Calling BS on Rick Warren’s Quote

Probably by now you have seen this Rick Warren quote floating around on Facebook:

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

I know it is being examined more, meaning Warren’s context is becoming clear (and it is currently being used out of context by most people using it). With apologies to Rick Warren, I want to look at the current use of the quote by most people on Facebook and not his original intention for it.

Most people are currently using it to say that they are being unfairly labeled as bigoted or homophobic just because they disagree with marriage equality. They are innocently and lovingly standing beside their convictions and are getting demonized for doing so.

I have to call BS.

I have met very few Christians that just stop with “disagreeing with a person’s lifestyle.” Even if that were so, they don’t even understand how using the word “lifestyle” is offensive to, well… anyone you apply it to. Would you like to be referred to as someone living a “heterosexual lifestyle”? Would you like your whole life defined by what you do in the bedroom?  Because people so love being minimized to one aspect of their being.

Where else could this minimization come from? Fear and/or hate. Sorry to play the honest blunt card.

But if that was where most Christians stopped, I would still understand the use of the Warren quote out of sheer ignorance of how hurtful your words are. But they don’t stop there. They stay silent while gay students commit suicide because they don’t want to be seen as “affirming the gay lifestyle.” I even know a Christian that wouldn’t stand up for a heterosexual effeminate boy because they could still get “lumped in with gays.” They say they love all people but then mock “Liberals” about their “gay agendas” with words that would piss Jesus off. And I can’t count the number of times a Christian has told me privately how saddened or disgusted they are when they see a gay couple holding hands.

This is all just “disagreeing”?

BS I say. BS.

The church has bought into the lie that we can be complete buttwipes behind people’s backs as long as we say we love them in public… but don’t actually DO anything to show that we love. And then when we get busted we whine and post stuff like the Rick Warren quote out of context to blow a smokescreen over our own sin.

metamodern-faith-avatarIf Jesus was standing in the flesh in front of you right now and you told him “I don’t fear or hate people that are different that are gay” – would he agree with you or rebuke you? The New Testament is full of stories about people that tried to justify themselves as “good” to Jesus, only to find themselves the receiving end of a loving rebuke.

Why Rand Paul is Not My Hero

So I posted a few times on Facebook yesterday my problems with Rand Paul fighting against Obama’s Drone Assassination Program (or whatever it is called – which I am against for the record) while voting for things much worse in the past. I was immediately inundated with questions along the line of “what on Earth can be worse than killing American citizens on American soil without an American trial?”

Well, honestly, I can think of a lot of things a lot worse. Like a small girl being abducted from her parents and forced into slavery for her whole life. Teenagers that get bullied to the point of committing suicide. Elderly people that are found dead in their houses because they were abandoned and neglected. And so on. You get the picture. To me, systemic instances of sustained abuse and neglect or a much “worse” problem (if we had to rate them – they are all pretty bad in reality and rating the “worst” seems a bit superfluous).

We will all have differing opinions oh how to rate how “bad” something is. But if your first thought is to start bringing up American rights and American citizenship as the “worst possible thing a politician can vote against”, I have to seriously wonder about your priorities. Especially if you are a Christian and claim your first allegiance is to God and His purposes on the Earth, not man’s institutions.

But anyway, back to Rand Paul. He spent something like 13 hours in a filibuster to stop illegal assassinations of U.S. citizens. I agree that we should not assassinate American citizens. Or citizens of any other country for that matter. But even if Obama assassinated everyone he wanted to, it would affect something like 0.00001% of the American population.

So Rand Paul will spend 13 hours to fight for the rights of a small amount of Americans, but then vote against the Violence Against Women Act, which extends help to hundreds of thousands of victims of crime (if not more). And we are talking about real victims, not possible assassination attempts that may or may not happen in reality. That, to me, is despicable  “But, but, but, there was this attachment or his belief in…” Whatever. B.S. He voted for a whole slew of other Bills that had attachments to them that he has stated he opposes, just because he agreed with the core bill.

Then he votes against the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, designed to give aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Because the last thing people need when their house is destroyed is help. They need to have Obama’s Drone Program shut down. Obviously.

So if you want to call someone a hero who won’t extend legal help to victims of violent crimes or natural disasters just because he took a stand against political assassinations  you are free to do that. If you claim to follow the Bible though, you are reading it wrong.

Sometimes it really disturbs me who people that claim to follow Christ lift up as examples for others, the issues they fight over, and the stances they take on those issues. Sometimes it seems like we care more about logically defending the second amendment than living out the second greatest commandment. You don’t think so? What would people deduce from your Facebook posts? What would a victim of rape think about you calling someone life Rand a hero, when he voted against the very bill that helped her in tremendous ways?

Not to mention that Rand voted against tax breaks for the middle class and small businesses. I can’t read his mind to know why, but since many of those bills also called for increased taxes on the rich and large businesses…. you have to wonder. In fact, if you really think about it…. who would be on this Obama Assassination List anyways? You have to wonder if some like Rand is worried that Obama might put outspoken political opponents on that list. So are the people standing against this List really looking out for the average man or woman on the street…. or their own necks? If they are voting against bills that obviously do help every day citizens, while spending a long time in a filibuster against an idea that doesn’t really help that many people… you just have to wonder.

metamodern-faith-avatarI agree with stopping the president from violating the constitution. But to call someone a Hero for doing that? Really? No, the real heroes are the ones out there fighting against slavery and poverty and injustice here and around the world. Organizations like Freedom Firm that are actually going in and rescuing underage girls from forced prostitution (some of which might end up in the United States at some point). Or bands like Aradhna that work to raise funds for Freedom Firm. In America there are organizations like the Traffic Jam Campaign that does similar work. And a thousand more groups like these.

Those people are the real heroes.