Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Hope Rick Warren Fails


There's something sinister about Rick Warren. I can't quite nail it down, but the more I read about him, the less I feel There are lies behind Warren waiting to be discovered and publicized, I think. His Purpose Driven framing of everything on earth is too manipulative, too formulaic, too pandering - to the masses. At the slightest bit of inquiry, of criticism, he changes positions. He's too canny about human nature to be steadfast in his philosophies: he counts on the American public's fascination with all things counterintuitive.

If we see a pastor who doesn't look like a pastor or a church that doesn't look like a church, we're hooked. We love to cheer people going against the mainstream and the norm.

We also love showmanship. Remember: in America, we've made a religion out of entertainment and an entertainment out of religion. Warren's ability to stage the two presidential candidates together for a "forum" was pure showmanship. And his timing for endorsing Prop 8 was calculated showmanship. He tries to appear apolitical and almost fearful of unduly swaying people's votes, but a vote for Prop 8 was not really a vote in a political contest; to Warrenites Prop 8 was not an ordinary proposition, but a moral mandate.

I started to distrust Warren when I saw pictures of him and his Saddleback Church "campus." Saddleback eschews spiritual inspiration supposedly because it is for the "unchurched." The main "worship center" looks like the basement of a federal building. He flaunts Hawaiian shirts (unchurched people are always put off by clerical garb of any sort) and wearing a tie is meant to shock people with the gravity of what he is about to say. I, however, only wind up recoiling from his bad taste (see photo).

Warren quotes Scripture, confident in the fact that most (unchurched) people don't read the Bible. His quotations, however, are frequently taken from as many as five different versions. His modus operandi is to be totally applicable to the story or situation regardless of any inconsistencies in style or meaning.

He presents his philosophies in the same way, confident that people are poor students of history: for example, he declares that marriage between one man and one woman has been the norm for all societies in the last 5,000 years (not true). His camouflage of "hipness" hides the fact that he is a devout Southern Baptist, adhering to dogma which is used as a weapon to defeat what the Convention considers "sin."

Then there is his Purpose Driven motto: "Whatever It Takes." He never really qualifies it nor does he refine it. To Warren, the end really does justify the means. And Warren's "end" is not Heaven, but world conversion: if you have to feed the world first, if you have to set up AIDS programs in Africa, if you have to lie, cheat and even... Conversion to Warren's precepts is paramount because Warren's precepts are God's precepts.

I'm scared.

"Whatever It Takes."

I hope Rick Warren fails.

Texas Is Sinking!

Into A Quagmire of Delusions and Stupidity
The Texas House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a resolution this week that honors former President George W. Bush. “The Bush administration met numerous foreign policy challenges, while also making constructive progress in relations with India and sustaining a solid relationship with China,” the resolution reads, according to the Austin Statesman. It adds that Bush “lived each day with the safety and prosperity of his fellow citizens foremost in his mind; he took a principled stance on a wide range of issues of great importance to every American, and his tireless efforts will not soon be forgotten.”

Texas has clearly lost its collective mind. "Met numerous foreign policy challenges." Bush didn't HAVE a foreign policy, unless you count his cowboy diplomacy of "shoot first."

Here was a man who didn't know a thing about any country he visited let alone the ones he invaded.

Here was a man who achieved the lowest approval ratings of any President in our history.

Here was a man who ignored the public right up until the ignominious end and the label of "worst president ever."

Here was a man who ran the country from behind closed doors.

Here was a man who had a sterling record for, well, God knows what.

So Texas honors him and strews rose petals in his path.

Don't expect great things to come out of Texas. A state this delusional cannot hope to produce a statesman for quite some time.

Not in our lifetime, anyway.

Just a thought.