Where the God of wrath?

Finished George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant and have already passed it off (I’ll buy more copies for friends) and have ordered his Moral Politics.

His big point is that conservatives and progresives have, respectively, dominant Strong Father and Nurturant Parent worldviews, which apply to the nation which fills the role of family. I’m not fully sold on the theory, but it works in the breach.

Lakoff takes the reasonable step to distinguish between conservative and progressive religions by how they see God, again, as Strong Father or Nurturant Parent. The “Strong Father” God is the wrathful punisher, and so forth.

Today, in the mail, I got a mass-mailed booklet entitled The Path to Peace: Finding Hope in a Troubled World. It is Seventh Day Adventist, is in a magazine format, and nice if a bit folksy (in a Readers’ Digest and SDA way.) Something my grandmothers would or would have liked.

Also in typical SDA way, there’s the line:

Though all thse evidences have been given, the enemy of good blinded the minds of men, so that they looked upon God with fear; they thought of Him as severe and unforgiving. Satan led men to conceive of God as a being whose chief attribute is stern justice –one who is a severe judge, a harsh, exacting creditor.

The lesson? Find a friend where you can, and not get suckered into a culture war which, given the de facto terms of engagement, the Right would almost certainly win.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

1 comment

  1. I like having an SDA stand in as our wayshower. I like George Lakoff, but find his hypothesis much too simplistic.

    I’ve found SDAs, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses inspiring in uncanny ways from time to time. Raymond Franz was on the Governing Body of the Watch Tower Society. As a frequent dissenter he was, in stages, ushered out of the JWs. The two books in which he tells his story are well worth reading. Also, James Penton, a fourth generation JW in Canada, authored APOCALYPSE DELAYED after he was disfellowshipped (in the early ’80s). I have yet to locate a copy of a JW book that he authored last year.

    Thank God for our fundie friends.


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