Theologians debate message of Katrina

October 6, 2005
Theologians debate message of Katrina
By RICHARD N. OSTLING
Associated Press Writer

“New York’s Union Theological Seminary began the academic year with an explosive speech by Bill Moyers, late of PBS and CBS television, who was introduced as ‘the most respected journalist in America.”

“Most respected journalist?” Says who? Dan Rather? Union Seminary sure has slipped since the golden days of Bonhoeffer, Barth and Tillich! And, what are they doing mixing religion with politics? Perhaps Mahatma Moyers will enlighten us.

‘The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is,’ Moyers charged.

“Etymology: Greek theokratia, from the- + -kratia -cracy
1 : government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. ”

Wait just a minute… he must have the Republicans confused with that other party… the party that ran a failed seminary student for President… the party of the Reverend Al Sharpton and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. And, let’s not forget the Bible totin’ Senator and President Clinton. The former First Lady used to communicate with the departed spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt… would that qualify as divine guidance?

“Democracy is in peril.” He compared conservative Christian activists with Muslim terrorists who can cite “many verses in the Quran” as grounds “for waging war for God’s sake.” America’s “homegrown ayatollahs,” he stated, are deceitful bullies whose ‘viral intolerance’ undergirds ‘an unprecedented sectarian crusade for state power’ and ‘political holy war financed by wealthy economic interests.’

Please allow me to translate Mr. Moyer’s bigoted, progressive patois: Tolerance is the only remaining virtue with one exception: there will be no tolerance for the Christian who doesn’t know his place… the closet. Those Christians who take their faith out into the neighborhood, the school, the court, the public forum, medicine, the arts, and to skid row are intolerable.

Moyers cited the incredible devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and linked this with the Genesis flood. He noted that millions of conservatives believe the biblical teaching that God brought the deluge to punish human sin and also accept “God-ordered genocide” elsewhere in the Old Testament. His point: It’s dangerous to “read the Bible as literally true,” and liberals must resist those holding that belief.

It sounds as if Mr. Moyers is the danger to democracy and the sad thing is that, he’s so deluded by years of fawning and veneration by his colleagues, he doesn’t even know how pathetic he sounds. He debased PBS and CBS; now he’s defiled Union Seminary!

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