Yesterday I shared several of the various stories from leading Christian groups and individuals in response to the Colorado shootings. As I was wrapping up the post, the thought occurred to me “Would the Punisher be considered an instrument of God”? It’s an interesting thought given the irony of the shooting occurring at the premier of Dark Knight Rises (Batman), the most popular of comic book hero exacting vigilante justice. Think about it. If Christian culture has come to a point where individuals like Pat Robertson claim God’s wrath as the cause of such tragedies, wouldn’t you then have to believe that the people and methods used are “sent from God” as well?
Why then wouldn’t you be able to put individuals like James Holmes or Andres Breivik in the same category as the Punisher or Batman? They are misunderstood heroes. The world is full of sin and they have been sent to exact God’s righteous justice much the same as the angel Gabriel. Can you say make one statement without the other? With God, doesn’t the end justify the means?
It’s a disturbing thought and what is sad to me is it’s an escapist reality for people to make those statements. They don’t want to answer the age old question “Why do bad things happen to good people”. And they want their fear and insecurity to bring others into the same belief system they have. But by making such broad statements they miss the more subtle nuances of what they’re saying. Who’s to know who’s a good person? If something bad happen’s to you and it’s God’s judgement on sin, who’s to say that person was really good in the first place? George Zimmerman says that what happened between him and Trayvon Martin was God’s will. Does that make Trayvon a sinner who deserved God’s judgement enacted through George Zimmerman? If not, then why is Trayvon Martin an innocent victim of crime, yet 12 people killed at a cinema with friends and family are the righteous anger of God?
Maybe it’s my own comic book and movie obsessed mind jumping to conclusions. Or maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s me being tired of seeing religion and God as the irrational explanation to things that can’t be explained. Maybe it’s me being sick of people using “Fear of God” as a tool to repentance and conformity instead of sharing God’s grace, love, and peace.