Monday, December 22, 2008

Warren Piece

What on earth could I possibly add to the discussion about Rick Warren? The guy seems amiable enough. He's charming and friendly and willing to listen to everybody. Of course, after it's all finished, he still holds the same views as James Dobson and Jerry Falwell and any of the other Religious Right assheads we've been screaming about for years.

I'm all for inclusion and everything. But it's tough to include those who don't include. It's tough to tolerate those who don't tolerate. Even when they're nice about it. "Dude! How's it going? Cool! Love your shirt. Your wife is so pretty. Let's do lunch next week. Oh, by the way, you're going to hell. Bye, sweetie!"

Christopher Hitchens can be an insufferable prick, but I love to hear him rant about religious people. He's got a nifty tirade in Slate today about the situation.

"[I]f we must have an officiating priest, let it be some dignified old hypocrite with no factional allegiance and not a tree-shaking huckster and publicity seeker who believes that millions of his fellow citizens are hellbound because they do not meet his own low and vulgar standards."



Mrs. Chili said...

Okay, so my post from the other day doesn't fly with you, either?

I think I need to be a bit more clear about the big picture here. When all is said and done, I DON"T CARE what other people come away from our conversations thinking. It doesn't matter to me if I change anyone's mind (though it'd be nice if I could). What really matters to me is the only thing that I have even a tiny bit of control over, and that's whether or not *I* get anything from the exchange.

I'm in the middle of it with several people who not only think I'm wrong about what I think, but who've called into question my intelligence and my moral foundations. I've been called a hypocrite. These people are not going to change their thinking as a result of their interactions with me, but I can sure as hell say that I'M learning something!

It doesn't bother me that people think I'm going to hell. I'm convinced that they're going to be sent back when they cross over because they haven't learned the grace of tolerance yet.

MAB said...

Oh, it flies. I understand the concept completely. I'm not as incensed about this as some people, like Hitchens or Katha Pollitt, are. It leaves me scratching my head more than it leaves me gnashing my teeth.

I don't believe in hell so it doesn't mean a lick to me what Rick Warren thinks about the state of my soul. But it does concern me when he has that much influence over people and the folks that are supposed to be on our side turn a blind eye to his more idiotic statements.

You can tolerate and even work with people with whom you disagree without legitimizing them by giving them the most primo forum.

Mrs. Chili said...

You can tolerate and even work with people with whom you disagree without legitimizing them by giving them the most primo forum.

Okay - THIS, I get. I'm not saying that I think it's necessarily a good idea to put this guy front-and-center (though I still do appreciate the gesture that Obama's making - to stock his inauguration with only lefties would give credence to the righties who are scared shitless right now).

Where does the conversation go from here, though? Are we really so polarized that there is no middle ground? It would seem, from my own recent personal experiences, that this is the case - "my way or the highway" is the message I'm getting from some of those whose thinking is counter to mine; apologize for thinking the way you do or our conversation is over. Are so few of us willing to really engage those with whom we disagree, and - gasp! - reconsider our own thinking as a consequence?