Every morning God wakes me up and whispers in my ear, “Goest thou, Mary, through Cyber Land and write for the people. Spread the truth about the evils of atheism, false churches with racist preachers, the egotists who place faith in man’s own ability, and the dangers of a ruler who would be socialist emperor rather than one who leads with a ‘servant’s heart.’”
(God speaks to me in the King James version because I am an English major.)
I jump out of bed, sometimes even jotting down these inspired thoughts on the paper on the bed stand, and happily put on some coffee for the day’s work ahead: what God tells me to do.
There have been times in my life when I have not listened to God. As a result, I brought on suffering and unhappiness for myself and others. That was when I was younger and thought I knew better than God. When I catch myself going that way again I ask God for direction. Yeah, He and I are on a first-name basis.
Now that I’ve admitted that, I know I should never run for Vice President of the United States, or indeed any kind of office (even if my status as a naturalized citizen should not preclude some).
I know that if word got out about my faith, I would invite concern about my mental abilities. I have never addressed a congregation, but I have been known to speak about my beliefs about what God wills for me and the gifts he’s given me. At this point in my life, I pretty much know that my gifts are limited, that I cannot be “anything I want to be” as the educationists and progressives would have me believe. I know that I have not been given the gift of singing (my son as a newborn laughed at my lullabies) or mechanical gifts (like replacing a tiny halogen light bulb). But I do think He has given me the gift of writing and I try to use that gift and persuade others to follow His plan.
Some people are given gifts of leadership. Some political leaders go to a particular church for political expediency. After they decide they want a career in politics, they sit year after year listening to words of hate about the white race, the United States, and Republicans.
Others go to church because they want to take in the word of God. As they sit there listening to the Word of God and learning about right and wrong, they may decide to take that insight and apply it to the way they lead. The church they are in may be a church they’ve belonged to since childhood.
I can understand how they could take what they hear in church and apply it to public policy. For example, I think God tells me too that this nation, founded on Judeo-Christian principles, should not be beholden to Middle Eastern dictatorships for its energy supply. God tells me too that we should protect the innocent, whether they’re in the womb or simply going to work in a New York office tower.
I too have found inspiration in church and must confess that when others might think I am taking notes on the sermon, I am really writing down ideas for columns or for my creative writing. I hear things in the sermon that I apply to current events or fictional characters. So while a governor might be thinking about public policy, I’m thinking about what I will write.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be famous enough for CNN to visit my church to find out about me, though. I don’t think they’ll have a “special, exclusive investigative report” about such “shocking beliefs,” like the inerrancy of the Bible and the notion of sin. Most of my colleagues in academia have already ostracized me for holding such views, views that do not require skepticism and a careful measuring back and forth, with sufficient footnote citations from atheistic colleagues.
I don’t think I’ll have to worry about CNN’s Christiane Amanpour thrusting a microphone in my face and asking, “Do you, Mary, REALLY believe that the Bible is the truth, the revealed word of God? I mean, do you REALLY believe that God tells you what to do?” I don’t think I’ll have to worry about a cut to a shot of her facial expression, of benevolent concern as one would expect for a foaming inmate of the Recovery House for Schizophrenics and Religious Fanatics. Nor would I have to worry about her raised eyebrows at my answer, “Well, yes, John Milton, for guidance, called upon the ‘Spirit, that dost prefer / Before all temples the upright heart and pure.’ So why not I?” Nor would I have Anderson Cooper’s furrowed brows, as he says, “Wow, Christiane. Amazing story. That woman has a Ph.D. and teaches college students, yet actually believes in the Holy Spirit.” Unlike other Christians under scrutiny, I would not have to suffer Amanpour, putting on her look that says, “There are some that we progressives just cannot help,” responding, “That’s right, Anderson.” Nor would Erica Hill make her own cute eyebrows jump perkily to show her sophistication.
I don’t think anyone will tape my conversations expressing my beliefs. I don’t think they’ll post them on YouTube. I don’t think I’ll ever get the same scrutiny and opprobrium, as Sarah Palin did in this week’s CNN special for telling her congregation, “’Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right,” “for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God” and that “there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.” Nor would I have such words quoted in the Huffington Post and intended to be held up for ridicule.
The only ones concerned with my religious beliefs (or more accurately that my beliefs do not fall under the acceptable denominations of Muslim, Wiccan, Zen Buddhist, or Gaia worship) are the people who hire college faculty or publish creative writing. They don’t even need a YouTube video, just the fact that I write for this publication and not the Huffington Post, as some of my tenured colleagues and many novelists do, and that I mention God in my columns and try to put forth a moral message in my fiction. For that, I labor as an adjunct instructor at two colleges and have two novel manuscripts waiting to be published.
But God tells me to soldier on, nonetheless, and to mock liberal stereotypes about Christians by presenting our conversations in the language of what they think is that of the King James Bible.