JIM CREES: God does not hate

A few years back, my good friend and former editor Jim Bruskotter asked me why I was “... always so angry” when I wrote my opinion piece columns.

I didn’t really think I was angry, but apparently I come off so. Certainly there is a lot over which to be angry in this world in which we live.

For example ... Pat Robertson.

I really don’t want to write again, and Again, and AGAIN about the unmitigated stupidity that comes out of Robertson’s mouth. I’ve promised myself not to do so. Then he says something to which I need to respond. If I don’t, too many people in my extended neighborhood will just let his comments pass.

I won’t let them pass.

Recently, Pat was giving one of his infamous Q&A talks. A question was asked by a woman viewer regarding how she could get her slob of a husband to help more around the house.

Robertson had absolutely no problem is resolving the poor woman’s problem.

“You’ve got to understand the male psyche,” he said. “The male wants to do something for his wife. He wants to provide for his family, he wants to provide a home, he wants to provide shelter, and food.

“That’s what he feels his male obligation is. And when he cleans up, it’s saying, ‘I love you.’

“If you understood that you say, ‘Darling, I’ve got a treat for you … wait until we get behind closed doors, and you’ll see the treat I have for you.’”

There it is ladies!

Rev. Pat has the answer for you.

If hubby picks up his socks, give him a “treat.” If he does the dishes, offer him some “goodies.”

If he dusts, kick out all the stops and “ ...wait until we get behind closed doors, and you’ll see the treat I have for you.”

Oh! My! God!

Listen, I like to think I’m just as ... um ... er ... ah ... manly as the next guy.

But when I help around the house — inside or out — it isn’t because I’m some Pavlovian dog drooling at the prospect of a “treat.”

I do it because I live there too.

My mess is my mess. I clean up my mess, and don’t expect to be rewarded with a glimpse of some shyly displayed ankle.

Cripes. We aren’t living in the Victorian era (which may be Pat Robertson’s problem).

My mother had three sons. She had us doing house work and our own laundry from an early age.

I did my own laundry (under the watchful eye of my mom), from the age of 10 or 11.

My mom used to say loudly and proudly, “I’m not raising my sons to be a burden on their wives.”

So ... in our household, we don’t have defined roles, work or chores.

We do what needs to be done. Full stop. And without any expectation of recompense of one kind or the other.

I generally don’t do the dishes. Not because “it’s woman’s work” or “it’s not my job.” But rather because the sink is a bit too low and it kinda hurts my back to be in a constant half bend.

BUT ... I certainly can do the dishes, and will do them without any expectation of a “treat” in return.

I do the dusting. My Dearly Beloved hates dusting. (Frankly, I think she hates when I dust. I’m the kind of guy that brings a leaf blower into the house to get the cobwebs down.)

But whatever the case, I don’t expect “treats” for doing any of the vacuuming, cooking, scrubbing, picking up socks, cleaning the litter box, or doing the laundry. AND I do all the gardening.

The suggestion that a “treat” is the ‘carrot’ a woman could use to get her lazy husband off his ass to help around the house is simply offensive.

Dang. How can a guy like Robertson be so full of silliness, and still be so well respected?

And then there is ... Rev. Franklin Graham.

Billy’s son certainly is not his dad. He lacks the style, the knowledge, and the gravitas.

This past week, Rev. Graham the Younger told folks out at a Family Research Council gathering that God hates cowards who are afraid to speak out against abortion and homosexuality.

Yep. God hates those people who refuse to take a stand against those things some Christian folk think are the make-or-break theological issues of the day.

God hates cowards who will not preach against the gay life style.

Hates ‘em.

Rev. Franklin said so.

So the question begs to be asked — How do we conceptualize God hating people? Not ALL people. Just SOME people.

God hates them ... whoever “them” might be.

Graham is insinuating that God hates certain kinds of people. Specific people.

How do we know who those people are?

How do I know I’m not on the list of people who God hates?

It’s kind of scary.

But then ... Graham opened up that can of worms and has publicly started the list. “God hates cowards.” Not ALL cowards (thank God!) Just those cowards who won’t preach like he preaches.

But, calm down, Gentle Reader. Be at peace.

I may not be ordained, and I may not have the genealogy as does Rev. Graham, but I’m here to tell you the Good News.

God DOES NOT hate cowards — theological, philosophical, or otherwise.

God DOES NOT hate gays. God DOES NOT hate woman who have, for whatever reason, had to deal with unfortunate reproductive choices.

God DOES NOT hate Jews, or immigrants, or welfare recipients.

God DOES NOT hate people who don’t understand his plan.

God DOES NOT hate.

Despite two thousand years of denominational evidence to the contrary, God DOES NOT hate.

And he certainly doesn’t hate as much as do Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and the Family Research Council.