Friday, May 9, 2014

#1032: John Piper

John Stephen Piper is a Calvinistic Baptist Christian preacher, author, pastor for Preaching and Vision of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, and founder of the evangelical organization Desiring God (named for his book Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist). As with most fundie crazy preachers, Piper has a knack for taking natural phenomena as signs unequivocally pointing to whatever political opinion fits his fancies at the time. For instance, a small tornado occurring during a conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 2009 was a “gentle but firm warning” from God regarding the ELCA’s consideration of its position on issues concerning homosexuality (rather than a warning to him for being a piece of shit). In 2012 he told the victims of the recent tornado storms in the South and Midwest that “God gave the command” for the tornadoes that left at least thirty-nine people dead. Pat Robertson had earlier claimed that the tornadoes resulted from a lack of prayer rather than being God’s doing, but Piper argued instead that God sent the tornadoes because of the sins of the region, recognizing God’s “fierce fingers” all over them; and of course it must be God: “We do not ascribe such independent power to Mother Nature,” said Piper. Apparently the fact that tornados tend to hit areas that are statistically very religious and don’t support marriage equality is not taken to be relevant, however, since in that case the obvious conclusions wouldn't fit as well with Piper's preconceptions and bigotry.

But wasn’t God supposed to be, you know, good? Piper explains it here. Basically, the idea is that you don’t deserve an explanation, but you better thank God for killing your family else he’ll do it again. Some insight can, however, be garnered from what Piper, as shown by his actions, assumes a good person to be.

He is also a staunch misogynist, arguing that a husband should lead and provide and the wife joyfully and intelligently affirm and submit to her husband’s leadership. With Wayne Grudem he has co-edited the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which promotes exactly the views you’d expect. On Obama and abortion, Piper has claimed that Obama is “spiritually blind” or an “evil hypocrite” for invoking Martin Luther King Jr. while not seeking to make abortions illegal since it is “against the ideals that civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. stood for,” despite the fact that King was, of course, pro-choice. But intellectual honesty is not a virtue for Piper’s ilk. Here he weighs in on marriage equality (again). Piper is also into all of the usual, fanatic endtimes stuff, which really should suffice to qualify him for an entry all by itself.

Diagnosis: It is hard to find any redeeming qualities in this case either. An abomination.

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