Saturday, October 18, 2008

God probably wanted me to write this

There were a couple articles in Time, recently, asking whether evangelicals telling folks that God wanted them to be rich or wanted them to get a house were to blame for the financial crisis. In short - if God wants you to get a mortgage that you shouldn't be able to afford, then he'll "make a way" and it's beyond you to question the logistics. It's easy to see that this road leads to disaster, in retrospect if not in the moment. Especially when you're encouraged to avoid looking down that road in the first place.

Of course, the market meltdown will hardly prompt a crisis in faith. I'm sure that people will find a way to rationalize God wanting them to suffer a crushing setback. (I'm also sure hubris will factor in, though not in the way that I would think to apply it.)

It all reminds me of one of my favorite religious paradoxes. Two sports teams meet in some sort of championship, and both extol their faith in God and assuredness that he'll help then win. And then one team invariably loses. They find ways to rationalize it, but it simply comes down to God not wanting them to win - which they deal with shockingly well, considering how sure they were that God wanted them to win beforehand. (Again, it was probably Satan-induced hubris, right? As opposed the Christ-induced confidence of the other team, I guess. Too bad we couldn't tell them apart beforehand and skip this whole thing.) But they never seem to make either of the leaps from there that, to me, seem entirely logical: 1) God just doesn't fucking care about whether you win a trophy when he has stuff like, say, natural disasters to concern him; and 2) maybe God just doesn't like you.

But, then, I don't really get any of this religious stuff.

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