Have we made God angry?

Illinois Republican congressional candidate Susanne Atanus is asking you to believe that God is not only highly displeased with us, but that many of the life-threatening illnesses and precarious weather patterns we have been experiencing around the world are the direct result of an “angry God,” a God who means to inflict suffering upon thousands for the choices of wrongdoers.

What could be making God so unhappy, so disappointed, so furious that He would categorically punish so many people in such widespread and catastrophic ways?

The answer is clear and simple, according to Atanus:  “We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she added, blaming natural disasters like tornadoes and diseases, including autism and dementia, on recent advances in the LGBT movement. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

It feels almost silly to give Ms. Atanus’s diatribe any thoughtful attention, to shift even for a moment our focus and energy away from the places and people in our world who really need it. But if she believes this, truly believes this — and is publicly asking others to believe it, too — how many other people might there be out there that also feel this way?

Well, apparently even those within her own conservative Republican party aren’t willing to stick their necks out as far as she has and have asked Atanus to drop out of the GOP primary for the 9th Congressional District.

Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, called Susanne Atanus’ comments “offensive.”  “She has no place on the ballot as a Republican,” he said.  “Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.”

Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, said, “Atanus is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP, nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time.”

But Atanus is not budging.  She adamantly refuses to drop out of the race, perplexed why the Republican party is not standing behind her.

Is it possible that Ms. Atanus is only boldly verbalizing what many other people are thinking, but are just too afraid to say?  Is there that much of a divide between a God who would condemn a person for being gay and a God who would condemn a baby for not being baptized?  Are the conservatives who claim to be offended and righteously speaking out against Atanus also denying opportunities — and even God’s unconditional love — to these very same people by creating and defending laws which discriminate and deprive them of equal rights and freedoms?

So how should we react to someone like Ms. Atanus?  Do we just ignore the hate-filled tirades and antics?  Do we look the other way because these outlandish proclamations just simply do not deserve our recognition and attention?  Or do we talk about it, look it squarely in the face, and stand up to people like Susanne Atanus by saying, no, we do not desire to live in the kind of world which supports behaviors which are born out of a belief in an angry God?

What would you do?

(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and lives in Orlando, Florida.  To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

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  • Christopher Toft

    A similar series of events happened here in the UK last week when a UK independance party member blamed LGBT people & the recently passed same sex marriage bill for the floods we have been experiencing here.I think It’s a fringe view but some people do genuinely hold this kind of worldview. I believe the thing to do is stand up & publicaly challenge these kinds of ideas in open debate.

    • Why is it that these fringe-dwellers get so much air time? How does someone like Susanne Atanus make national headlines when her message is so dark and irrational? I get that it has shock value and society loves a good shock-and-awe story, especially when it is about “somebody else.” But I can’t help but wonder how much influence these kinds of people have on the uncertain minds of others. Since we are all ingesting large volumes of information every day, and choosing (whether consciously or not) what to believe and what not to believe, I agree with you, Christopher, that it is important for us all to lay our cards on the table and speak to what is true for us, even when it is not directly about us.

      • They have a influence, but it’s waning in the midst of change.

        It is also a result of a larger part of the collective that still loves negative drama in place of positive drama. That includes most people as I see it.

        If we truly desire peace & harmony we will choose to embrace that we have a choice to include more positive drama in our lives. Most don’t realize we have a choice. Those that do, often don’t exercise their minds enough to break out of the negative drama collective.

        So letting others know there is a choice is a first step. Next those who know that other choice need to exercise & practice being & thinking in that space.

        That in turn influences others who are receptive. It plants the seeds today for tomorrows orchards.

  • Hi Lisa. Mytwo cents’ worth: Like Kevin McCormack’s latest post states–opposites attract. People like Susanne Atanus are doing what they are doing for a purpose. We need them. We need them to wake us up from our deep sleep of confusion about The True God. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter whether others believe her or not, what matters is whether SOULS will finally wake-up and decide to participate (or not) in this millennuim’s gentle revolution. Here’s hoping they do.

    • Thank you for inviting all of us to consider a point of view that is not always the easiest one to see from, but one which beholds everything and everyone as purposeful. Thank you for being a messenger whose message is one of gentleness and understanding.

