God Doesn’t Give a Shit About Taxes

Tom Maguire of Just One Minute opined today that the left was typically making a big deal out of nothing for objecting to Michelle Bachmann’s remarks, also today, to the effect that God was speaking through earthquakes and hurricanes to express his displeasure with Democrats for not supporting tax cuts and spending cuts. Tom finds such objections ridiculous for the reason that Bachmann said she was joking when heavy criticism started to come down on her for saying what she said:

Michelle Bachmann draws predictableprogressive ire by linking Hurricane Irene with God’s wrath and Washigton’s spending.  Anyone watching the video would know she was kidding (the crowd’s laughter is only one clue), but that would be too much reality for the reality-based.

Just to help our friends on the left – we aren’t imprisoning the Israelites, either.

Ignoring my better judgment, I posted a comment saying that it’s obvious from her actual words (not to mention her history of making numerous outrageous statements in the past) that Bachmann was not joking. Here is what she said:

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people, because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet, and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

That is not a joke. A joke would have been, “Hey, maybe God sent the earthquake and hurricane because the Democrats are opposing tax cuts.” Or similar words, to the same effect. Of course, this statement would be just as moronic as the statement she actually made, and coming from her, it would almost certainly not be meant as a joke. But the point is, nobody goes on in such detail and at such length and with such emphasis just to make a joke.

Having said this, the larger point (as I went on to say in my comment at Maguire’s blog) is this:

Even if she WAS joking — actually, especially if she was joking, it’s sacriligious to say God sends messages about TAX CUTS via earthquakes and hurricanes. What a worm’s-eye view of God. I actually happen to believe God exists, and I find her “joke” offensive in the extreme.

A couple of readers responded to my comment, and there ensued a brief back-and-forth. I am reproducing it here because Maguire deleted part of the exchange (a response I made to a rather insulting comment from one reader, who calls himself “H Salt Fortescu Esquire”). Since Maguire deleted my final response, I cannot copy and paste it in here, so I will paraphrase it as accurately as my memory serves. First the part of the exchange that remains in the thread:

Kathy, you seem to be a member of the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” branch of Christianity, which doctrine seems a tad contrary to the Big Guy’s.

To which I replied:

There is nothing in what I wrote here that conveys the meaning “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” If you think there is, perhaps you can show me where it is, as opposed to just asserting it?

H. Salt Fortescu Esquire’s reply? He pasted in my initial comment, with bolding added, and then added his own comment:

And if you actually read her actual words, it’s obvious she’s NOT kidding, audience laughter or not. Maybe they were laughing AT her — at her moronic, childish view of God.But there’s a much larger point. Even if she WAS joking — actually, especially if she was joking, it’s sacriligious to say God sends messages about TAX CUTS via earthquakes and hurricanes. What a worm’s-eye view of God. I actually happen to believe God exists, and I find her “joke” offensive in the extreme.

If she isn’t joking she has a moronic, childish view of God.

If she is joking she’s sacrilegious.

Either you couldn’t see that because you’re stupid or because you’re dishonest.
See how it works, dear?

I was rather put off by this reply, especially since I had not provoked it with ad hominems of my own, so I wrote that she was being sacrilegious whether she was joking or not joking. What makes the statement sacrilegious is her suggestion that God is small enough to be concerned with American partisan politics. I find this at best a deeply insulting view of God. An insult to God,  obviously, not to me. Now, if I were not religious this aspect might not bother me. But since I do happen to believe God exists, and since my understanding of God is that God is far beyond what any of us can understand or adequately articulate, I find Bachmann’s statement that God supports Republicans in their opposition to taxes and public spending to be egregiously offensive and yes, even sacrilegious. Does this mean she does not retain her First Amendment right to open her mouth and remove all doubt that she is a damn fool? Of course it doesn’t. She retains that right. But I am offended, as a person with strong and deep spiritual beliefs, at her making God into just another narrow-minded, petty, punitive right-winger. I would be just as offended if some Democrat were to say that God is sending earthquakes and hurricanes to punish us for sending more troops to Afghanistan, or for not making the stimulus twice as large as it was, or for not allowing same-sex marriage.Whatever one’s convictions about those issues or policies, that is an incredibly small and limiting view of how God works in the world.

We can disagree about whether Bachmann’s remarks were sacrilegious, but whether she meant to be serious or humorous in making those remarks is completely beside the point. If it is sacrilegious to put specific words in God’s mouth, to directly “quote” God — as if anyone knows the mind of God and as if God, whatever or however one conceives God to be, does not transcend petty and narrow human arguments and disagreements — then it is sacrilegious whether intended seriously or as a joke. It’s not the presence or lack of a humorous intent that makes what Bachmann said sacrilegious, it’s what she said.

