Friday, January 27, 2006

If Prophets Gave State of the Union Addresses

Ethics Daily has posted a superb essay about "Reading the Bible While Listening to the State of the Union." There's already a lot of hype and spin and handwringing about the President's State of the Union address. Nothing is likely to be said or written, before or after the address is given, that is as insightful and prophetic as what Robert Parham has written.

Parham asks, "If a biblical prophet gave the 2006 State of the Union address, what would the message be?" Among a host of other things, this is what Parham says:

Another prophet, Amos, could condemn self-righteous Republicans for pandering to the religious right and pretending that GOP stands for God's Only Party. He would condemn the Republicans who utter pious prayers on public street corners. He would blast the Justice Sunday crowd for their worship services that mix ideological agendas with diluted religion.

Speaking for God,Amos would repeat one of his most famous lines: "I hate, I despise your feasts and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and cereal offerings, I will not accept them."

Amos would then turn to the grinning Democrats with a blistering warning against playing at religion. He would warn them that peppering speeches with religious talk doesn't make them religious. He would speak against watering down religion for the sake of finding a common denominator with the nonreligious.

Without a teleprompter and rehearsed applause lines, Amos would tell the White House and Congress that God expects them to stop trampling on the poor in order to build expensive homes, to stop taking bribes in the form of golf trips,to stop rigging the system to enrich their friends and to stop turning justice into wormwood.

Parham does leave one thing understated.

If one like Amos were to speak today about the State of our Union, who would be listening?

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