      • Thank you, Lisa. But honestly? I’m NOT ALWAYS gentle and understanding. Like everyone else I’m here in this realm to experience every emotion there is. And there is no right or wrong, only our judgment of it. Of which I’m sure you’re already aware of. Thanks again and blessings!

  • Erin

    Political Peeps do not get such a loud voice unless they are very well supported by their sponsors. If her ‘party’ is claiming “Not Us!”, then Who IS? Hmmm…???

    Personally, considering the horrendous ordeals that I Am observing at the moment, exampling how hetero-relationships are shredded indignantly when they are beheld to our present ‘justice’ system for disassembly, I do not understand why LGBT would find it a glory to become part of this continuance. Sort of like saying “Yay! We get to be dysfunctional along with the rest of you! Goody for All of Us!” I had hoped to see wiser thinking from such a creative mass.

    How should We react? Such acts are examples of Freedom, ergo, GIVE them Freedom…with Blessings for their Wisdom in using it, No? If any one of us were in similar position, the least we would Be is what we want to See…Our best would See Amazing while being this, Yes?

    I have yet to hear such loudness from Loving-God people, though. It is the Love that attracts us to each other…It is our Life-Line connect…It moves with peace & calmness, rather than the brashness of Fear…The strength is Self-evident (literally).

    And, Oh My! We are quite categorized, aren’t We? Rep/Dem/Other; Left/Right/Conservative/Other; LGBT or Other; religious, fundamental, spiritual, Orthodox, or other; Caucasian/Hispanic/Black/Other; Grad/GED/other; Single/Married/Separated/Divorced/Other; Smoker/Non-Smoker; for guns/against guns; Vegan/Vegetarian/Carnivore/Other; Military/Non-military…OMG! A funny bunch, indeed. 🙂

    • Yes, Erin, I agree, we are a very funny bunch. It takes an extremely large wide-angle lens to be able to see the peculiar design of the system we’ve created for ourselves. The further I stand back, the less significant the “story of the day” appears. How wonderful would it be to be able to experience firsthand viewing our planet earth from the perspective of an astronaut? But here we are, in the thick of it, trying to make sense of it and coexist in it. Thank you for your always-appreciated insights and presence here on the site!

  • In this Universe nothing truly exists in a vacuum. If Atanus believes this, others do as well. I would prefer to know who those people are, wouldn’t you? What we do not need to do is further separate ourselves from those people. They truly need our Love more than they need our pity or our ire. Those are the very people who truly require an outstretched hand of friendship and Love. We will not awaken people by engaging them in an argument, this will only solidify the support they seek from like minded individuals. It is imperative that all the nagging little fears people experience be brought out into the Light.

    In this manner we may opening discuss what they have said and openly share our views of a Loving God, to give them another way to see the God they so fear. Ours is not the only way, it is but another way. Love them, communicate with them, listen to their fears so that fear may be brought into the Light.

    • “Those are the very people who truly require an outstretched hand of friendship and Love.”

      Yes, yes, yes, Rian! I love your perspective and am so grateful you shared it here for so many people to read and consider.

  • “Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, said,
    “Atanus is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the
    Chicago GOP, nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in
    any way at any time.”

    It is heartening to hear so many in her own party to not agree with her.

    “But Atanus is not budging. She adamantly refuses to drop out of the
    race, perplexed why the Republican party is not standing behind her.”

    It looks like “Atanus is not budging” shows the extreme rigidity that is engulfed in the flame of fear. There is a saying “The reed that does not bend in the wind breaks.”

    For some, too much change too fast pushes certain individuals back to the past of what they are most comfortable with. Easy black & white answers from unconscious reactions from a more narrow perspective.

    If the chick does not break out of the egg to evolve into a newer life it will die. So many are clinging to the old dying beliefs even as they are burning to the ground so that new life can be born from the evolutionary phoenix ashes.

    We ask ourselves “Who & what shall we be in relationship to these ideas?”

    We can agree to disagree, visualize resolution & peace,(even before it happens) and see those who we disagree with, with light & love & let that energy determine where we go.