Warren Jeffs, convicted leader of a breakaway polygamist group, says he is only following God’s Word. According to God, in a message delivered to the court through His disciple Jeffs, “I, the Lord God of heaven, call upon the court to cease this open prosecution against my pure, holy way.” If the court continues its prosecution, God will “send a scourge upon the counties of prosecutorial zeal to make humbled by sickness and death.” While I am not certain I understand this last sentence, it doesn’t sound good. Thank God it doesn’t really come from God.
Or does it?
How do we know when God speaks to us for real, and when it is just a con? The answer is simple: When God says what we want God to say, we believe it is God who is saying it. When God says what we don’t want God to say, we believe it isn’t God saying it.
For example, Jews believe (or used to believe) that God told them not to eat pork; St. Peter, himself a Jew, heard God say we can eat whatever we want. The Jews think Peter was simply a pork-loving Jew who wanted to eat ham without guilt. The Christians think Peter was God’s vehicle for ending a dietary code no longer valid now that the Messiah has come. How can we know which of them is right?
We can’t. So we don’t even try. Rather we simply do what we want to do, and call our doing an act of faith. I’m not proposing polygamy or kashrut. I’m simply pointing out that if we are going to call the latter an act of faith, we have to accord the same right to the former.
Polygamy is, of course, against the law. And, if anti-Sharia laws go into effect, kashrut too will be a felony since Muslim and Jewish dietary laws both outlaw pork. But the fact that the state can dictate to God what is godly simply suggests that when it comes to religion the Founding Fathers’ Constitution trumps the Almighty Father’s Commandments.
Again, we don’t mind this when the court rules in our favor, but we hate it when it rules against us. Many of us want the state to rule against Sharia and for Christian norms as they understand them. But when that same court violates those norms by allowing the teaching evolution rather than Intelligent Design or disavowing prayer in public schools (by which is meant prayer to Christ not Krishna) they claim the court is acting against God.
You don’t have to an atheist to see that God wants whatever believers in that God want. Anyone who rejects the word of God coming to us through His prophet Warren Jeffs is proving that point even as most would deny doing it.