A crane collapsed during a storm at Grand Mosque at Mecca earlier this month and 107 Muslims were killed. Industrial accidents happen all the time, but Colorado State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, who has a long history of offensive and dishonest claims, told listeners on his show, “Pray In Jesus Name,” that it wasn’t a storm that killed them, but God, as punishment for praying to Allah, who in Klingenschmitt’s mind, is not just a “false God” but Satan:
“There are two different Gods,” he said. “There is the true God, Jehovah, the father of Jesus Christ, and there is a false god, Allah, who is the father of the false prophet Muhammad. Now which one were they praying to when an ‘act of God’ dumped this crane on their heads and killed 107 people? I think they were praying to a false god…they were really praying to Satan.”
Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
Our old friend Gordon Klingenschmitt needs to read his Bible. He seems a bit confused by how many gods there are. Allah isn’t in the Bible, obviously, since Judaism and Christianity predate Islam, but there are other gods, including, prominently, Baal. The Bible even has God (YHWH) telling the Jews, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
So yes, there are undeniably other Gods according to the Bible. If there was only one other God, YHWH would have simply named him. But the plural tells us the authors of the Old Testament were thinking about lots of other gods – the gods of the Gentiles the gods of polytheism.
Satan, in the Old Testament, is just a lieutenant of YHWH. It isn’t until later he becomes an evil entity and the snake in the Garden of Eden ceases to be just a snake.
But having established his false premise about false gods, Klingenschmitt ventures into uncertain waters with the usual conservative either/or thinking:
“You could either say Allah wanted to kill them,” he continued, “or you could say this is the consequence of their sin when they were really praying to Satan.”
Or you could say it was the storm, or human error, but why let facts intrude? And never mind asking why God would kill innocent Muslims with a crane collapse but let the Islamic State, which is composed of what other Muslims agree, are fake-Muslims, run rampant.
I’d say Klingenschmitt’s god needs a new decision-making paradigm.
According to Colorado’s wayward state representative, Allah “has destroyed them, both physically and spiritually; physically in this horrible accident and spiritually when their souls are cast into Hell.”
I just want to mention here, apropos of Klingenschmitt’s close-minded attitude, that Pope Francis yesterday wished Muslims a happy Eid al-Adha, when Muslims make the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. On Thursday, a stampede outside Mecca killed hundreds of Muslims.
Rather than berating Muslims or accusing them of worshiping a false god, Pope Francis offered them sympathy, saying “I am thinking of them. I’m close to them in the face of the tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.”
You can decide for yourself who the true Christian here is.
Klingenschmitt, on the other hand, offered this: “Boy, these people really have a hard time discerning which God they should be praying to.”
Yet he thinks people ought to be praying to a God who in a fit of snit knocks cranes over like children their towers of blocks, and kills them by the hundreds, or who swamps New Orleans with a flood because some gay people live there, or who knocks entire flocks of birds out of the sky because somebody had sex with an “unapproved” partner.
I would think, if people were going to worship any god, they would not choose that god. And you would have to conclude, based on a comparison of things the pontiff has said and the things the Religious Right’s representatives have said, that they aren’t worshiping the same god either, which creates at the very least a third god of monotheism (an obvious problem), giving us an Old Testament god, a New Testament god, and a Muslim god.
However, if, as Klingenschmitt claims, there are only two gods, and if Pope Francis worships the “true God,” that leaves the Colorado representative worshiping the other god: Satan.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.