Bumper Stickers and Other Oddities

Every once in a while, I see a bumper sticker that not only reflects profound ignorance but also just screams of arrogance. More often than not, it’s religious bumper stickers that do just that. Imagine my surprise as I turned the corner in my car today to see a bumper sticker with a rainbow background that said, “God is Pro-Life”.

Let’s deal with the ignorance first. Assuming that anyone arrogant enough to believe they know the mind of God and who would be exercised enough about abortion to slap this bumper sticker on their car is a fundamentalist Christian, I must assume they are equally exercised about human sexuality. I find it absolutely hysterical that they don’t realize that the rainbow is one of the symbols of the LGBT community and its supporters! I would imagine if anyone tells them about the rainbow, they will be out busily scraping their bumper sticker off their car….

Now to the arrogance. The statement “God is pro-life” is arrogant because it assumes that the speaker knows the mind of God regarding a particular issue. Absent any concrete evidence (such as, for example, a scriptural reference) we simply cannot make authoritative statements about God’s political positions – especially when the political position in question didn’t even exist in biblical times. In fact, even if there is scriptural evidence we most often find scriptural evidence on both sides of the issue and so cannot assume to know the mind of God on that basis, either. What’s more, if one is going to assert that God IS pro-life then one simply has to be consistent and hold a pro-life position on the death penalty, war, domestic violence (meaning being opposed to them), universal health care, stem cell research to save lives, feeding the hungry, and ending poverty (meaning being in favor of them). After all, there are 3000 biblical verses about caring for the widows, the orphans, and the oppressed, and I am fairly certain caring for people means making sure their need for food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare are met.

The essential point here is that most often when we believe we know the mind of God what we are really doing is projecting our own beliefs on to God. Essentially, we are attempting to re-create God in our own image – and that does both God and us an injustice. If in the end your argument regarding a certain position is weak at best, I suppose some feel forced to resort to God in a vain (in both senses of that word) attempt to end discussion. The only problem with that approach is that most thinking people see through it pretty quickly.

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