14 January 2010
Agnus Dei, Qui Tolis Peccata Mundi, Misere Nobis
For the last several years, I've made the mistake of seeing you as a doddering, senile bigot whose rambling insanity and the forum which makes it possible is explainable only by sin and human stupidity. It appears I was too kind by half.
Make no mistake: I still believe everything I once believed, but I have a new perspective on your callous, inhuman bigotry. And the fault, for once, is mine, not yours. Every time you've issued your psychotic blamestorming on a population already suffering from natural disaster, I've laughed and reminded people how stupid you are, and how most of us in the Christian church believe you're an example of everything that could go wrong with our faith. But when the earthquakes ravaged Haiti this week, you blamed it on some supposed pact with the devil. For you, this was nothing but par for the heretical, vulgar course you've charted over the past twenty years. But for those of us in the ELCA, this one hit home, and so my eyes have been opened to the damage you've done.
You see, the bearded gentleman in the picture above was an ELCA seminarian, in Haiti for a January term course with his wife, his cousin and another classmate. He was less than six months from graduating and being called to serve a congregation as its pastor. By all accounts, he was a faithful servant of God, a loving husband and would have made an excellent pastor. I heard him preach just last summer, and I can tell you that your lunatic ramblings about God and evil have got nothing on the good news this young man could preach. Yet when the earthquake struck, only his wife and cousin escaped the collapsing building in which they were staying. While his death is not confirmed, all parties now presume that he did not survive the earthquake. He was taken from us in the earthquake, leaving behind friends and family whose grief you have insulted with ignorance, incompetence and inhumanity. I didn't know him well, but those who did deserve compassion and comfort in the face of this tragedy. Instead of Christlike compassion, you've poured bile and venom into their cup of sorrow.
Pat, you're not just a doddering nutcase. I was wrong about that. You, sir, are a cancer on the church. I'm ashamed to believe that Christ gave his holy, precious life to you. My faith tells me that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, yet I cringe to think that someday God will ask me to share eternal life with you. Fortunately for you, the decision of who gets in and who remains out is not up to me.
I hope God can forgive me for my anger. I pray, also, that in spite of your toxic tongue, the church I love and the God I serve can overcome your evil with good.
In Christ, reluctantly,
Those who would like to donate to Lutheran World Relief efforts in Haiti may do so here.