Just in case I'm ever struck by the mad thought of running for political office in Israel, where I live, I'd like to set the record straight: I don't agree with the prophet Isaiah's political views. He doesn't speak for me. No way.
It's true that I've enjoyed some of his sermons, and I took some comfort from the spiritual stuff, like that vision of heaven, with the six-winged creatures praising God. But I attended to Isaiah strictly for the religion, not for the politics. I mean, I'm a patriotic Israeli (even if my lapel pin got lost in the wash, honestly). I'm pretty sure I wasn't even there the day he said,
Ah, sinful nation!
People laden with iniquity!
Brood of evildoers!
They have forsaken the Lord,
spurned the Holy One of Israel,
Turned their backs on Him!
But if I was there, I slept through the sermon. Otherwise, I would have told him that I might just run for office, and therefore I cannot tolerate him cursing my country.
Actually, now that I look for the first time at the transcripts (thank God there's no YouTube clip) I can see it gets even worse. This Isaiah, he's a Wright nut, he is. In Hebrew, after all, the names Sodom and Gomorrah refer not to cities where family values were violated (which is a reasonable issue to bring up) but to places that refused to help poor people and that didn't accept immigrants. Those are other countries, not ours. We don't have any class warfare in our country. We don't even talk about class issues in polite company. And here Isaiah comes and equates us with them:
Hear the word of the Lord,
You chieftains of Sodom;
Give ear to our God's instruction,
You folk of Gomorrah!
"What need have I of all your sacrifices?"
says the Lord...
Though you pray at length
I will not listen.
Your hands are stained with crime...
Devote yourselves to justice;
Aid the wronged.
Uphold the rights of the orphan
Defend the cause of the widow.
Honestly, Isaiah, you might as well say, "God damn Israel."