The “Choose your divine revelation” theory

Religion can be bent to fit your politics, and vice versa.
I’ve decided to call this the “Choose your divine revelation” theory.
Following are some examples.
They may not be the best ones, but they should do the trick.

Though you wouldn’t know it by watching most mainstream media, there
 are religious groups in America that are relatively progressive.
For example, on Feb. 25, 2003 a National Council of Churches delegation
went on a trip to Rome to urge the Pope to address the Iraq War, as well as
“jobs and income, health care,
hunger, and housing and homelessness.”
In the press release I’m quoting, a “Poverty March” is mentioned:
“Special events include a series of national and local activities
 during ‘Cover the Uninsured Week,’…co-sponsored
by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, faith groups and other
organizations; a congress on urban ministry in Chicago; and a
seminar on sustainable rural communities.”

And, according to Burton Reifler, a
physician and national program director for Faith in Action,
religions have in common “a mandate to do good works
by helping those who need assistance.”

However, a Christian Rightwing Republican-dominated government had a different interpretaton of
 “good works,” which led to stories like this one from the New York Times
 (November 21, 2009):
“American and Afghan officials have begun helping a number of
 anti-Taliban militias that have independently taken up arms against
insurgents in several parts of Afghanistan, prompting hopes of a
large-scale tribal rebellion against the Taliban.
The emergence of the militias, which took some leaders in
 Kabul by surprise, has so encouraged the American and Afghan
officials that they are planning to spur the growth of
 similar armed groups across the Taliban heartland in the southern
and eastern parts of the country.
The American and Afghan officials say they are hoping the
 plan, called the Community Defense Initiative, will bring together thousands
 of gunmen to protect their neighborhoods from Taliban insurgents.
Already there are hundreds of Afghans who are acting on
their own against the Taliban, officials say.
The endeavor represents one of the most ambitious — and one
of the riskiest — plans for regaining the initiative against the
 Taliban, who are fighting more vigorously than at any time
since 2001.” 

“Ah,” I said at the time, “the plot thickens, like the semi-goopy texture of
 a vat full of feces.”
This decision sounded like divine revelation to me.
Here’s what I mean:
The United States, with immense faith in its own “good work,” decided,
 “Hey, why not just start arming these people!  Surely, that’s never
 backfired in the past!”
And, yes, one may have faith that, if it would somehow backfire, a future President could
always win accolades for eventually improving relations with the country
 in question — assuming it’s still a country and not just a rubble heap, of course.
And Jesus wept. 


1.  “NCC delegation heads to Rome,” Worldwide Faith News archives, Feb. 25, 2003:

2.  “Millions become available in grants for care-giving programs,” United Methodist News Service, 12/19/2001:
3.  “Afghan Militias Battle Taliban With Aid of U.S.,” Dexter Filins, The New York Times, November 21, 2009:

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