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A General Theory of Theology



God. You just gotta love him, you know?

I mean, what if U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin is right and God did keep those chads hanging, and did put George Bush–and all those other presidents numbered 1-42–in the White House?


Think about it. That means He put Calvin Coolidge in the White House. And Herbert Hoover. He must have been the one who came up with the idea of having all those dead people in Chicago vote for John Kennedy. And he sure loved Franklin Roosevelt and all that liberal New Deal stuff. Why, he put Bill Clinton in, too. Twice!

Then again, He got rid of a bunch of those presidents too–the ones who didn’t get to fill out their two terms, for example–like Jack Kennedy. Bang. That would mean He was behind the plumbers and the Watergate break-in, a very neat way, you must admit, to ease Tricky Dick out of the big house and make way for Gerald Ford. I guess it means He was behind Bill Clinton’s blow job too, though He also must have decided not to push that one to the limit. For some reason He wanted Bill to finish out his allotted time.

Turning to the War in Iraq, if the good and godly general is on the money, God helped us “win” the battle against those idol-worshipping Iraqis–you know, to get us to the point where His man in the White House and the flight suit said “major combat” was over–but then He left things kind of hanging. Why? Well, we know the Lord works in mysterious ways, but it’s safe to say there’s got to be some reason why He left the post-invasion situation so muddled. Maybe it is so that Boykin and fellow evangelicals in and out of uniform can have some time to wander the desert converting all those confused and lost souls in Babylon.

He must, one assumes, be the One who is helping the ousted Saddam Hussein hide from the thousands of American soldiers who are nightly scouring the back alleys of Tikrit trying to find “Elvis.” Don’t ask why. He has His reasons.

He had to have been behind the hiding of Osama Bin Laden too, and you’ve got to admit, that’s a mighty fine job He’s doing there. Nobody’s seen hide nor hair of that lanky, bearded angel of death since 9/11/2001, except on video. And it must be our God who’s protecting Bin Laden, too, because we certainly wouldn’t want to suggest that Allah was behind it, and doing a better job then our Guy, would we?

And here the theology gets a bit complicated. What if Satan’s at work out there too. Maybe he’s the one who’s been organizing these difficulties and making it hard for God. Maybe old Lucifer managed to pull off that attack on the WTC, and maybe he’s the guy who’s been keeping Saddam and Osama a step ahead of God’s Humvees.

Funny though. I always thought God had the big guns, and that Lucifer was just a gnat in comparison. Shouldn’t the Big Guy be able to know what the devil’s up to and spot two ugly little human vermin, delivering them to American soldiers?

Not being a believer myself, I’ve always wondered how these religious types like Gen. Boykin manage to be so all-fired certain that God’s on their side. I mean, if God organized this Iraq War, He’s sure made a hash of it, hasn’t He? His army has shown a nasty tendency to blow away innocent children, many of them too young to have even started reading that idolatrous Koran the general’s so down on.

I guess we just have to assume that it’s all part of His plan, including the messy stuff. Like that budget deficit His latest president has created here in God’s country.

Or maybe, like Osama and Saddam, that deficit isn’t the Lord’s fault either. Maybe Satan hasn’t just been whispering in their ears. Maybe he’s been whispering in George Jr.’s ear too.

When you start trying to figure it all out, you realize that this theology stuff is just too complicated. Maybe we’d better just leave it to the generals.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. A collection of Lindorff’s stories can be found here:


Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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