Moments ago the US Supreme Court announced that marriage equality is now the law of the land. As our LGBTQ brothers and sisters celebrate civil equality under the law, undoubtedly there will be many conservative brothers and sisters who will warn of God’s pending judgment against the United States.
It’s obviously been a common trend over the years- this idea that tornadoes aren’t caused by a collision of unstable air during a thunderstorm but by the legality of same sex marriage in some places- and probably won’t be going away any time soon. In fact, the warnings of pending doom are ramping up to the point where we now have ministers threatening to set themselves on fire in protest. But let’s be real for a moment: if God hasn’t smitten us already, it’s kind of hard to imagine that gay marriage would be the issue that set him off. In fact, here’s a list of smite-worthy things we’ve done that for some reason, didn’t result in an asteroid landing smack dab in the middle of the country:
The genocide of the Native Americans.
The entire premise of America is founded upon the destruction of the indigenous people who were already here– bearers of the divine image of God. While there are no shortage of atrocities during the genocide of the indigenous population, we can peer through a small window from one instance at Sand Creek, Colorado:
“They were scalped; their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the head with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word.” [U.S. Cong., Senate, 39 Cong., 2nd Sess., “The Chivington Massacre,” Reports of the Committees.]
The nation was built upon the backs of slaves.
America’s wealth that we all directly or indirectly benefit from? That wealth is because our nation was founded upon the enslavement of our African brothers and sisters.
Our nation maintained its power and dominance through war after war.
And that included moments like Hiroshima and Nagasaki where we killed 135,000 and 64,000 people. Moments like July of 1950 where the US massacred 450 South Korean civilians, including children. It even included the internment of Asian Americans right here in our own country.
Our nation has a horrible track record on civil rights for minorities.
Legal slavery was long passed before minorities gained basic civil rights, women didn’t get the right to vote until 1920, and we live in a country where minorities still suffer unjustly and as less than equal.
The US has killed upwards of 4 million Muslims as a result of war and US policy.
Why? Partly for financial interests, and partly because when we hit back we hit exceedingly hard.
The US has resorted to torturing our enemies, and many of the people of Jesus have vocally supported it.
You know, chaining our enemies to the floor and letting them freeze to death? We did that.
Every time we turn on the TV we see another shooting, because we love guns more than common sense.
And you know what we do about it? Nothing.
We can solve the world’s food crisis, but don’t.
Solving world food crisis would cost $30 billion a year. But here’s two sickening facts: our military budget is over $664 Billion and we throw away $165 Billion worth of food every year. And ironically, this is exactly why scripture says Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.
We are home to 1.3-1.4 million abortions each year.
This is an indictment on both sides of the issue– one side rebuffing any changes to laws, and the other side refusing to reduce abortions by means other than the force of government. Both sides should be working together to find ways to continue to reduce this.
Almost half of Americans live in areas where we’ve polluted the air to dangerous levels.
God’s beautiful creation? We poison it.
We made Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Nickelback household names (even if two of them are Canadian).
And isn’t that worthy of destruction?
Pat Robertson still has his own TV show, Franklin Graham has recently discovered Facebook, and Kirk Cameron is still making movies.
I can’t imagine that one is too pleasing to the Almighty…
But here’s my point: this isn’t so much about same sex marriage or any of the issues I listed, as it is about our view of God. Is God really the kind of God who loses his temper and smites nations? If he is, why has he waited so long? Why would he tolerate death and destruction, yet totally flip his lid because my neighbors can now get on the same insurance policy?
If you think God is going to smite us, I’d encourage you to ask why he hasn’t already.
(And a big congratulations to my LGBTQ brothers and sisters who have longed to be equal under the law, and now are. Today, I celebrate with you.)