A little tweet by a friend @Wonderfalls, sent me to ABC News’s Blog – The Note to read an article on Obama’s choice of pastor for his inauguration. He choose Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church in The OC (that’s Orange County, California, for those of you not hip to the lingo). It was an expected hissy fit by some liberal group. I don’t remember who, nor do I care. What drew me to post on this was the slew of comments from what appeared to be liberals and conservatives alike. Many said, Yeah! Many said, Neigh! And there was a mix in the middle of who cares, who’s going to pray, it’s not like he’s setting policy for the next 4 years.
But here is the most disturbing comment left by a Mr. Vincent.
Rick Warren represents the forces of ignorance and superstition. I find it appalling that people still need to invoke the “blessing” of the invisible man in the sky. Religion is nothing more than a collection of fairy tales designed to control people’s thinking. Why do you think they came up with the idea of “sin”? It was nothing more than thought control. The main religions denigrate people by denying our humanity. They try to make people feel guilty about not meeting an impossible standard of behavior or thought. Religion belongs in the 1st century, not the 21st. There was a poll in the UK recently and the majority felt that religion was the main cause of conflict in the world today. Gee, you think? The whole “my god is better than your god” crapola has got to stop. – R.J. Vincent 12/17/08
Wow! Ya know a few months ago, I would have had a different reaction to this kind of comment. I would have been mad and disgusted and even felt the need to post something back to prove a point or make a statement.
But that wasn’t what hit me. It was not my gut reaction this time. Now. Post Spiritual Pilgrimage. What struck me the most was sadness. Not the feeling of lashing out in Christianity’s defense, but simply sadness.
I’m sad that all he believes is that religion denies our humanity or that it is there to impose impossible standards. Because the God I know is the ONLY one who graciously accepts our humanity and loves us completely in spite of it. Humans certainly don’t. Thank goodness God actually does. And yes, the standards are high, but we are not expected to meet them all without flaw or failure. If that was the case, we would not need Christ. It is understood that we will fall short, but it does not mean God’s intention is for us to live in guilt and shame for failure to achieve perfection.
Then I started wondering about him (could be a her, but we’re going to simplify with 1 pronoun).
What do you think RJ’s life is like?
Do you think he is happy and full filled in the world view sense of things? Do you think he’s successful in his work and/or family life. Do you think he has healthy relationships? Do you think he is living a moral (in a Christian sense) life? Because not all atheist are unruly, murdering, thieving sex addicts.
I wonder if he was raised with religion of any sort. I wonder if his parents support his view. I wonder if he had a bad experience with religion. I wonder who he thinks “they” are? (As in the ones who made up ‘sin’)
Do you think he had a bad childhood or was he spoiled and pampered? Do you think he has suffered a lot in this life or had it easy? Do you think he’s a type A over-achiever or a type B laize-fare kind.
I have to assume he’s somewhat educated because of the tone & structure of the comment. I also believe that he has some experience with religion or there wouldn’t be so much energy about it. Most people don’t fire of comments full of negative energy on things they care nothing about. I think there’s a real possibility that he was subjected to such a legalistic form of religion that failure is the only option, thus rejecting religion because he was rejected. Isn’t that sad?