In my previous post, I mentioned an article that got me to thinking about the mass murder of Newtown's school children and teachers in a different light. After reading that today's Lectionary suggested that reading the Magnificat was optional (those verses framed by parentheses: Luke 1:39-45(46-56)), and fuming that this might deprive some Sunday worshippers of the opportunity to hear words such as,
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. (KJV)
I thought people might never hear about the "God of power and might", and what might be the effect of a steady dose of similar omissions?
William Murray is the son of atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, and he has some interesting answers to my question and for those of us trying to make sense of the recent tragedy in Newtown (full text found here).
"If an individual is not afraid of the wrath of God, it is impossible to cause him to fear the justice of the state..."Such a person has only himself to fear.
"But the greatest villain (in this tragedy) is a church that has accepted the world’s view that hell does not await evildoers..."Yes, that is the message being spread in the modern revisionist parish as has been documented here on previous occasions.
"With a weak message from a weak church, there is no restraint or lessening of the violence..."
There can be no argument that the weak church (as far as judgment and damnation goes) sends out weak messages to the weak minded, but is it possible in this day and age to convince a people that scarcely believes in eternal life that there can be eternal fire?
"My mother, atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, fought to make the public schools the armed camps they are today by removing prayer, the recognition of the authority of God. In 1962 and 1963, I was attending an all-boys public high school in downtown Baltimore, Md. The school was a magnet school before the term even existed and was intended to prepare young men for college, majoring in science and engineering. There were 1,800 teenage boys in the school, and there was not a cop in the building – ever. The doors were unlocked and often the un-air-conditioned rooms had open windows. There were no metal detectors, no picture IDs, and students went in and out the doors on the honor system.Authority was something we were taught as children to respect and to fear. I know that I never, never wanted to be hauled into the Assistant Headmaster's office, a place where all sorts of unspeakable horrors were rumored to await misbehaving schoolboys.
The authority of God was present..."
"In the vast majority of America’s public schools, the authority of God has been replaced with the authority of the iron fist of government. Morals? Without the authority of God, there are no morals, and none are taught in the public schools today. The ethics that are taught are situational, perhaps the same situational ethics that led to the logic that caused the tragic shootings in Newtown."That same situational ethics might be alive and well and taught by your church too.
"A large advertising sign near my home reads, 'A church for those who don’t like church.' Translation: 'No condemnation of sin here – we have coffee latte and great music.'”The feel good Sunday morning church of today serves up a watered down version of God's message. This is what the people, in ever decreasing numbers, lap up week after week . To what effect? Would it hurt to deliver the message with all the shock and awe contained therein?
"How about this politically incorrect sermon subject: 'An angry God condemns the carnal sin of Adam Lanza, the Newton school shooter who killed 26, and he will rot in eternal torment in hell, as do all those who turn their backs on God and his goodness and continue their wicked and sinful ways.'
No way, no how in America today."Read it all here.
What happens when you’re raised by America’s most famous atheist? Read William Murray’s riveting and redemptive new book, “My Life Without God”
What happens when your revisionist church includes the strong language but twists it to meet its agenda? Today at our church we got a massive dose of the Magnificat with at least four versions being read or sung, and then we had to listen to our priest's three takes on the Mag, one of which unfortunately came from a liberation theology point of view in which celibate Catholic males and early Protestant Reformation males got bashed. Lord have mercy!
Fortunately "his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation".