When God Steers the Ship of State

When God Steers the Ship of State

Why is that God keeps picking our politicians who are so disappointing to everyone else?

So it is with Arizona governor Jan Brewer, who recently told a Lutheran group that she believed God picked her to serve as governor of a state that ranks next-to-last in education and health care. A state that barely had a budget barely passed with a Republican-dominated legislature who owes its allegiance to Grover Norquist and not the people who actually live there. A state whose capital, Phoenix, has a reputation for being a killing ground for illegal immigrant runners.

What a state. What a god.

Let’s follow up on this ridiculous-but-now-mainstream Republican line of thought. If the supreme being personally arranged it so that Jan Brewer is now governor, that means he accomplished this by making sure the former gov, Janet Napolitano, got a new job as head of Homeland Security in Barack Obama’s administration. So, the logical conclusion is that it was God who was on the Democratic Party’s side during the presidential campaign because without that win, Ms. Napolitano would have served out her term as Arizona governor and Jan Brewer would still be the secretary of state. So, it was really God who put Barack Obama in the White House! The right man, as conservatives would say.

Now, maybe God likes to liven up his eternal existence with temporal shenanigans, so he gives the grand prize to a Democrat and lets a Republican take over a state whose lawmakers dithered for months and months and months about passing a budget. God apparently likes to throw people into a panic, because it was unsure for a while how education would be paid for, until a couple checks were written to keep things afloat while these poop-throwing monkeys continued their tantrums and refused to deal with the newly anointed Republican savior. Of course, the religious mind often likes to find success in failure, so Ms. Brewer doesn’t see any of this utter stupidity as such, but rather a test from the divine. And what luck is it that the supreme being prefers to teach lessons with real victims as a way to underscore the point. Thus, education will continue to lag behind as will health care, but at least Ms. Brewer can pat herself on the back and believe that it’s all a test about her.

And how exactly does one repay the supreme being when being put into power? Well, you gift him by doing what he apparently loves best: taking things away from other people. Snuck in at the last minute was a redefinition of the word “domestic” that effectively robs partners–straight and gay–of health-care benefits put in place by Janet Napolitano. Perhaps that was the real reason that God engineered the presidential election to spirit Ms. Napolitano out of Arizona: health-care benefits to domestic partners needed to be removed because it furthered the homosexual agenda that God is often powerless to do anything about.

Oh, and science grants in the Grand Canyon state? Zeroed out. Another win for the Almighty.

To be fair, it’s highly unlikely that Ms. Brewer has longed to wake up in the morning as governor and figure out what she can take from the people of Arizona. It’s highly unlikely that she takes any particular pleasure in denying health-care benefits to people. Except, the Republican party has proudly aligned itself with denying people anything: they’re not being called the Party of No out of coincidence. And when you start talking that God put in you a position of power, then you are saying that you need to be judged by an exceptionally high standard. This is something that God-fearing Republicans incessantly complain about: they feel their morals require them to deny things to others (marriage for gays, access to abortion) but they are adamantly opposed to being held to those standards. In other words, it’s my God-given right to deny you two homos the legal standing of being married, and if you protest that, you’re persecuting me because of my beliefs. The subtext of this is, if you oppose me, you oppose God. This is precisely what the first priest told the first fool.

One cannot logically pin the blame on Ms. Brewer for everything that goes wrong in Arizona, just as one cannot dismiss a genuine feeling of responsibility that she describes as having a divine origin. The problem is that Republicans ferverently believe they are receiving instructions from the great beyond that manifest themselves with denying people health-care benefits. Health-care benefits! If it weren’t so real, it would almost seem impossible to believe in this day and age. And if you’re going to swear up and down that God’s guidance is a necessary thing to steer the ship of state and it’s still leaking badly with no chance of reaching shore, it wouldn’t hurt to switch to a temporal Plan B. Lots of passengers are depending on it.