Sunday, July 13, 2008

A reading according to Pelosi

Chris Johnson over at the MCJ points out that
The next time you read anything about the "religious left," remember this. Not only does the left higher criticicize into atoms any Scripture that gets in its way, it also quotes Bible verses that don't exist:
... citing the report that House Speaker Pelosi keeps on quoting a supposed Bible verse to support some pet position or another. The only drawback being that the particular verse doesn't actually exist.

This drew a lot of criticism of Pelosi -- heck, even the Main Stream Media wasn't universally, slavishly, grovelingly praising her about it! But I thought perhaps this criticism was a little excessive...

Now, now, you're all being unrealistic. You don't think Pelosi really bothered to even write her speech, do you? No, she was certainly too busy trying to raise money for Obama, or lobbying for 4th-trimester abortions, or brainstorming on how to start planting false stories about McCain, or whatever it is that liberal Democrats do on the tax payers' dollar these days.

Doubtless some staffer put this address together for her (just like her earlier ones which quoted this mysterious Biblical passage) and if she saw the speech more than 5 minutes before delivering it, count yourself lucky.

So the real question is -- where did a staffer come up with this nonsense? Well, remember, Congressional staffers are nortorously overworked, they're going to be looking for a quick fix when a quote or topic or research is demanded of them. And think about it -- most staffers are going to be products of contemporary American colleges, right, which means (a) they know nothing about the Bible; (b) they think everything on the Internet is true; (c) they've been inculcated with complete and utter brain-dead credulity about anything which caters to liberal biases, regardless of how patently absurd, false, or unsubstantiated.

So if such a staffer is told "get me an Old Testament quote about environmentalism" where do you think they'll go -- to the Bible or to a condordance? Of course not. To!

So what we should really be asking is -- where did some theologically-illiterate staffer come up with the nonsense which theologically-illiterate Pelosi has been spouting off for months and a theologically-illiterate public didn't notice until now? (At least the public actually listening to her stuff... which is probably not very many people -- I don't think senators or congressmen ever listen to what the others say after all... it's only the CSPAN junkies who do.)

Well, a quick google search on the key words and phrases, such as "minister to creation", quickly provides the answer: the "theology" (cough gag cough) section of Let's take a look at what, ah, dingleberries of wisdom are presented there, shall we?

Having raised our consciousness about the crimes against creation and the ecological needs of our planet, as well as the Gospel message of restoration for all of creation, we are ready to consider our commitment to serving Earth as servants of Christ... We are called to minister to creation. Earlier (Chapter Three) we discussed the implications of the mandate to dominate found in Genesis 1.26-28. That mandate has been one of the factors in our alienation from Earth. We now return to Genesis Two where the first commission of God to serve and sustain Earth is announced.... A closer analysis of this text makes it clear that human beings are to be created for a specific reason—to ‘abad Earth. One can, of course, simply render this Hebrew verb ‘till’, but that is a minimal reading. The most common and frequent meaning of this verb is ‘serve’... Humans are created to ‘serve’ Earth—to minister with respect!....

The motivation for pursuing this calling is a theology of the cross, the way of Jesus Christ ‘who came not to be served, but to serve and give his life a ransom for many’ (Mark. 10.42-45). This text urges us, I believe, to speak of serving creation or ministering to creation rather than exercising dominion or stewardship over creation. Or in the words of Santmire:

"As restored creatures, we members of the martyr church can enter into a new life of righteous cooperation with nature. Traditionally the words dominion and stewardship have been employed in this connection, but I now believe that it is best to retire them, for the foreseeable future, so that we do not have to explain constantly to others what they really mean and can simply say with conviction what we really mean. These terms still carry too much baggage from anthropocentric and indeed androcentric theology from the past; they are still fraught with the heavy images of management, control, and exploitation of persons and resources. (2000, 120)"

Wow... sounds like it come right off the syllabus of a PEcUSA seminary class, doesn't it?

Yup, that's right, folks -- the Garden of Eden story is all about how we need to raise our ecoconsciousness. Christ came not to serve us or save us from sin -- but to serve environmental restoration and save us from global warming and environmental exploitation. We are a "martyr" church by entering into "righteous cooperation" with nature. And, of course, seeing all this we escape from the anthropocentric and 'androcentric' theology of the past.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a return to the worship of fertility goddesses.

Welcome to Eco-gnosis -- join us to raise your consciousness and reduce your carbon footprint!

Welcome to the making of the Green Idol... please melt down your pay checks and prepare your sacrifices... the line forms to the left, and we'll be giving out gift certificates for Whole Foods after the service.

Heck, we've even renewed the practice of sacrificing of infants to water the ground with their blood... though, of course, now we call it "respecting a woman's choice" to "abort" a child to prevent overpopulation. Or something. (There's probably a Biblical passage misconstrued somewhere in that document linked above to justify the slaughtering of innocent children, but I don't have the stomach to read any more of it.)

Now, obviously this (choke barf) "theology" has very little to do with Christianity. Care for the Creation of which God made Man the head is, of course, a very Christian concept. Go read St. Bonaventure! But here it is -- as all heresy -- ripped out of all context and used to completely "rewrite" all the rest of Scripture in its own image, no matter how ridiculous or tangential the resulting isogesis is.

Still, let's not be too tough on the anonymous Congressional staffer who, obviously utterly ignorant of Scripture, dug this up -- perhaps all unwittingly and well-meaning -- in an effort quickly to come up, on demand, with some platitudinous moral tripe wrapped up in religious language for the Speaker to use.

And let's not even be too tough on Pelosi -- after all, she's fairly obviously just one of those aging "liberation theology" Roman Catholics who have been completely alienated from what Christian theology actually teaches (and alienated from their "patriarchal" denomination) and been sucked in to the false teachings of the hyper-liberal aging-hippie Roman Catholic wackos who still infect parts of that jurisdiciton.

Heck, for all we know, she's just innocently parrotting what she heard in some mealy- (or moss-) mouthed sermon at a lay "Eucharistic" fellowship using organic grape juice and multi-grained flatbread in the 70s-decorated umber-and-olive colored livingroom of somebody's house-church "nunnery"... and she really does think there's an O.T. passage out there somewhere which says what she claims.

Besides, her job isn't to be a theological teacher or Biblical scholar -- and there's nothing wrong with a politician advancing causes (like environmentalism) which they believe to be to contribute to the public good, nor in wanting to put a "moral" face on it by allusions to Scripture -- especially since care for the earth is (as already mentioned) a perfectly Christian idea. Heck, wouldn't it be great if more politicians looked to Scripture for inspiration (though, of course, only if they actually read what it says and considered what it really means.)

No, if you're going to criticize Pelosi, it should not be on theology, but how these repeated quotes of hers reveal clear lack of supervision or quality control on the "research" and "speech writing" which goes on in her office to prepare her public statements -- and the astute reader should start to wonder if other stuff she trots out on a regular basis is just as contrafactual and out of touch with reality as this supposed "Biblical" quote.

Instead, friends, save your theological ire for someone who ought to know better about what the real meaning of Christianity, of Christ's sacrifice, and the Church is, and yet who jettisons Christianity, Scripture and the Church for the sake of making environmentalism a Green Idol to which all else is subordinated and sacrificed.

You know: someone who would, oh to pick a random example out of the blue (or green?), decide that sermons about global warming and cow farts are the most important thing for a "religious" leader (snicker gag snicker) to preach on Easter.