INTERLUDE POST #1: The Curious Theology of Margaret Cho

[Alternate titles: Regular Sequence of Posting Will Be Continued Tomorrow, Interludes Will Be Posted on Days Other Than Tuesday/Thursday As the Thoughts Arise]

NOTE: Yesterday I made a brief post on Facebook, a rapid flare up of indignation that just as quickly burned out when my campaign manager marketing consultant wife pointed out I was probably setting the wrong tone. Here, I hope, is the right one.

The other day, comedian Margaret Cho tweeted the following:

“I do not believe in a God who would consider abortion a sin. God created abortion. As he did all of us. God created choice for all to DECIDE”

(I don’t want to link to the tweet as a matter of principle. I also want to assure readers that I will only be replying to the theological nature of this statement, not the political side. I won’t ever use this platform for politics, unless it’s a sigh of sadness about Donald Trump’s popularity. Like just then.)

To the point: I can’t imagine a more twisted perspective than the one presented here. It is a perfect example of Satan’s way of presenting one truth to make a monstrous lie more palatable. Yes, “God created choice for all to DECIDE,” but He also gave us labels of “good and evil” and commandments so that we’d know what we should “DECIDE.” Because God does indeed care about our choices. Agency is the most essential feature of God’s plan (without agency it’d be nothing but Satan’s plan), but that doesn’t mean He embraces anything and everything we decide to do with it. Ms. Cho’s way of thinking seems to be, “If God made abortion possible, that means he made it, and that means he endorses it!”

Wrongo bongo.

C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:

…anyone who has been in authority knows how a thing can be in accordance with your will in one way and not in another. It may be quite sensible for a mother to say to the children, “I’m not going to go and make you tidy the schoolroom every night. You’ve got to learn to keep it tidy on your own.” Then she goes up one night and finds the Teddy bear and the ink and the French Grammar all lying in the grate. That is against her will. She would prefer the children to be tidy. But on the other hand, it is her will which has left the children free to be untidy. The same thing arises in any regiment, or trade union, or school. You make a thing voluntary and then half the people do not do it. That is not what you willed, but your will has made it possible.

It is probably the same in the universe. God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata-of creatures that worked like machines-would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.

Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk.

And sadly, the risk has been a good one for Satan. We conflate our freedom to choose with encouragement to choose whatever we want. And too often in our day that means we believe in the God we want to believe in. “I believe in a God who approves of such and such, which is coincidentally something I support or enjoy doing. It’s not sin!” etc., etc.

How is that any less deluded than critics say we are for believing in any God at all? I find much more integrity in believing in a God that we don’t always agree with, because it shows that it is honest belief, and not just wishful thinking.

Again I appreciate (as I always do) the wisdom of CS Lewis, when he writes about the odd nature of Christianity. Here I quote Hugh Nibley paraphrasing Lewis, as I don’t have the actual Lewis quote on hand. (This is in Temple and Cosmos.)

As C. S. Lewis used to point out, the test of the Christian is not to conform with the commandments and accept teachings which are perfectly right and sensible to any normal way of thinking; if the gospel consisted only of such convenient and unobjectionable things, we could be quite sure that we were making it up ourselves. It is the very contrariness and even absurdity of the Christian teachings that provide, for him, the highest proof of their divinity—this is not man’s doing. In the efforts of every president of the Church to explain our position to the world… we see the admission that this thing is not the invention of those men—they are embarrassed by it, and they all pass the acid test for honesty when they refuse to put their own opinions forth as revelation—which in their case would have been an easy thing to do. They are all sure that the policy is right, but none claims to give definitive rational or scriptural justification for it, though they are not backward in putting forth suggestions and speculations. This put the Mormons in an embarrassing position, and why not? The Lord has often pushed the Saints into the water to make them swim.”

Truth isn’t truth because we want it to be truth. Just as scientific facts aren’t facts because we want them to be. They are what they are because, no matter how much we do not want them to be, all evidence points to them. And after we’ve determined that, we must conform our lives to them.

All this isn’t even to get at the ludicrous notion that God supports halting and aborting the most sacred and miraculous processes He created in the first place. But that seems too obvious to address here.

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One thought on “INTERLUDE POST #1: The Curious Theology of Margaret Cho

  1. Loved this paraphrase.

    “As C. S. Lewis used to point out, the test of the Christian is not to conform with the commandments and accept teachings which are perfectly right and sensible to any normal way of thinking; if the gospel consisted only of such convenient and unobjectionable things, we could be quite sure that we were making it up ourselves.”

    And this paragraph too was nice. This was an Elder Maxwell type article. It cut at the very heart of swallowing one’s will up in the will of the Father and our character. It was self corrective by nature as he was so skilled in getting many to self reflect.

    “Truth isn’t truth because we want it to be truth. Just as scientific facts aren’t facts because we want them to be. They are what they are because, no matter how much we do not want them to be, all evidence points to them. And after we’ve determined that, we must conform our lives to them.”

    Like

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