Are you there, God? Asking for a friend (or 7 billion).
Things seem a bit End Times-y right now, what with that almost-war against Iran and the Antipodean conflagration, so I’m just checking in: Are we OK?
It seems like you’re . . . I don’t know . . . mad at us or something. Or maybe you’re just exhausted. God knows — sorry, you know — we all are.
I don’t mean to bug you. I know you have a lot of people invoking your name and asking for stuff these days. Speaking of which, have you gotten to Bob Kraft’s prayers yet? Does it fit into your plans to have the Pats fit into St. Tom Brady’s plans? Let us know when you decide.
Meantime, could you possibly go a little easier on humanity more generally? A lot of us are freaked out right now. This past week’s brinksmanship with Tehran has been especially scary. The heedless narcissist who is our president picked the nuttiest option his generals presented when he ordered a drone strike on a powerful Iranian military commander. That killing unleashed massive anti-American demonstrations in Iran, and threats of retaliation. Which unleashed more unhinged rhetoric from the president, who threatened a war crime in response. After Iran bombed Iraqi bases housing American troops, the president appeared to step away from the edge on Wednesday, sniffing and slurring his way through a speech vowing only further sanctions. For now.
Even for you, it all must be hard to follow. The supreme leaders of Iran and the United States each claim you’re on their side. The Iranian regime has long asserted this, of course. It’s more novel here, where the constitution used to put at least some distance between church and state. But now many who claim to speak for you, and especially those who have grown rich doing so, say you chose Trump to be president. The vice president, the attorney general, and especially the secretary of state seem to see this lying, grifting, porn-star payoffer as your vessel. Why, Secretary Mike Pompeo, who pushed hardest for the reckless drone strike, allowed that you might have sent Trump as a modern day Queen Esther, come to save the Jewish people from the Persian menace.
This is ludicrous, unless you’ve changed since I knew you. Back when we were hanging out, you were more compassionate, the kind of God who shunned cruelty and championed the poor and dispossessed. Welcome the stranger, and all that. But now the loudest Christians say you’re on the side of a president who cages children. What gives?
And just so you know, all of this was terrifying enough without the horrific crash of the Ukrainian Boeing airliner leaving Tehran Tuesday night. It’s as if we’re living in the last season of a TV show that long ago jumped the shark, all of its far-fetched storylines converging.
Speaking of sharks, and overkill: Australia.
Even in these apocalyptic times, God, a whole continent ablaze is a little too on-the-nose. Australia, too, is led by a man believed — by himself, if no one else — to be doing your work. Like Trump, Pentecostal Prime Minister Scott Morrison presides over an inhumane immigration policy, bows and scrapes before fossil fuel companies, and downplays the impact of climate change. He refuses to acknowledge it even as his scorching, tinder-dry country burns to the ground around him.
Usually, these climate catastrophes unfold in more foreign, dismissable places — like in Indonesia, where monsoons and floods have killed 70 and displaced tens of thousands since New Year’s Eve. But we can’t look away from Australia, one of the whitest and most prosperous nations on the planet. There, two dozen people have died, and scientists estimate more than a billion animals, including millions among the quirky species that so delight the world, have been killed.
In saner times, this would be a wake-up call — the kind of biblical catastrophe that forces the world to its senses. But these are not sane times.
It would be great if you could do something about that, God.
Or are we truly on our own?Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @GlobeAbraham