Wednesday, December 08, 2010

In Reply: Elizabeth Edwards: "this was a time for prayer, good wishes, and Christian mercy"

In reply to Elizabeth Edwards Dies | Politics | Christianity Today
(And please see the updates, below.)

While I can appreciate those who wish for everyone to know God's love and mercy, I take issue with Donald Douglas' tone and timing in essentially berating a dying woman for not believing that God intervenes in the lives of men--Donald's post actually claims she does not believe in God at all, but the quote from the 2007 American Prospect article posted above (as well as in his original post) says she does believe in God, but doesn't believe God would cure her cancer, even if asked (in part the result of God not intervening to save her son from dying, another sad chapter in her life).

Elizabeth Edwards was not anti-religious or a nihilist who rejected her faith, as Donald claims. Like many--especially those who've had tragedy in their lives, but also everyday people who haven't, members of the clergy, and unless I miss my guess, at least one person you know personally--she questioned her faith, and wondered why bad things happen to good people, and what God's role is in such events.

Rather than attacking her for not believing as he did, and then turning his guns on those he doesn't agree with politically-- as though they are in some way responsible for Mrs. Edwards believing God gave us life, a path to follow, and free will, (yes, Dan, even Elizabeth Edwards believed it was God who gives us those guidelines, and obligates us to live by them, in order to receive enlightenment and salvation), but that He does not protect us from all harm, even if we ask Him to --Donald could have suggested we all pray that Elizabeth Edwards found the God he believed she'd lost, in her remaining days (or as it turned out, hours).

The way I see it, this was a time for prayer, good wishes, and Christian mercy, not recrimination of a dying woman and the gathering of political points. That is not the Word found in my Bible (but then, I am a Unitarian Universalist (born Roman Catholic), and Donald takes issue with my religious beliefs, as well. Nowhere in Donald's post linked above does he speak of praying for Elizabeth, and for her everlasting soul.

(What does God and the church say about dealing with those who don't share your faith... or even your denomination of Christianity? It has been awhile, I admit, but I don't believe I was ever taught to berate or shame others for not being a Christian (or as Christian the folks who attended my church, rather than that Episcopalian one on the next block.) Is recrimination and literally "holier-than-thou" attitudes really the name of the game, or is Donald himself perhaps in need of some intercessory prayer, to help him bring others to God and the Bible without beating them over the head with such a Good (and often heavy) Book? (I'll certainly be praying for him, regardless.)

To everything, there is a season... ...I'm just not sure this was the season for Donald to be planting faith, or for that matter, whether his seed was any good, anyway.

UPDATE 1: Christianity Today deleted the second part of my comment (everything after "(or as it turned out, hours)." I find that odd.

UPDATE 2, 12/9/10, 8:30 AM: Sometime late last night, all the comments that'd been held or disappeared from the Christianity Today post (mine, and everyone else's) reappeared, and are still there as of this morning. Should that change again, I'll be back, but I expect that a moderator there was either new, or a little overzealous in protecting the Christian (or more likely, the Christianity Today) brand, and that the situation has been fixed for good. (That's what I hope pray, anyway...)
Previously: American Niiiiihilist: American Power: Elizabeth Edwards: Nihilist

Subsequently: What'd I Say?: In reply: Elizabeth Edwards: "How about we just let God sort it all out instead of judging Mrs Edwards or her imperfect faith?"

1 comment:

Jerry said...

"Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need". Hebrews 4:16

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