I also think, quite aside from the substance of this issue, that it’s a very, very small-minded person who has no other way to express disagreement with or anger at another point of view than to say “See how it works, dear?” Whether the parties involved are male or female, doesn’t matter. It’s unfortunate that Tom Maguire chose not to allow these points to be made on his blog, but as it IS his blog, and as I do have my own blog, I shall use it to say what needs to be said.

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6 Comments

Filed under Breaking News, Politics, Religion, Society

6 responses to “God Doesn’t Give a Shit About Taxes

  1. Just so you know – I have no recollection whatsoever of deleting any of your comments. However, the Typepad hosting service I am using only displays 100 comments per page, and there were 370 comments accumulate at that post.

    Not being omniscient I can’t say for certain that you didn’t leave a comment that was swallowed by Typepad (it happens), but when I go back to through the comments starting from page 1 it appears that the dialogue between you and others, including H Salt Fortescue is complete.

    This is the first comment I see from you, Aug 29 3:38 PM:

    “And if you actually read her actual words, it’s obvious she’s NOT kidding, audience laughter or not. Maybe they were laughing AT her — at her moronic, childish view of God.

    But there’s a much larger point. Even if she WAS joking — actually, especially if she was joking, it’s sacriligious to say God sends messages about TAX CUTS via earthquakes and hurricanes. What a worm’s-eye view of God. I actually happen to believe God exists, and I find her “joke” offensive in the extreme.”

    Bits of that were excerpted later, as you note above. This is most of your response to Salt’s use of “dear”:

    “Either you couldn’t see that because you’re stupid or because you’re dishonest.
    See how it works, dear?
    No, actually both assertions are true. In my opinion, she wasn’t joking, and her statement was sacrilegious. And even if she was joking — which one would have to ignore her entire belief system, as revealed countless times in her career to think but never mind that for now — even IF she WAS joking, her statement would STILL be sacrilegious. If you feel, as I do, that it is sacrilegious to say that God was sending a message about tax cuts through earthquakes and hurricanes, then it’s sacrilegious whether you are joking or whether you are serious. It’s not whether she intended her remark seriously or whether she intended it humorously that makes the remark sacrilegious — it’s the remark itself.

    I do not think you are being dishonest, though. I think you truly believe that if Bachmann was joking or not makes a difference to whether the remark is sacrilegious, and that is because you’re not very smart or perceptive, on this issue at least.

    Finally, I know I am not dear to you, and you are certainly not dear to me, so why not drop the silly use of an endearment to convey your disagreement?” Aug 29, 8:04PM

    Well – from what you have posted here, I am confident that the entire argument remains at my site. I am also confident that nothing I’ve seen would be anything I would normally delete (is it possible I picked up on a Typing Tourette’s moment? Unlikely…)

    That said, obviously can’t possibly prove I never deleted anything.
    .

    • Tom,

      First of all, thank you for this explanation.

      All I can say is that I did not find my reply to H. Salt Fortescue (the “See how it works, dear”? one you quote above) even after I did a search on my name. I found my first two comments, but not my reply to HSF’s insulting, condescending reply. I concluded you had deleted it because I didn’t know what other explanation there could be. I didn’t confront you on it because it’s your blog, after all. That’s why I decided to write this post on my own blog.

      Having explained this, I have no reason whatsoever to disbelieve you, now, when you tell me you do not remember deleting my comment, and that as far as you can tell, you didn’t delete it. I believe you. You have no reason to lie about such a thing. I have no idea why I failed to find the comment upon two searches on my name, but stranger things have happened on the Intertubz. So if you agree, we can put it behind us.

      • Well, are you finding the comment now on page 2 or following?

        I am hazy as to what kind of search you might have been doing. A Google search for my site might work, depending on how recently the Google spiders had passed through.

        But a generic word search within the browser won’t work unless you go to the correct page.

      • Tom,

        I was doing a regular Find search on my name. A search for that word on the page. Are you saying that doesn’t work? Maybe there was a second page of comments I didn’t see.

        Kathy

  2. A regular browser word search for “Kattenburg” will turn up all your comments displayed on page 1; page two comments and following will only be found by going to those pages.

    • Tom,

      I just checked pages 2 and 3 of comments on the Michele Bachmann post, and did not find the comment of mine in question.

      I didn’t check page 1 because I had already scrolled through that one several times and done the check on my name (but I used my first name, not my last — I assume that shouldn’t make a difference).

      So, I cannot explain what’s going on. I do believe you, though. No reason not to. You wouldn’t take the trouble to send me all these emails saying you didn’t delete the comment and trying to figure out what happened if you had deleted it. Obviously.

      Kathy

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