Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Tag Archives: Bible Belt

Whose Side Are They on Now?

When things go right…
when her friend’s surgery is successful;
when his kid scores a goal;
when the baby is born with ten and ten
and Mom’s epidural was spot-on;
when a football player executes a game-saving touchdown,
when an old guy, down to his last buck at the bar,
hits the TV gambling jackpot,
it’s “Praise Jesus!”
They crow, “Thank God!”

When war rips a relentless dagger with
no healing in store,
and “smart bombs” hit the
“actionable intelligence” targets
(and only kill a few kids and other civilians),
when a dictator who was funded by the US but
falls out of favor ends up on the wrong side of a noose,
it’s, “God is on our side!”

When Katrina hit New Orleans,
when earthquakes hit Los Angeles,
Bible Belters shouted, “It’s because of all the sin
that is tolerated there!  It was God’s will!”
(Sure, there’s that racist tinge to the condemnation…
never mind that the majority of Katrina victims
were people of color who worked hard to maintain
their neighborhoods, while the vast majority of “sinners”
are white college girls who get stinking drunk and
flash their boobs to get Mardi Gras beads…)
“Praise Jesus, who looks after the righteous,”
says the preacher, passing the collection plate.
(It’s all in the timing.)

But when a neighbor is laid off or gets
screwed out of a pension,
when someone on your block develops cancer and
it’s already Stage Four,
or it’s your kid who’s hit by a drunk driver
or knocked up by her own uncle…

Whose side is God on now?
Does Jesus hate your neighbor? Is that why he’s
slumping his shoulders in the unemployment line?
Does God think it was the 13-year-old girl’s fault
for “tempting” her pedophile uncle?
Do God and Jesus sit on high and zap people
with cancer when they are bored?

Think about these things
the next time you presume
to speak for God.

And feel free to give a copy of this to your pastor.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil