Divine Retribution? Maybe So…

We’ll return to the regularly scheduled Samhain series shortly, but I want to repost a rant from the DMN Religion Blog. An evangelical Christian suggested that our current economic melt-down is a result of America’s “lack of obedience” and corrupt churches. You can read the whole exchange here if you like.

I got a little wound up. Here’s my response:

If the USA has fallen out of divine favor and our current situation is a national punishment, it is not because we have been insufficiently obedient to some archaic moral code nor because our churches have preached some less-than-orthodox theology.

America’s sins are greed and arrogance. We always have to have a little bit more. Whether it’s a hedge fund manager driving up the price of oil because a seven-figure bonus is so much better than a six-figure bonus, or a fast food manager signing up for an 84-month car loan because a huge SUV is so much better than small car, too much is never enough.

We’re the wealthiest nation in the history of the world and we can’t provide health care for all our citizens. Jobs are shipped overseas, pensions and benefits are cut, yet executive pay is at obscene levels.

And the rest of us cooperate, not caring where our food and clothing come from or under what conditions they’re produced and sold so long as we get the lowest price always. We’re always ready to rack up the credit cards for the next hot toy the television tells us we have to have.

Meanwhile, we waste billions of dollars and thousands of lives fighting a war for “regime change” because we think we’re capable of making people in other countries support us with the shock and awe of our military might. And some in power still haven’t learned that while conquest is easy, control is not.

Sooner or later, balance has to be restored – one way or another. When a balloon expands beyond its tensile strength, it will burst. We didn’t have the good sense – or the humility – to say enough is enough.

It’s time for America to repent of our greed and arrogance. It may be too late to prevent real people from suffering real harm this time, but it’s not too late to build a world that’s more just, equitable and reasonable, so this doesn’t happen again.

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