence, and I refuse to believe in a wrathful, vengeful God or one whose administration of punishment produces collateral damage. And I am simply sick to death of politicians and public figures using their self-proclaimed intimate knowledge and understanding of God to further their agenda – even if the agenda itself is noble and just.