Tom Head, a county judge in Lubbock, Texas, plunged far out into the periphery of anti-President Barack Obama conspiracy theories on Monday, pushing a particularly outrageous one as justification for a tax increase in the county.
Head told FOX34 that Lubbock’s law enforcement needed extra tax dollars in order to be prepared for a full-scale uprising, which he said could be a byproduct of Obama’s reelection. According to Head, the president is seeking to sign a variety of United Nations treaties that will effectively take precedent over domestic law.
“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?” Head asked. “I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.” [Read more about this here.]
At a planning gathering for Advent in our church last night, we were talking amongst ourselves about angels and angellic visitations. Mike commented that he found it striking how it seems every time in the Bible when an angel visited, the first words were ‘Do not be afraid.’ This is continued in Jesus’ appearance walking on water and again after his resurrection.
Richard Rohr’s daily meditation for today speaks of our natural fear of God and how Jesus broke down this misconception:
The Bible can be summed up as interplay between fear and faith. In general, people are obsessed and overpowered by fears; they fear what they cannot control. God is one of our primary fears because God is totally beyond us. The good news, the Gospel, according to Luke, is that God has breached that fear and become one of us in Jesus. God says, in effect, “It’s okay. You don’t have to live in fear of me.” God not only takes away all human shame, but even identifies with that shame by changing sides from all cultures, religious and secular, and identifying with the sinner, the rejected, the prostitute, the foreigner, and the leper. (Adapted from The Good News According to Luke: Spiritual Reflections, p. 66)
Those who give in to fear–whether of governmental tyranny or of God’s own self– live a life characterised by worry, anxiety and stress. I’m not surprised that so many who claim to follow Jesus still find themselves bound up by fear. After all, this is a very human condition. God understands this. Thus, when God chooses to reveal the Divine to mortals it is always prefaced by a calming ‘Fear not.’
As the prophet writes:
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
It is not a question of whether or not God is on our side, but whether or not we have faith in God to give us the strength to overcome our fears and enjoy the peace that comes from knowing he will be with us.